Press & News

Review: “Dia de los Muertos” at the Town Hall

True Love Survives After Death in Dia de los Muertos

“With its emphasis on honoring the transition of death, as well as those who have passed on and the undying power of love, Dia delos Muertos exemplifies the roots of the commercial holiday we now know as Halloween. If The Nutcracker is the go-to performance of the Winter months, Dia de los Muertos should be made canon for the Fall.”


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New York Times Review: “Dia de los Muertos” at the Town Hall

Review: When La Catrina Met Giselle

“The dance numbers keep coming — feet stamping, skirts swirling — as narrative turns are woven in with easy-to-follow clarity. The lines of female dead, crossing one another to the same accelerating music to which the Wilis cross, have the same effect as the original, heightened by richer colors. And the hopeful ending allows the men to finish with their forte, striking machetes together under high kicks.”

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Calpulli’s Artistic Director Alberto Lopez featured in Time Magazine’s “American Voices”

Our own Artistic Director and Founder Alberto Lopez is featured in Time Magazine’s American Voices for his key role and contributions to an organization that celebrates Mexicans and Mexican culture:

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Queens-based dance company brings acclaimed production to venues in the tri-state area

Hailed as a “terrific company,” by The New York Times, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company brings its acclaimed production “Dia de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) to three venues in the tri-state area over the course of two weeks beginning October 26th. Under Artistic Director, Alberto Lopez Herrera, Choreographer-in-Residence, Roberto Lara, and Music Director, George Saenz, the company tells a story inspired by the sentiment and colors of the native Mexican tradition through folk dances, classical ballet, and live music. The company of 20 dancers, guest performers, and core of musicians will take audiences on a voyage from a festive town in Mexico to Mictlan, the beautiful underworld of Aztec mythology, where La Catrina is the mesmerizing Queen.

Thursday, October 26th, 2017, 7:30 PM
Count Basie Theatre
99 Monmouth St., Red Bank, NJ 07701
Tickets and Information:
Event link:
Box Office: 732-842-9000 ● All tickets: $20

Sunday, October 29th, 2017, 4 PM
Queens Theatre
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
4 United Nations Ave S, Corona, NY 11368
Tickets and Information:
Event link:
Box Office: 718-760-0064 ● Tickets: $20-$30, Discounts available to groups and multi-season

Saturday, November 4th, 2017, 8:00 PM
The Town Hall
123 West 43rd St., New York, NY 10036
Tickets and Information:
Box Office and Event Link:
Tickets: $35-$50

“Our language of dance is universal, and I think audiences will love our story and how we bring dia de los muertos into a new light,” says Artistic Director Alberto Lopez Herrera, who also designs and makes much of the company’s wardrobe. Choreographer-in-Residence Mr. Lara brings a rich experience in classical dance and related story-telling. Mr. Lara is most notably a former dancer with Ballet Hispanico and Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo.

“Dia de los Muertos” has been continually developed since 2012 at venues including the Schimmel Center for the Arts, Aaron Davis Hall, and Penn State Erie. The company premiered the production at Queens Theatre in 2016 during its year-long residence with the partner.


La compañía de danza con sede en Queens trae consigo una aclamada producción a teatros en el área tri-estatal

Aclamada como una “compañía fabulosa”, por The New York Times, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company presenta su aclamada producción “Día de los Muertos” en tres teatros en el área tri-estatal a lo largo de dos semanas a partir del 26 de octubre. El director artístico, Alberto López Herrera; el coreógrafo en residencia, Roberto Lara; y el director musical, George Sáenz, nos cuentan una historia inspirada en el sentimiento y los colores tradicionales mexicanos a través de bailes folclóricos, ballet clásico y música en vivo. La compañía integrada por 20 bailarines, artistas invitados, y un núcleo de músicos extraordinarios, llevará a la audiencia por un viaje desde un alegre pueblo mexicano, hasta Mictlán, el bello mundo de los muertos de la mitología azteca, reinado por la cautivadora Catrina.

Jueves, 26 de octubre del 2017, 7:30 PM
Count Basie Theatre
99 Monmouth St., Red Bank, NJ 07701
Boletos e información:
Enlace del evento:
Taquilla: 732-842-9000 ● Boletos: $20

Domingo, 29 de octubre del 2017, 4:00 PM
Queens Theatre
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
4 United Nations Ave S, Corona, NY 11368
Boletos e información:
Enlace del evento:
Taquilla: 718-760-0064 ● Boletos: $20-$30, Descuentos disponibles para grupos y de temporada

Sábado, 4 de noviembre del 2017, 8:00 PM
The Town Hall
123 West 43rd St., New York, NY 10036
Boletos e información:
Taquilla y enlace del evento:
Boletos: $35-$50

“Nuestro lenguaje de la danza es universal, y creo que las audiencias van a amar nuestra historia y cómo traemos a día de los muertos a una nueva luz”, dice el director artístico Alberto López Herrera, quien también diseña y hace gran parte del vestuario de la compañía. El coreógrafo en residencia, Roberto Lara, contribuye con su vasta experiencia en danza clásica y narración de historias. Lara es un reconocido ex bailarín con el Ballet Hispánico y el Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo.

