Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, Steeped in Tradition

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The Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, located at historic Flushing Town Hall, was founded in 1979 to be a revitalizing force for its community, a creative catalyst for developing and promoting the arts throughout Queens, and a bridge to promote intercultural understanding through the arts.

This summer, Flushing Town Hall has been proud to present its Dance in Queens programs, a 6-part lecture and dance series on Queens immigration and its arts.

Jackson Heights, Corona and East Elmhurst are home to large concentrations of Mexican immigrants.  So this week, we present to you Alberto Lopez, co-founder of the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, in advance of his presentation – in the third installment of this series – on July 23rd.

What do you plan to discuss?Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 3.45.45 PM

I plan to discuss some of the traditions that parents bring when they come to the United States. I will also discuss different Mexican dance forms, festivities like Dia de los Muertos, favorite foods from Mexico, and how students can share these traditions.

What do you hope participants learn during this session?

With dance, I will focus on movement and rhythms from the Gulf-coast state of Veracruz including footwork and skirtwork. The session will be based on the dances performed by Calpulli Mexican Dance Company.

How sizeable is the Mexican population in Queens, and in New York City?

In New York City, the Mexican population is over 300,000, and it is the 3rd largest Latino community after Dominicans and Puerto Ricans. The Mexican community is the fastest-growing of the Latino communities, and it is estimated to become the largest of the Latino population by 2024. Mexicans are definitely part of what make Queens the most diverse place in the world.

What are some of the more popular dance styles in Mexico?

There are many popular dance styles in Mexico that are influenced by traditional and folk dances and songs. The music of northern Mexico in particular has inspired partner dances both folkloric and popular that are performed throughout Mexico and the USA.

You can watch a video of the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company here. 

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