The Mexicans put their stamp on this happy, vibrant dance-spectacle

The Mexicans put their stamp on this happy, vibrant dance-spectacle

Robert Tanitch reviews Ballet Folklorico de Mexico at London Coliseum

The last time I saw Ballet Folklorico de Mexico was when I was in Mexico City on holiday and the time before that was at the Festival Hall in London in 1977.

The company, founded by the legendary De Amalia Hernandez, has been seen all over the world. The fast-moving programme is based on folk and regional dances, which have been given a professional stage performance polish

It’s like watching a fiesta, a carnival, a parade. The handsome, all-smiling company of 40 dancers and 16 musicians quickly wins over the audience with their undemanding and audience-friendly entertainment.

It’s an agreeable occasion. Who can resist the sound of a mariachi band? The staging is a riot of colour.

The swirling costumes and the huge bird-like head-dresses are a visual delight. The choreography is limited but, within the limitations, the fast, hard-tapping footwork constantly amazes.

Robert Tanitch logoThe show also includes one tiny mini-dance-drama: the stylized ritual killing of a deer by two hunters with bows and arrows.

In the extended curtain-call the dancers come down off the stage and invite the audience to dance with them in the aisles.

One dancer was delighted to be re-united with an elderly admirer sitting in the stalls. They had clearly not seen each other for some time and greeted each other with long hugs and many kisses.  She made arrangements to see him after the show, while her stage partner, with impeccable good manners, all the while waited patiently for her to return to the stage with him.

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