Proclamation by The Assembly State of NY for Calpulli

Calpulli Mexican Dance Company is honored to receive recognition from Assembly Member Brian Barnwell of the 30th Assembly District in New York State for “outstanding organization worthy of the esteem of both the community and the Great State of New York” – Awarded September 27, 2019

Announcement: Search for Full-Time Managing Director

Calpulli Mexican Dance Company announces the search for a full-time Managing Director. Please see the full job description here and at the following outlets. Instructions for applying are within:




Queens Courier interviews co-founders and Directors Alberto Lopez and Juan Castaño about the new production “Puebla: The Story of Cinco de Mayo.”

Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows ready to showcase a lively, authentic Mexican dance group

Calpulli teams with Global Rhythms

Calpulli Mexican Dance Company is proud to be part of the Global Rhythms program with the Brooklyn Arts Council, bringing our unique experience with movement and music to students in NYC. Learn more about this program and Calpulli’s work here.


Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes


NEW YORK – March 11, 2019 – Calpulli Mexican Dance Company (Calpulli) will premiere “Puebla: The Story of Cinco de Mayo” (Puebla) at Queens Theatre on April 13 – 14, followed by a national tour with performances in Texas, Georgia and New Jersey. The Queens-based Company, now in its 16th year, received a national award from the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) making the new production possible. Under the artistic direction of Alberto Lopez Herrera, “Puebla” tells a universal tale of the underdog fighting impossible odds. The setting is the Battle of Puebla when a small army of Mexican soldiers and commoners defeated the French army, the strongest military force of the time, on the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo), 1862. Through folkloric and contemporary dance, live music and elaborate costuming, the Company will elaborate on the history of the now famous date and celebrate the culture and people of Puebla.

Saturday, April 13th, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 14th, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.

Queens Theatre

Flushing Meadows Corona Park 4 United Nations Ave S, Corona, NY 11368

Tickets and Information: www.queenstheatre.org

Event link: https://calpullidance.org/performances/productions/puebla-the-story-of-cinco-de-mayo/

Box Office: 718-760-0064 ● Tickets: $20-$30

“Growing up in Puebla, we commemorate Cinco de Mayo with local parades and history lessons at school. But people in the United States celebrate Cinco de Mayo in a much larger way,” said Mr. Lopez. “However, many times people do not know why they are celebrating,” he added. “I wanted to take advantage of this cross-cultural opportunity to tell a story that brought the focus of Cinco de Mayo back to the brave people of Puebla, my first home, and the cultures that I love.”

The Company of 20 dancers, a core of musicians and guest artists will take audiences on an emotional and educational journey for all ages using the universal language of dance. Audiences in the tri-state of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will have opportunities to learn about the new story through several outreach events organized by Calpulli and its partners. The first showing of the work-in-progress is at the Kaatsbaan International Dance Center. In addition, all of Calpulli’s community classes reaching over 200 students every week will feature dance and music from Puebla for the coming six months, connecting all of the work of the Company and organization to this new production.

Sunday, March 24th at 2:30 p.m.
Work-in-Progress Showing at
Kaatsbaan International Dance Center
33 Kaatsbaan Road, Tivoli, NY

Event link: https://kaatsbaan.yapsody.com/event/index/348576/calpulli-mexican-dance-company

Tickets: $10-$20

In May 2019, the Company will perform the new production across the United States sharing its story beyond New York City. Calpulli will continue its tour of the production in the first half of 2020 with the continued support of NEFA.

Friday, May 3, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at the Wortham Center in Houston, Texas

Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center in Sandy Springs, Georgia

Monday, May 6, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, New Jersey

After touring its new production in the United States, Calpulli will make its European debut on May 16, in Istanbul, Turkey.