“Día de los Muertos” se ha presentado y desarrollado continuamente desde 2012 en lugares como el Centro Schimmel para las Artes, Aaron Davis Hall y Penn State Erie. La compañía estrenó la producción en Queens Theatre en 2016 durante su año de residencia.

Review: “Boda Mexicana” at Queens Theatre

Bright, beautiful costumes with joyous music create the perfect setting for “Boda Mexicana,” or “Mexican Wedding” at Queens Theatre (in the park). This latest offering by the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company is another example of the troupe’s highly professional and consistently appreciated presentations. Their latest performance earns shouts of approval and applause from the audience. The story of two soulmates Abril Anchondo Reynaga and Roberto Lara who are threatened but not conquered by an evil sorceress (Grisel Pren Monje) is rhythmically uplifting. Their meeting, courtship, introductions to family and friends and their wedding ceremony is jeopardized. Of course, there’s a happy ending with dozens of dancers and musicians providing energy and optimism. Artistic director/co-founder/costume designer Alberto C. Lopez Herrera meshes perfectly with choreographer Roberto Lara and his clever storyline. The audience has no difficulty following the characters as their unmistakable affection grows, is brazenly challenged, and then finally triumphs. Music director George Saenz provides high-quality guitarists, violinists, a tuba player, a drummer and singers whose music resonates with Mexican pride and power. Bravo!
Throughout the performance, huge beautiful, scenes and designs are projected against the rear wall (designs by Ariel Rodriguez Mores). Supporting dancers Yuritzy Govea, Stefanie Roper, Juan Castano and Christopher Cortez perform with disarming skill. The unmistakable warmth and affection of provided by another dozen performers helps bring the audience to a final standing ovation. Queens Theatre’s Executive Director Taryn Sacramone has returned from maternity leave with energy and enthusiasm. She greets the audience before opening curtain while house manager Willy Mosquera, at her side, offers his welcome in Spanish. There’s much more onstage this spring. Call 718-760-0064 or visit As always, save me a seat on the aisle. – Cliff Kadsen, Queens Courier

NBC’s Lynda Baquero inquires about “Boda Mexicana”

Click Here To Watch On NBC’s Website

Co-founder Juan Castaño and Rehearsal Director Grisel Pren talk with Lynda Baquero on NBC’s “Visiones” in preparation for the debut of “Boda Mexicana” in March 2017

Calpulli’s Spectacle “Boda Mexicana” on Telemundo

Calpulli Mexican Dance Company Directors and Founders Alberto Lopez and Juan Castano speak to Telemundo about the spectacle “Boda Mexicana” on March 17th, 2017.
[Recording in Spanish]—Nueva-York-416439844.html

Calpulli Mexican Dance Company in Residence at Queens Theatre 2016-17 Season

The Queens Theatre announced its schedule for the 2016-17 season Friday. This upcoming season, which will run through April, will be the Theatre’s 28th year and will consist of both returning performers and newcomers. It’s a lineup marked by new and old plays, a diverse array of dance performances and a number of special events.

“Our audiences can expect an interesting, diverse season, which I hope they will find compelling and memorable,” said Taryn Sacramore, executive director of the Queens Theatre.

The theatre series will present two classic plays alongside a new play: In The Car With Blossom and Len, by Joni Fritz. The play, an original Queens Theatre production, is a comedy about two middle-aged sisters and their aging parents, which will show between Nov. 11 and Nov. 20.

“It’s a family drama, it’s a family comedy,” said Sacramone. “I think it’s going to be really something that everybody can relate to.”

The two classic plays are Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers, produced by the Walnut Street Theatre, which will run for four slots between March 10 and March 12, 2017, and William Gibson’s The Miracle Worker, another Queens Theatre production. Brant Russell, The Miracle Worker’s director, was on hand to discuss the play, which chronicles the true story of teacher Annie Sullivan’s guidance to Helen Keller, whose ability to communicate is impaired by deafness and blindness.

“To me this is a play about how different people try to parent an experience into an individual,” Brant said. “It’s a play about how two parents, when they find themselves unable to do that, are forced to, for lack of a better word, outsource that responsibility, and the heartbreak that comes along with being unable to teach your child to communicate with other people and to communicate with the world.”

This year’s dance lineup highlights a diverse selection of companies and styles. The lineup features four different acts: Keigwin + Company’s contemporary dance tribute to Leonard Bernstein, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, a flamenco group called Flamenco Vivo, and the pioneering hip hop company Rennie Harris Puremovement.

