Press & News

The New York Times Review: “Terrific Company”

On August 2nd, 2015, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company performed as part of the Lincoln Center Out of Doors’ Heritage Sunday celebration with the Center for Traditional Music and Dance. New York Times dance critic Brian Seibert shared the following about Calpulli and its performance:

“This terrific company of warm, generous dancers and a mostly female band gave a quick, vibrant tour of Mexican traditions – from Yucatán, Oaxaca, Jalisco – with eye-popping costumes for every stop. The finale with flying machetes was something to see.”

Please visit the following link for the full review which includes other artists and events as part of Lincoln Center Out of Doors.

Calpulli Mexican Dance Company at City College Center for the Arts November 1st

In the midst of post- Halloween hangovers and debauchery, a beautiful dance company restored a connected holiday to its cultural origins. Calpulli Mexican Dance Company brought Dia de los Muertos to City College’s revitalized Center for the Arts November 1st, giving the audience a rich lesson or a sentimental journey, full of live music and lively dancers.

It cannot be emphasized enough how special this production is, providing an educational experience to those not fully aware of the depth and diversity of Mexican culture and dance. As the two hour performance moved from region to region, the music, movement and language changed. The northern calabaceado from Baja California made way for a sweet song in the Purépecha language, marking the reunion of a deceased mother and her little daughters. Vocalist Enrique Acevedo brought the house to tears with “Cucurrucucu Paloma”, holding a ridiculously long note and filling our hearts with longing.

Elegant houses and refined heads of state shape the tone and style of Gavilan Gavilancillo, El Jaliciense, and La Negra. The Aztecs were represented in a suite with the Náhuatl title Mexika Tiawi (Mexicans Onward)! The ritualistic piece holds true to the described concept of selfknowledge and harmony. Noches en Veracruz showed the multiple cultures that inspire the stories and dances of the coast. Dancers with machetes never cease to impress, and here, in the dances El Buey and Sones Nayaritas, it was done with great flair.

Bringing the work back to the sacred meaning of the holiday, El Regreso shows mourners with marigold petals praying for a return of those lost, laying the path with color and love. As the performance closed with Sinaloense Soy, we have traveled through Mexico and fallen in love with El Dia de los Muertos in a deeper, more meaningful way.

by Layla Macoran
Originally published in the NY Examiner

NY Examiner: “It cannot be emphasized how special this production is…”

NY Examiner: “It cannot be emphasized how special this production is…”
Reviewer: Layla Macoran
Photo by: Stefanie Delgado

Link to original review: PDF of NY Examiner Review

In the midst of post- Halloween hangovers and debauchery, a beautiful dance company restored a connected holiday to its cultural origins. Calpulli Mexican Dance Company brought Dia
de los Muertos to City College’s revitalized Center for the Arts November 1st, giving the audience a rich lesson or a sentimental journey, full of live music and lively dancers. It cannot be emphasized enough how special this production is, providing an educational experience to those not fully aware of the depth and diversity of Mexican culture and dance. As the two hour performance moved from region to region, the music, movement and language changed. The northern calabaceado from Baja California made way for a sweet song in the Purépecha language, marking the reunion of a deceased mother and her little daughters.
Vocalist Enrique Acevedo brought the house to tears with “Cucurrucucu Paloma”, holding a ridiculously long note and filling our hearts with longing.
Elegant houses and refined heads of state shape the tone and style of Gavilan Gavilancillo, El Jaliciense, and La Negra. The Aztecs were represented in a suite with the Náhuatl title
Mexika Tiawi (Mexicans Onward)! The ritualistic piece holds true to the described concept of self-knowledge and harmony.

Noches en Veracruz showed the multiple cultures that inspire the stories and dances of the coast. Dancers with machetes never cease to impress, and here, in the dances El Buey and Sones Nayaritas, it was done with great flair. Bringing the work back to the sacred meaning of the holiday, El Regreso shows mourners with marigold petals praying for a return of those lost,
laying the path with color and love. As the performance closed with Sinaloense Soy, we have traveled through Mexico and fallen in love with El Dia de los Muertos in a deeper, more
meaningful way.
To find out more about Calpulli Mexican Dance Company and its programming, visit
www.calpullidance.org. Go to www.citycollegecenterforthearts.org for a listing of upcoming events.

