SACRAMENTO — Yolanda Colosio-Ramos, founder and Executive Director of Instituto Mazatlán Bellas Artes de Sacramento has announced Zenón Barrón as the new Artistic Director for the lauded professional ballet folklórico company (Compania Mazatlán Bellas Artes de Sacramento) and school.
Barrón comes to the company from San Francisco where he is artistic director at the San Francisco dance company, Ensambles Ballet Folklorico de San Francisco. He will remain as AD there.
Last year, Barrón was honored by the The San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival with “Malonga Casquelourd Lifetime Achievement Award.” In addition, he was awarded the 2012 Mission Cultural Center For The Latino Arts Corazon Del Barrio Award of Excellence.
Barrón was born and raised in Guanajuato, Mexico. In 1992, Barrón moved to San Francisco and that same year he helped establish the Ensambles Ballet Folklorico de San Francisco. He is a dedicated researcher of Mexican and Latin American folklore. In 2009, he received his doctorate in dance with a thesis on diverse indigenous communities.
Over the years, Barrón has become known for exploring diverse aspects of social, religious, and political themes, and his elaborate costumes and spell-binding stories that transport viewers to the heart of Mexican culture-from well-informed re-imaginings of Mayan ritual; to the reverence of an 18th-century religious festival from the Yucatan; to vignettes from the Mexican revolution; to a masterful collaborative suite of ballet folklorico dancers featuring the African Influence in Mexico.
“All this interpreted by dancers accompanied by the sounds of violins, guitars, vihuelas, singing of the trumpets, the beats of drums and angelic sounds of flutes is perfect conjugation to give the ballet life and movement through body language, implementing a manifesto of enriching human expression through dance,” Barrón said.
Barrón was born into a family of 17 children. His earliest childhood memory of dancing was at the age of five. When his Guanajuato community gathered for religious festivals and his great-grandfather, grandfather, and father participated in indigenous and folk dances, he discovered a love of dance as a basic element of life. He moved to Puerto Vallarta at 12, and began studying dance.
In 1976, Barrón studied dance with America Balbuena at the Universidad Autonoma de Guanajuato. In 1980, he was selected to participate in the prestigious Cultural Exchange program with Casa Cultura Florencia Italia. Barrón later became a member of the Ballet Folklorico de la Universidad de Guadalajara and then, in the early 1980s he made a decision to expand his professional dance training.
Barrón moved to Mexico City, and earned a degree in dance from the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes. In 1983, he joined the resident company of the world-famous Ballet Folklorico de Mexico of Amalia Hernandez, and when he was promoted to the first company the following year, he toured with them throughout the United States as well as Europe and South America.
“We are so happy to welcome Zenon to Sacramento and our organization,” Colosio-Ramos said. “We have been friends for a long time and I knew I could count on him.”
In late 2011, the sister school to the professional company, Instituto Mazatlán Bellas Artes, realized a dream with the opening of a brand new dance center “Studio 4300” at 4300 Stockton Blvd. in Sacramento where they champion: “A New Space to Dance. A New Space to Teach. Open to All Forms of Dance and Performing Arts.”
The School of Dance educates students interested in Mexican folklore, teaches the fundamentals of dance, and trains students to become performing artists, offerings classes for all ages and levels from all different backgrounds.