El Festival de Los Danzantes, the annual conference of cultural and folkloric dance workshops at Fresno State, returns March 28-29 with internationally acclaimed Maestra Silvia Lozano and her Ballet Folklorico Nacional de Mexico de Silvia Lozano.

She will lead a line-up of accredited directors from Mexico and California who will teach the dance workshops throughout the weekend for the festival hosted by Los Danzantes de Aztlán, Fresno State’s student folkloric dance troupe that is a program in the Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies and a recognized student organization.

The public highlight will be the main Festival Gala Concert from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, March 28.

The Sunday Showcase Concert, a recital for participants to show what they learned at the festival, will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Both public events will in the Satellite Student Union on campus.

The gala concert features traditional dances by Ballet Folklorico Nacional de Mexico de Silvia Lozano, Danza Teocalt from Los Angeles, Ballet Folklorico Orgullo Mexicano from Porterville, Mestizos Del Valle from Fresno, Grupo Folklorico Cuauhtli from North Hollywood and Los Danzantes de Aztlan de Fresno State.

Dr. Victor Torres, director of Los Danzantes and professor in Chicano and Latin American studies at Fresno State, said the goal is to help participants enhance their knowledge of dance traditions, customs and dance technique.

Torres said Los Danzantes de Aztlan will present a Mexican folkloric dance first this weekend when it performs a suite of dances that has never been seen in the U.S.

“I am extremely excited that Los Danzantes will make history on Saturday with our national debut of sones and alegrias Totonacas from Coyutla, Veracruz, located in the Sierra Totonaca,” Torres said. “The dance traditions from this region are just beautiful. I have no doubt that after we perform them on Saturday, everyone will want to include these dances in their repertoire.”

This year’s workshops features several instructors from Mexico led by Lozano who, as a pioneer in folklorico, brings more than 50 years of folklorico tradition and excellence to the festival, said Torres, whose Danzantes troupe was founded in 1970 by the late Ernesto Martinez and is the only one of its kind to be officially recognized by the California State University as its Mexican folkloric dance ambassador.

In June, Los Danzantes performed in the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival — one of only two Mexican folkloric dance groups selected — during the local troupe’s 45th anniversary year.

Pre-sale tickets for the concert Saturday night are $15 and may be purchased at Arte Americas (1630 Van Ness) and at Pepa’s Mexican Restaurant (6656 N. Cedar Ave.). Tickets can also be purchased at the door for $18.

The Sunday recital will allow workshop participants to showcase new talents learned throughout the weekend. Presale tickets will be $12, or $15 at the door.

For more conference information, contact Torres at 559.278.4115 or victort@csufresno.edu.


Related links

El Festival de Los Danzantes

Festival Facebook

Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies

Dance troupe fundraiser sets stage for San Francisco dance festival