Calpulli cameo performance at Shakespeare in the Park- The Tempest

TempestCalpulli
Calpulli brings Mexican dance from Veracruz to “The Tempest” in this unique and wildly colorful interpretation of one of Shakespeare’s masterful works.

Written By William Shakespeare
Music & Lyrics by Todd Almond
Conceived And Directed by Lear deBessonet
Choreography by Chase Brock
Featuring Todd Almond, Laura Benanti, Carson Elrod,
Jeff Hiller, Norm Lewis, and Jacob Ming-Trent

September 6, 7, & 8 – 8pm

​THE TEMPEST will showcase 200 New Yorkers from all five boroughs who will share the stage with professional actors and community partners for this three-night civic event.

THE STORY PROJECT lets us learn about our incredible partner organizations and provides us with an opportunity to connect to the individuality of each of the ensemble members through interviews. For ensemble member interviews and bios, visit the Public Works Blog.

Free Public Works Tickets will be distributed, two per person, at 12:00 p.m. on the day of the show at the Delacorte Theater. Free tickets will be available via the Virtual Ticketing drawingon the day of the performance. Summer Supporter tickets are also available for a tax-deductible donation of $75 each. For information and to donate, call 212-967-7555.

Public Fare, a seasonal open-air café at the Delacorte Theater will be open with limited menu to cater to patrons of THE TEMPEST. Hours are 5:00-8:45pm and more information may be found at publicfarenyc.com.

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​PUBLIC WORKS is designed to cultivate new connections and new models of engagement with artists, audiences and the community each year. In its inaugural year, it is creating an extraordinary example of participatory theater with this free, original musical adaptation of THE TEMPEST, inspired by a 1916 community theatrical event of Caliban by the Yellow Sands at the stadium at City College in New York.

THE TEMPEST will also feature cameo performances from community art groups that have a strong artistic and cultural tradition.These cameo groups include Ballet Tech, the NYC Public School for Dance, with choreography by Eliot Feld; the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, which creates folkloric and contemporary works while exploring Mexican traditions; the Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Ensemble, a taiko drumming group; the Middle Church Jerriese Johnson Gospel Choir, a choir based in New York’s East Village; the New York City Taxi Workers Alliance; Raya Brass Band, which performs Balkan “gypsy” music; Lydia Callis, a sign language interpreter who gained national attention for her interpreting alongside Mayor Bloomberg during Hurricane Sandy; and Stephen Duncan, a New York City performance artist who specialized in super-sized soap bubbles.

Calpulli Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

June 1st & 2nd, 2013, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company celebrates its 10th anniversary with a weekend of events at the historic Harkness Dance Center at the 92nd St Y in Manhattan. Get your tickets for all 3 events for only $50!
Calpulli Danza Mexicana celebra su decimo aniversario con un fin de semana de eventos en el Centro de Danza Harkness en el historico 92d St Y en Manhattan.Consiguan sus boletos para los 3 eventos por solo $50.

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Saturday, June 1st @ 8pm: Calpulli Dance Celebration/ Calpulli Fiesta de Danza
Dancing time for everyone. Calpulli’s touring company, youth dance students, Calpulli musicians, and special guest artists perform to commemorate 10 years of artistic creation, education, and community outreach. Join Calpulli for food, friends, drink, music, and of course, dancing. $30 for adults, $5 for children
Tiempo para bailar para todos. La compañia de Calpulli, estudiantes del programa juvenil, la banda de musicos Calpuli, e invitados especiales se presentan para comemorar 10 años de creacion artistica, educacion, y dedicacion a comunidad. Antojitos, amigos, bebidas, musica, y, por supuesto, a bailar! $15 para adultos, $5 para ninos

