SOCORRO, N.M. November 30, 2012 – Treat your family to an evening devoted to the complete mariachi holiday experience, from traditional music to a graceful and delightful ballet folklorico, starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at Macey Center.
“Mariachi Christmas,” with Mariachi Jalisciense del Valle and Ballet Folklorico Paso del Norte, will delight people of all ages with a program featuring a talented troupe of the finest musicians and dancers anywhere, in the final Performing Arts Series program of the calendar year.
The annual Mariachi Christmas show will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Macey Center.
The Mariachi Christmas production is under the management of Noberta Fresquez of Albuquerque, whose work with the company helped earn her a New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award last month.
“We are just thrilled to close out the year with such a spectacular program,” Series Director Ronna Kalish said. “The last couple years the locally produced ‘Merry-achi Christmas’ did not take place, and people were disappointed, so we’re hoping to draw a huge audience from up and down the valley.”
“For many people in this part of the Southwest, the holiday season isn’t complete without the color and culture of traditional mariachi music and the exquisite choreography of ballet folklorico,” Kalish said. “Thanks to our great sponsors, this is a holiday gift from the Performing Arts Series to everyone!”
Mariachi Jalisciense del Valle, established in 2010, joins a new generation of mariachi groups with an outstanding ensemble of dynamic and talented musicians.
The group has assembled an extensive repertoire, with numerous performances in venues throughout North and South America. With their fresh and innovative ideas, they have become crowd favorites, and yet they are very traditional in their performances.
“Mariachi Jalisciense accurately represents the beauty and color of the Hispanic culture, which is why they’ve become one of the finest mariachi groups in this region,” Kalish said. “Members travel throughout the U.S. and Mexico, inspiring thousands of school children to take pride in their culture and the beauty of the music of Mexico.”
Members of Mariachi Jalisciense del Valle have collaborated and shared the stage with a number of world-class artists such as Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez, Joan Sebastian, and many others.
The term “ballet folklorico” has been defined as traditional Mexican folk dance that reflects the beliefs and legends of people living in the small towns and villages of our southern neighbor. The sombrero is a traditional costume accessory used in ballet folklorico performances.
Based in El Paso, Ballet Folklorico Paso del Norte has performed at major community, national, and international public events, and celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. The dance troupe is under the artistic direction of professor and choreographer, Rodolfo Hernandez.
Hernandez and his talented troupe have won a number of prestigious awards for their excellence in choreography. In addition, the governors of the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Zacatecas have repeatedly invited the group to perform for several major city events.
Paso del Norte has the distinction of being the first American folkloric dance group to be invited by the Instituto Mexicano Norteamericano de Relaciones Culturales in Mexico City, and repeatedly have been asked to perform by other noteworthy organizations.
For several years, Paso del Norte received the Presea Frontera Internacional Award by both the City of El Paso in Texas and Cuidad Juarez in México, recognizing the ensemble as the “Best Folklorico Group” in the region.
Hernandez, for his part, has been honored for excellence as a maestro, artistic director, choreographer, and professional dancer. He also designs many of the costumes worn by his dancers.
Hernandez credits his mother, a professional Flamenco dancer, with instilling in him deep love and discipline for traditional Mexican folklorico dance. His unwavering commitment to dance education and history is evident in his enthusiasm and willingness to disseminate his knowledge of the art form.
Noberta Fresquez is the founder and producer of Mariachi Spectacular, an event founded in Albuquerque in 1990. The event includes a three-day conference, student showcase concert, the “Spectacular Concert” featuring world-renowned mariachi ensembles, the Mariachi Mass Celebration, and an annual induction ceremony for the Mariachi International Hall Of Fame. Mariachi Spectacular is held annually in July. She created, founded, and produced Mariachi Christmas 15 years ago in Albuquerque, with annual performances at Popejoy Hall on the UNM campus.
Fresquez has been recognized, locally, nationally and internationally for her expertise in cultural entertainment and programming and building “cultural bridges of understanding.” Her dream to realize an elementary school mariachi program came true in 2002, when the first elementary mariachi music program in Albuquerque was started under her direction at East San Jose Elementary School.
Ms. Fresquez has been the recipient of many awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Mexico Hispano Music Association, the Mark Ipiotis Award from the New Mexico Hispano Entertainers Association, the Creative Bravo Award, and the De Colores Award for Excellence in Cultural Education Programming.
She has also been recognized by the New Mexico State Board of Education for her outstanding work in providing mariachi music education to public school children in the state. In 2010, she was recognized by the New Mexico Business Weekly as one of the “25 Influential Women of New Mexico.”
In 2011, Fresquez was only one of three New Mexicans to receive the highest award the Mexican government gives to non-Mexican citizens, the El Premio Ohtli award. Most recently, she received the New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award from Gov. Susana Martinez at a formal banquet in Albuquerque.
Sponsors for the program are the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center division of New Mexico Tech, Socorro Insurance Mart, Inc., Van H. Gilbert Architect, PC; Sofia’s Kitchen and Socorro’s Holiday Inn Express.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $10 for youth17 and under, and are available at the N.M. Tech Cashier’s Office (second floor of Fidel Center), Brownbilt Shoes and Western Wear, Sofia’s Kitchen Drive-up, by calling 575-835-5688, or at the door.
– NMT –
By Valerie Kimble/New Mexico Tech