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Compañia Mazatlán Bellas Artes brings folklorico dance to Three Stages

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April 25, 2011 |

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A second performance is scheduled:

When: 3 p.m., Sunday, May 22

Where: Bob Hope Theatre, 242 E. Main St., Stockton

Tickets: $18, 22, 26 + $12-student/senior at bobhopetheater.com/ or call  209-337-HOPE

One of California’s most esteemed Mexican folkdance companies, Compañia Mazatlán Bellas Artes (CMBA) is bringing two folkloric dance spectacles to Northern California on  May 15 and 22.

Under the artistic direction of Steven Valencia, 35 exceptional young dancers (ages 16-30) and a live Latin American music ensemble present a passionate rendition of Mexican culture and heritage, both past and present.

For lovers of fine ballet folklórico dance, the “Corazón de México” (“Heart of Mexico”) is colorful and creative, featuring indigenous and folkloric dance costumes and traditions, with accents on their award–winning pieces performed in international competitions.

A highly valued cultural and artistic resource throughout the western United States as well as in international markets, the Compañía Mazatlán Bellas Artes boasts a repertoire that includes traditional folkloric dance pieces as well as indigenous rituals that are fused with elements from contemporary movement.

Last December, the sold-out performances of the “Posada Navideña” at the historic Crest Theatre, The Wells Fargo Center for the Arts and The Gallo Center  won rave reviews and immediate return engagements for holiday time in 2011.

Formerly known as the Instituto Mazatlán Bellas Artes, the performing arm of the IMBA changed its name to Compañía Mazatlán Bellas Artes  in order to differentiate its training academy and other organizational activities from its professional performance group.

In June of this year, the Instituto Mazatlán Bellas Artes will move into brand new Sacramento facilities.

Steven Valencia, artistic director

Steven Valencia, a Sacramento native, has always been greatly interested in his heritage and its artistic expressions. He began his training in Mexican folk dance at the early age of 8 and subsequently approached his dance training with an eye towards inclusiveness and diversity.

Valencia spent two semesters at San Jose State University studying Limon modern dance technique while also dancing folklórico with the famed Los Lupeños de San Jose.

In his numerous travels to Mexico, he trained with the prestigious folklórico dance departments at the Universidad de Guadalajara, the Universidad de Colima, and the Universidad Veracruzana.  His studies have further extended to the Ballet Folklórico de México, Ensambles de San Francisco, with the notable maestro Zenón Barron, and the National Folkloric Organization ANGF.

As a student in the bachelor of fine arts program at Sacramento State University, Valencia studied classical ballet as well as Graham, Duncan and other modern techniques in the dance department at that institution.

Valencia has taught dance to at-risk youth in a Gang Violence Reduction Project at Sacramento’s McClatchy High School, at workshops for dance convocations of Danzantes Unidos de California — a folklórico membership organization — as well as in workshops and master classes for schools, professional dance companies and community agencies throughout northern California. He has been the major artistic voice behind three Compañía Mazatlán Bellas Artes productions: “Mosaico,” “Posada Navideña” and “Corazon de Mexico,” all of which have been presented at some of California’s most prestigious venues.

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