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Saturday, June 1st @ 2:30pm: Family Dance Workshop/ Taller familiar de Danza
Calpulli Teaching Artists and Students from Calpulli Youth Dance in Staten Island and Queens guide, entertain, and dance with audiences exploring dances from Mexico, including the lively dances from the state of Sinaloa! $15 for adults, $5 for children
Artistas didacticos de Calpulli y los estudiantes de Calpulli Danza Juvenil en Staten Island y Queens guia, entretienen, y bailan con el publico explorando bailes de Mexico, incluso los bailes movidos del de Sinaloa! $15 para adultos, $5 para ninos

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Sunday, June 2nd @ 3pm: Calpulli @ Sundays at Three
Calpulli performs and discusses traditional, fusion, and contemporary works. Commisioned new works by choreographer Francisco Graciano will be performed alongside Calpulli’s repertoire from the last 10 years and new works from Artistic Director, Noemy Hernandez. $15 for adults, $5 for children
Calpulli presenta y habla sobre danzas tradicionales, de fusion, y del ambiente contemporaneo. Nuevas obras comisionadas del coreografo Francisco Graciano se presentaran juntos con repertorio de Calpulli de los ultimos 10 años y nuevas obras de Director Artistico, Noemy Hernandez. $15 para adultos, $5 para ninos

Calpulli Makes International Debut to the Middle East

Bahrainmain

Calpulli Mexican Dance Company is delighted to share news of the international debut coinciding with its 10th anniversary year-long celebration. Calpulli will perform in the Kingdom of Bahrain in the Middle East at part of the International Circiut World Cultures Festival from April 19th-21st, 2013. The company is co-headlining the cultural event with Bhangra Empire and is the only representative of the Americas.

The company is travelling to Bahrain with a cast of 12 dancers and 6 musicians. Viva Calpulli! Viva Bahrain!

Bahcityview Bahmainstage 302groupsbahrain

Calpulli Triumphant Season at Queens Theatre

Calpulli Mexican Dance Company receives rave reviews from the Queens Courier. (Click image for larger version.)

Queens Courier Calpulli review

Symphony Space features Calpulli in Curriculum Arts Project

Curriculum Arts Project (CAP) is one of the oldest and most respected arts education programs in the nation, bringing Symphony Space’s performing arts programming into New York City classrooms. Acclaimed by one teacher as “the most effective arts program that I’ve experienced in 28 years of teaching,” CAP reaches 6,000 students annually, teaching them how history, culture, and the arts are all interconnected. By teaching the arts in the context of social studies, CAP shows young people that the arts are a bridge to a wider world than they ever imagined.

Calpulli Mexican Dance Company has been featured for several years.

Colgate University presents Calpulli Mexican Dance Company

Calpulli Mexican Dance Fiesta

On Friday evening, the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company performed at the Palace Theatre. The group performed a combination of popular, as well as lesser known, traditional Mexican music and dance. This well-attended and colorful event was sponsored by ArtsMix, the African, Latin, Asian, and Native American (ALANA) Cultural Center, the Africana and Latin American Studies Program and the Music Department.

The dances were divided into nine sections, each representing a different Mexican state. Each of these sections included three or four dances, which were linked through their presentation of a particular aspect of Mexican culture or type of dance unique to that region. Most dances portrayed some sort of celebration. Many told stories. In the opening pieces, grouped under the heading “Fiesta en Yucatan,” the dancers acted out a wedding ceremony. The bridge and groom stood around a pole, while female dancers held ribbons that extended from the pole and danced in a circle. “Los viejitos de Michoacán,” or “Little Old Men from Michoacán” was a comical rendition of elderly men dancing. The dancers wore masks and walked and danced with canes.

Many dances were more organized and traditional, relying on columns, squares or circles for organization. Some dances used the whole room; dancers often entered from the back of the room, and in one case, moved off of the stage, swirling their colorful skirts just inches away from audience members.

