Living the Culture of Mexico through the Dance
Jonathan Trejo in Class and Performance
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Mexico is home to a variety of climates and fauna and flora, and has a diversity of music and dance that has made it culturally rich and full of color. Mexican folkloric dance is a wide mixture of cultures, including Arab, Christian, African and Caribbean influences that fuse to create the immense scale of traditions of dance and music celebrated during holidays across the length and breadth of the country. It is this great cultural mosaic that has identified Mexico throughout the world.
During this week we will focus on Mexican folk dance in two areas: a traditional section that will include dances from various regions of Mexico, with a variety of rhythms; and a creative section where we will explore Ravels Boléro, Huapango de Moncayo (a symphonic work by José Pablo Moncayo), and Tchaikovskys Waltz of the Flowers where the motives for movement are inspired by the aesthetics of Maestro Rafael Zamarripa.
We will conclude the week with a formal Mexican Folklórico performance on Saturday, August 26, at the Union Hall in Vienna, Maine.
Comments from dancers who have taken Jonathans classes :
My experience with the workshops that you have given me have been nothing but a huge pleasure! You are very professional, knowledgeable, and know how to make the class fun and entertaining, and above all, super respectful! I am immensely happy with what you have taught me, for it has helped me grow so much as a folklorico dancer. You have inspired me to continue growing in the field of folkorico, and I am sure you will continue to do so for others! Victor Alvarez, dancer, Ballet Folklórico of Los Angeles
Jonathan Trejo, from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, is a professional dancer at Ballet Folklórico of the University of Colima, Mexico, and is a consultant, choreographer and honorary assistant director for Ballet Folklórico of Los Angeles. He also teaches art in elementary school in Colima. He has a bachelors degree in Art with major in Stage Dance from the University of Colima.
Jonathan has been dancing his entire life. After beginning foklorico with a small group in his hometown, he began his study as professional at the University of Colima with the great Mexican artist Rafael Zamarripa (choreographer, sculptor, artist, director). From there, he continued with several courses, workshops and seminars with such masters as Christine Dakin, Kazuko Hirabayashi, Julius Brewster-Cotton, Duane Gosa, among others.
Jonathan has been teaching and promoting the Mexican folk dance and Zapateado technique in California, Nevada and Texas as well as in Mexico. He specializes in the training of Mexican folk dancers, dance for children, stage lighting, and in creating movement from the exploration of emotion and energy.
Kareli Montoyas career in the folklórico and mariachi world began at the young age of seven at a community park in the city of Commerce, California. Throughout her childhood Kareli had the fortune of learning from the best instructors in California and the U.S., including Maria Venegas (founder of the Ballet Folklórico del Sur de California), and folklorico pioneer Benjamin Hernandez (founding member of the Ballet Folklórico de la Universidad de Guadalajara and founder of the professional company Mexicapan). At the age of twelve, Kareli was invited to form part of the professional dance company Danza Teocalt, directed by Miguel Angel Diaz, where she was given the opportunity to tour with Grammy AwardWinning Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano. At age fifteen she became the youngest dancer ever given the opportunity to perform at the legendary La Fonda de Los Camperos.
In 2009, Kareli and three other dance colleagues founded Folklor Pasión Mexicana, a professional dance company. While in this company she performed in the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade, the Santa Barbara Mariachi Festival, and shared the stage with various famous mariachi bands such as Mariachi Vargas and Mariachi Los Camperos. In 2011, after graduating from California State University, Los Angeles with a degree in Social Work, Kareli travelled to Colima, Mexico where she studied and performed with the internationally known Ballet Folklórico de la Universidad de Colima directed by folklórico icon and sculptor Rafael Zamarripa. After returning from Colima, Kareli founded Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles in 2011 and founded BFLA Performing Arts Academy, currently known as the Ballet Folklorico Company.
Kareli has co-produced six concerts for Star Entertainment, a non-profit production company owned by Dr. Raul Ruiz, which has created high quality cultural concerts for over ten years. Kareli has choreographed over 50 original pieces for her dance company Mitu, Lilit Hovhannisyan, the San Bernardino Symphony, and the Culver City Symphony. Get to know Maestra Kareli through her Folklorico Blog and Tutorials!
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English version or Spanish version
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