Danza Floricanto/USA Presents...“Alma Llanera-Spirit of the Plains”

Event Details

Danza Floricanto/USA Presents...“Alma Llanera-Spirit of the Plains”

Time: March 26, 2011 from 8pm to 11pm
Location: Downey Civic Theatre
Street: 8435 Firestone Blvd
City/Town: Downey
Website or Map: http://www.brownpapertickets.…
Phone: 800-838-3006
Event Type: fundraiser, dance, performance
Organized By: The 3 Collective
Latest Activity: Mar 26, 2011

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Event Description

Critically-acclaimed dance company, Danza Floricanto/USA is proud to present the world premiere of their new highly anticipated production, “Alma Llanera-Spirit of the Plains” on Saturday, March 26 at the Downey Civic Theatre. Under the artistic direction of renowned world dance pioneer, Gema Sandoval, the12-member troupe adapts the Chicano classic novel, Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya into dance. The result is a thrilling exploration of a young boy's rite of passage into manhood as he straddles two cultures and finds the importance of the values that span across our cultural divide.  Blending the vocabulary of traditional Mexican folk dance with indigenous African and contemporary movement expressions, Danza Floricanto brings to the stage a vibrant and profound dance rendition of a boy's coming of age story.


After 18 months of intensive preparation, the company is ready to share their unique interpretation of Anaya’s work with audiences. Juxtaposition of indigenous and modern life plays a central role in the production. Mexican folk dance movement meets pop/contemporary music and movement to tell of the coexistence of tradition and modernity and how the two either influence each other or create a clash. Specifically, ceremonial elements of Aztec movement are used to mirror the author’s words when speaking of ancient rituals in our modern times. Further, African-based rhythms and improvisation add texture to the production by serving as representations of the lighthearted or sensual moments of the novel.


Known for their radical reinterpretations of Mexican folklorico dance, Danza Floricanto uses the new production as a continuation of its mission to expand and update world dance performance with a social and political conscience.  “This program is Floricanto's evolution into a more personal vision of dance, informed by over three decades of exploring folkorico and my sensibility as a woman of color living in Los Angeles at this critical point in time,” states Artistic Director/Choreographer Gema Sandoval.

The project began in 2009 as a choreographic commission from CounterPULSE, a progressive presenting organization in San Francisco.  Danza Floricanto used this opportunity as a vehicle to develop a new context to Mexican folk dance vocabulary. Overall, Danza Floricanto’s goal is for productions like “Alma Llanera-Spirit of the Plains” to serve as catalysts towards the creation of a dance form that can truly be called “Chicano.”

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