Aztec energy flows through S.F. folk dancer Connie Xochiquetzalli "Xochi" Peña was exhausted after her first performance in San Francisco's Carnaval festival, where she danced along the entire parade route.
Xochi, who is now 11 and lives with her family in the Mission District, performs the ritualistic folk dance based on the legacy of the Aztecs at major events around the Bay Area.
Xochi's parents, Connie Rivera and Ricardo Peña , came to San Francisco 20 years ago from Toluca, Mexico, where Rivera's grandfather was a traditional Aztec dancer and spoke Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. In addition to running their shop selling Mexican and South American clothing and cultural items, Peña is a drummer and Rivera teaches dance.
History will be made at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater on the evening of Thursday, April 9, when Misty Copeland, a soloist with the American Ballet Theatre, joins Brooklyn Mack of the Washington Ballet in a performance of Swan Lake. Copeland and Mack, both African American, will go where no dancers of color have gone before. They will become the first African Americans to dance the leading roles of Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried respectively in the traditional ballet.
Guam‘s Colorful Kottura: Chamorro dancing through the years
by Fredalynn Mortera Hecita, KUAM News
Thursday, March 18, 2004
The Chamorro culture is known for its songs and dances, and when Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed on Guam’s shore in 1521 it evolved into a presentation of Spanish, Filipino, and differing characteristics of styles from people in neighboring islands. Natibu Dance Company instructor Benjie Santiago says it’s Natibu’s goal to represent the indigenous people of the island of Guam through their bai-la and dandan interpretations.
He told KUAM News, “We have about 300 years of Spanish colonization in the songs and in the dances. You will hear the language, which has evolved. The Spanish influence, you will also, see maybe the costuming which can also be contributed to the Filipino influences, the Spanish influence that’s in the Spanish segment. And we’ll be demonstrating some of our contemporary dances which you will see a bit of different influences from maybe those characterized by Polynesian, those characterized by Micronesian and those characterized most especially by Spanish and Chamorro.”
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