Swirling Skirts and Flying Machetes

On Sunday March 26, 2017 Caitlin, Kelly, and I (Katie) had the opportunity to attend our very first Ballet Folklorico practice. Ballet Folklorico Azul Y Oro is a group of students at Notre Dame that practices and performs traditional Mexican folkloric dances. The group performs at many events throughout the school year including Latin Expressions which is coming up on April 7, 2017. Caitlin, Kelly, and I attended two practices on March 26 and April 2 in which the group was preparing two group dances and one duet to perform at Latin Expressions. The group was so welcoming to us and showed us just how fun and exciting Mexican folkloric dancing can be. Everyone in the group had a hand in choreographing the routines as many ideas for moves were shared along the way. The skirts that all of the girls wear for the performances add an extra element to the routine. When someone spins it is truly a delight to see the skirt swirl in the wind. Perhaps the most exciting of al three routines is the one which includes the use of machetes. In one section of the dance the girls form a tunnel and toss machetes back and forth as the men dance under them. It is truly something one needs to see in person as pictures can’t do it justice.

Photo 1: In the picture below Leslie (see consent form 10), Peter (see consent form 4), Isabella (see consent form 7), Andrea (see consent form 2), and Cecily (see consent form 8) all rehearse their first routine for Latin Expressions. The skirts shown here are used for practice.

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Photo 2: In this photo Camila (see consent form 1) and Isabella (see consent form 7) are rehearsing their duet. In this duet Isabella will be dancing the role of the man and will be wearing a cowboy hat for the performance.

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Photo 3: In this photo Camila (see consent form 1), Cecily (see consent form 8), Melissa (see consent form 5), and Maria (see consent form 3)  are showing off the dresses that they will be wearing for their performance.

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Photo 4: In this photo Andrea (see consent form 2) and her partner are rehearsing the machete dance. The machete is being held in Andrea’s right hand, but is hidden by her dress for most of the dance.

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Photo 5: In this photo Maria (see consent form 3), Andrea (see consent form 2), and Melissa (see consent form 5) are tossing their machetes into the air as Carlos (see consent form 9) dances under them.

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Audio Clip: The audio recording was taken at The University of Notre Dame Ballet Folklorico Azul Y Oro Rehearsal Sunday March 26th, 2017. They were practicing group dance 1 for their showcase Friday April 7th, 2017.

We had such an amazing time with the Ballet Folklorico Azul Y Oro group and we cannot wait to see them perform all of these amazing dances on the stage!

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