The Stevenson’s Union Center at Southern Oregon University held a Mexican Music Festival and Workshop on Friday, November 2, from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm. The festival took the audience back to the roots of Mexican folk tradition, which carries with it a variety of Mexican history. Sharing this history through music, song and dance was Mariachi Centella and Ballet Folklórico Ritmo Alegre.
Mariachi Centella consisted of a six man band dressed in traditional charro suits and each accompanied by their own musical instrument. The Ballet Folklórico Ritmo Alegre is a Mexican folk youth dance group that performs throughout the community. Along with sombreros, the boys of Ritmo Alegre dance troupe also wore charro suits, while the ladies wore bright blouses and flowing skirts that created a whirlwind of vibrant color when danced in.
Every traditional song and dance performed at the workshop related to Mexican culture throughout the ages, such as the Jarabe Tapatío. Also known as the Mexican Hat Dance, it is a fast paced dance that was originally based on the romantic idea of courtship. The Jarabe Tapatío is considered the national dance of Mexico and has been practiced throughout Mexican history.
“It makes me miss home and it reminds me of my culture,” said SOU student Neftali Beas of the Mexican stories shared within the music and dancing.
With encouragement from the performers at certain points in the festival, the majority of the audience danced alongside the Ritmo Alegre troupe and upbeat Mariachi music, filling the room with song and laughter.