- Brenda M. Romero
A generic term since the 1950s for dance groups that merge theatrical elements of classical ballet with Mexican folk dances. The use of the term was primarily modeled on the famous Ballet Folclórico de México, founded in 1952 by Amalia Hernández (1917–2000). Mexican dance companies had begun to incorporate regional folk dances into their modern dance and classical ballet theatrical productions by the 1920s, as part of the postrevolutionary Mexican nationalist movement in the arts. By the 1950s, such “staged spectacles” were founded on anthropological and historical research and reflected a “revolutionary nationalism” that celebrated and highlighted the importance of music and dance in Mexican identity. No doubt this was partly in response to increasing anti-Mexican sentiment in the United States. Regional Mexican folk dances have always been practiced by Mexican-American immigrant communities in the United States. With the Chicano social and artistic movement that followed the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, ...