Ballet Folklorico Aztlan
|Motto||Preserve, Promote, Create and Educate about Indigenous Dance and Culture, to Develop the Mind, Body and Spirit.|
|Legal status||501(c)3 public benefit organization|
|San Diego, California|
|Viviana Enrique Acosta, Nancy Rodriguez, MP Schildmeyer, Spotted Eagle, Rebeca Lopez|
|Website||Ballet Folklorico en Aztlan|
Ballet Folklorico en Aztlan (BFA) is a Chicano dance company focusing on Mexican folklore, and blending traditional dance with contemporary movements. The group was founded in 1967 by Hermina Enrique. Currently, her daughter, Viviana Enrique Acosta, is the Artistic Director. The members of BFA were instrumental in founding the Centro Cultural de la Raza which was the first home of the BFA.
The name of Ballet Folklorico en Aztlan references the Chicano concept of "Aztlán" which refers to the American Southwest. The dance group's performances, relating to Mexican and indigenous dance and culture are meant to preserve the historical tradition of the peoples of Aztlan. Ballet Folklorico refers to traditional dance in Mexico and was popularized in the 1960s.
Prior to moving to San Diego in 1967, Enrique had lived in San Antonio, and expected to find services for folklorico dancing in the city. She was surprised to find none and created her own classes at the Mexican American Advisory Committee (MAAC) Center at National City. Her sons and daughters helped teach classes with her. These classes grew in popularity and led to the creation of BFA.
The BFA first became involved with members who later formed the Centro Cultural de la Raza in 1969. Salvador Torres, an artist, had been given the old Ford Building in Balboa Park as studio space for a six-month period. During this time, he found out that Enrique was having trouble finding places for the dance group to practice; he offered some of his studio space to them. Later, BFA would be involved in helping to found "Toltecas en Aztlan," which later created the Centro.
Through the 1970s and 1980s, classes were taught at the Centro by Isabel, Teresa, Veronica and Viviana Enrique (later Viviana Enrique Acosta), along with other teachers.
Director of BFA, Acosta, has been inducted to San Diego Women's Hall of Fame as a Historian and for her work with BFA.
"From our great and historical past, we have inherited a many-faceted and diversified background, with many cultures blending into a dazzling mosaic which is always changing and adjusting to present day contributions, but is always true to our ancestral roots."
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