Another common feature of several dances was displays of balance: dancers moved smoothly, balancing trays, bottles or candles on their heads. During one of the wedding dances, the bride balanced a tray containing glasses and a bottle of alcohol on her head, while the groom balanced a single, larger bottle. Both continued to dance, while the other dancers stood watching and clapping.

With a few exceptions, the dancers were accompanied by six musicians who played a variety of instruments, including guitars, violin, percussion, trumpet and harp. The musicians sang during a few songs as well, adding elaborate harmonies to the mix.

However, during one group of songs, called “Caminos a Aztlán,” or “Roads to Aztlán,” the musicians sat down. The dancers played simple drums and shakers on stage, blew into conch shells and stomped in time with the music, shells around their ankles emphasizing the pulsing tribal beat. These dances featured elaborate costumes, including dramatic feathery headpieces. The blue lighted stage and eerie percussion music contributed to the tone of the dance. The dancers’ colorful costumes and boisterous, well choreographed movements made the performance entertaining for all ages. Children even practiced dance moves they had witnessed during the intermission. The concert concluded with a group of more well known, Mariachi-style songs under the title “Sones jalicienses,” or “Rhythms and Songs from Jalisco.” These dances were some of the most vibrant, as female dancers wearing full, traditional skirts and male dancers wearing traditional outfits, with the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company’s symbol on their backs twirled around the stage in pairs. The whole audience was clapping along by the end of the evening, when the group performed the familiar “El Jarabe Tapatio.”

The Calpulli Mexican Dance Company was founded in 2003 and is based out of Jackson Heights, NY. Through both performing and teaching, the group tries to preserve Mexican culture in song and dance.

By: BettyJo Roby for Maroon News
Posted: 4/3/08

Brooklyn College Awards Calpulli Mexican Dance Company Don Quijote Award

CELEBRATING THE MANY FACES OF LATINO IDENTITY:
FIRST DON QUIJOTE AWARDS TO DAILY NEWS’
JUAN GONZALEZ & CALPULLÍ MEXICAN DANCE CO.

BROOKLYN, NOVEMBER, 2007 – The Possible Dream: Latino Arts, Communities and Leadership Encuentro 2007, an all-day event celebrating Latino cultures, will take place at Brooklyn College on Thursday, November 15, 2007. New York Daily News columnist Juan González and the Calpullí Mexican Dance Company will each receive a Don Quijote Award during an evening at the College’s Bedford Lounge. Already in its second year, Encuentro is sponsored by the Department of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies, the Latino Faculty and Staff Organization, and the students. This year’s theme, “Las Caras Lindas: The Many Faces of Latino Identity,” will address some of the most pressing issues facing U.S. Latino communities and will showcase artistic and musical presentations.

“Encuentro 2006 was a huge success because it brought together the College’s students, faculty, staff and alumni, community artists and organizations, as well as CUNY associates to showcase the arts and leadership roles of Latinos in the U.S.,” said Dr. María Pérez y González, the chair of the Puerto Rican and Latino Studies Department. “The Encuentro 2007 promises to be another exciting opportunity to celebrate Latino diversity everywhere,” Pérez y González said.

In addition to celebrating the Puerto Rican Heritage Month and the 39th anniversary of the College’s Department of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies, the event will feature the new Don Quijote Awards, presented for the first time to honor individuals or groups that provide exceptional leadership in the arts, education, or journalism and who are dedicated to social justice and to service the Latino communities.

About the Award Recipients
The Calpullí Mexican Dance Company was founded in 2003 by a group of artists that seeks to enrich and promote a diverse image of the Mexican cultural heritage in the U.S. By providing instructional sessions for parents and schools, Calpullí has a tremendous impact on the Latino communities.

Juan González is a renowned Daily News columnist and the winner of the George Polk Award for commentary and the 2004 leadership award of the National Hispanic Heritage Foundation at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. González was the 2001-2003 Belle Zeller Professor at the Brooklyn College Departments of Political Science and of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies.

Contact: María Perez, Antonio Nadal, 718 951 5561
Ernesto Mora, 718 951 5882