“We have one of the strongest dance series in the borough,” Sacramore said. “Our mission is to serve the diverse audiences in this community, and dance is something that really brings people together.”

Sacramore added that every Saturday matinee will be followed by a “talkback,” which allows audiences to speak and engage with the dance companies’ directors and artistic leaders.

For its special events, the Queens Theatre boasted a new residency with the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, which will perform two different shows over four dates in October and March. It will be the company’s first residency at the Queens Theatre despite having a long history of performances there. The programs provide exciting Mexican cultural experiences that combine elements of storytelling and dance, according to artistic director Juan Castano.

“We’re narrative and dance without becoming theatre or dance theater,” Castano told The Queens Tribune. “It’s all movement and music.”

The company’s fall program, “Dia de los Muertos,” explores the relationship between the living and the dead, while the spring program, “Boda Mexicana,” explores marriage through different wedding dances and courtship practices from different states across Mexico. Argelia Arreola and Christopher Cortez, two performers from the company, were on hand in ornate, flower-decorated white costumes to display the programs’ highly visual approach.

Other special events include the Titan Theatre Company’s production of A Christmas Carol in December, a technology-based dance company called Visuality and the Apothetae’s production of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The Apothetae is a company that features integrated casts of able-bodied, physically disabled and intellectually disabled actors in order to explore the “Disabled Experience.”

Amy Wong, 74, has been a subscriber at the Queens Theatre since 2001. At the announcement, she said she is most excited to see “In the Car with Blossom and Len” and “The Miracle Worker.” She said the Queens Theatre presents plays that are most interesting to her. “They’re mostly about people, community. Not too avant-garde, not too weird,” she said.

By James Farrell
This article appeared in the Queens Tribune on 7/28/2016
Original Article Here.

“Boda Mexicana” del Ballet Calpulli en el Teatro Thalia

Originally appeared in Impacto Latin News

See a larger version of the article by clicking anywhere on the image below.

Calpulli Mexican Dance Company gives folklórico innovative spin

Its name means “large house” in Nahuatl, informally known as Aztec, and refers to divisions of society in the former empire.

For Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, the idea also translates to a different spin on the conventions of folklórico.

The New York troupe makes its Houston debut Friday, presented by the Indo-
American Association as part of an initiative to broaden cultural perspectives.

With 12 dancers and six musicians, Calpulli is small by folklórico standards.

“That gives us an opportunity to focus more on individual performers and stories,” said managing director and dancer Juan Castaño, who co-founded the company 12 years ago with creative director Alberto
Lopez and musical director George Sáenz. “It feels fast-paced.”

While the company maintains some classics – Mexican folk dance from Jalisco, with mariachi music, for example – its programs also are infused with original choreography and music that transcends time and cultures.

Calpulli Mexican Dance Company makes its Houston debut Friday at the Wortham Theater Center.

Its opening dance, the ritualistic “Mexica Tiawi,” is based on a symbolic, high-
energy dance celebrating Aztec beliefs about harmony and balance in nature. But the title also means “Mexicans Onward.”

Sometimes a message is implicitly understood in the music, Castaño said. But works such as a new suite of dances based on the Dia de los Muertos character La Catarina emphasize a universal theme, he added: “In life, we’re all different, based on classes, but in the end we’re all the same.”

Calpulli’s La Catarina – who might be an Aztec goddess – wakes up in “the other world” and must come to terms with it. The dance’s marimba score is influenced by music from the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca.

Calpulli’s founders met as dancers with other American folklórico companies, which often incorporate student performers. They wanted a more “unwavering commitment to professionalism,” Castaño said.

Early on, their repertoire skewed traditional and focused on education.

While Calpulli continues to embrace “all the different textures that infuse folklórico,” Castaño said, “audiences don’t always understand the nuances of ethnic dance.” That’s where the Calpulli directors saw a window for creating work that might strike more people as relevant.

Lopez, a native of Puebla who began studying folklórico at age 12 in his native
country, also developed a passion for theatricality and garment design. His dance-theater influences give the work its oomph – including animation as well as contemporary choreography and meticulously designed costumes.

Castaño grew up in El Paso but took his first folklórico lessons at Grinnell College in Iowa while he was earning a degree in chemistry. He continued performing in New York while he added a master’s in business administration to his résumé.

That’s where he met Lopez and Sáenz, who’s from Laredo.

“Growing up in border cities, George and I had such a strong influence of the culture in our world,” Castaño said. His family is still spread across South Texas, and many of them have never seen him perform.

“It’s really exciting for us to come back home. It’s going to be an emotional reunion,” he said.

This article Appeared in the Houston Chronicle on September 9, 2015.
Original Article: