Calpulli: Bringing Mexican Dance and Traditions to the Community

Compañía de Danza Mexicana Calpulli’s mission is to showcase and expand Mexican culture. (Photo provided to El Diario)

On Monday May 6, the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company (Compañía de Danza Mexicana Calpulli) performed “Puebla: The Story of Cinco de Mayo” (Puebla: La historia del Cinco de Mayo) in Red Bank, New Jersey. The play, which premiered last April at the Queens Theatre, is an example of the theater company’s commitment to showcasing and expanding Mexican culture.

Besides performances, Calpulli’s mission is to educate children, teenagers and adults. Its program of dance and music classes is directed by Calpulli performers in professional dance studios in Queens (at SpaceWorks and in East Elmhurst), Staten Island (Snug Harbor Cultural Center), Red Bank (Count Basie Center for the Arts) and New Rochelle (New Rochelle Public Library).

The program, both for children and adults, is centered in Mexico’s folkloric dance and musical traditions while incorporating such elements as history lessons, dance and music fundamentals, teamwork, and a healthy and active lifestyle.

One of the achievements of the Calpulli community has been the addition of Diana Vivar to the dance company. The dance wrote on Facebook:

She is from New York and started her dancing journey at the age of five. She began learning ballet at Ballet Hispanico and later on at the 92 Street Y. Her training by Alberto Lopez in Calpulli Community began at the age of 10 and prepared her to perform with the professional company. She officially joined Calpulli Mexican Dance Company in 2015 becoming the first student from the community classes to enter the company. She is also a graphic designer studying at Parsons The New School Of Design.

When asked what inspires her to perform Diana shared, “I am inspired by the people that come watch us perform. Every time I perform, I always want the audience to forget their worries and enjoy the performance. If I am able to brighten someone’s day, I did my job as a dancer. I am also inspired by Mexico: the people, the culture, and the history. This is my way of connecting with my culture as a Mexican American and stay connected to my roots.”

Youths pay only a voluntary donation, and adult classes are affordable. (…)

(…) For more information on classes and events, visit facebook.com/calpullicommunity.

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