“Puebla” will feature new works by Artistic Director Alberto Lopez Herrera, a native of San Antonio Chiltepec in southern Puebla. The production will also feature commissions by former Artistic Director of the Company Noemy Hernandez, who specializes in the stylistic fusion of folkloric dance and contemporary movement. Grisel Pren Monje originally from Cancun, Mexico and Rehearsal Director for the Company choreographs several folk-based works in the story. Javier Dzul, Artistic Director of Dzul Dance Company and Juan Castaño, Co-Founder of the Company and Choreographer will also premiere new work. Music Director George Saenz is creating the rhythmic tapestry encompassing Native American traditions from Mexico, French war marches, European waltzes, to Hispanic songs of the era in Puebla. As its first historical production, Calpulli began research in early 2018 to establish the basis for the artistic story developed for the “Puebla: The Story of Cinco de Mayo.” The information related to the chronological events around the Battle of Puebla and also connections to the USA and New York City inspired the work. Calpulli notes that immigrants from the state Puebla makeup one of the largest sub-groups within the Mexican immigrant community in New York City. Also, although there have been attacks on countries in the Americas since the Battle of Puebla, no country has been invaded by an army from another continent since. Interestingly, while in exile, Mexican President Benito Juarez sent his family to live in New York City during the French occupation of Mexico. His wife and children lived in what is now the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Major support was received from the New England Foundation for the Arts via the National Dance Project Award. The project is also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, and the McGraw Foundation. Media sponsors and community partners include Rioult Dance Center, El Diario de México, the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, BRIC, Casa Puebla, and Spaceworks. This program and its performances in New York City is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional support was received via the Cultural Immigrant Initiative with Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Council member Daniel Dromm. About Calpulli Mexican Dance Company:

Calpulli Mexican Dance Company’s mission is to celebrate the rich diversity of Mexican and Mexican- American cultural heritage through dance including live music. Founded in 2003, the Company continues to grow its domestic and international touring from its home base in Queens, New York. The organization designs arts-in-education experiences for students and teachers and offers free dance and music classes targeting Mexican immigrant and Mexican American communities in New York and New Jersey. It was hailed a “terrific company” by The New York Times. More information about the company is available at calpullidance.org.

Juan Castaño
Director General



NUEVA YORK – 11 de marzo, 2019 – Calpulli Mexican Dance Company (Calpulli) estrenará “Puebla: La historia del 5 de mayo” (Puebla) en Queens Theatre el 13 y 14 de abril, seguido de una gira nacional con presentaciones en Texas, Georgia y New Jersey. La compañía con base en Queens, ahora en su décimo sexto año, recibió un premio nacional por el New England Fundation For the Arts (NEFA) haciendo posible la producción. Bajo la dirección artística de Alberto López Herrera, “Puebla” cuenta una historia universal de los de abajo luchando contra las probabilidades imposibles. El escenario es la batalla de Puebla cuando un pequeño ejército de soldados y plebeyos mexicanos derroto al ejército francés, la fuerza militar más ponderosa de la época., el 5 de mayo de 1862. A través de la danza folclórica y contemporánea, música en vivo y elaborada vestimenta, la compañía producirá esta obra sobre la historia de la ahora famosa fecha celebrando así la cultura y gente de Puebla.

Sabado 13 de abril, 2019 a las 8:00 p.m.
Domingo 14 de abril a las 2:00 p.m.
Queens Theatre

Flushing Meadows Corona Park 4 United Nations Ave S, Corona, NY 11368

Boletos e Informacion: www.queenstheatre.org

Enlace del evento: https://calpullidance.org/performances/productions/puebla-the-story-of-cinco-de-mayo/

Taquilla: 718-760-0064 ● Boletos: $20-$30

“Al crecer en Puebla, conmemoramos el Cinco de Mayo con desfiles locales y lecciones de historia en la escuela. Pero en los Estados Unidos celebramos esta fecha de una manera mucho más grande “, dijo el Sr. López. “Sin embargo, muchas veces no se sabe por qué están festejando,” agregó. “Quería aprovechar esta oportunidad intercultural para contar una obra que lleve el enfoque histórico de las personas valientes de Puebla, mi primer hogar, y las culturas que amo.” La Compañía de 20 bailarines, un equipo de músicos y artistas invitados llevará a la audiencia a un viaje emocional y educativo para todas las edades utilizando el lenguaje universal de la danza.

La audiencia de Nueva York, Nueva Jersey y Connecticut tendrán la oportunidad de conocer la nueva historia a través de varios eventos de divulgación organizados por Calpulli y sus colaboradores. La primera muestra de la obra en desarollo es en el Centro Internacional de Danza Kaatsbaan. Además, todas las clases comunitarias de Calpulli que llegan a más de 200 estudiantes cada semana, incluirán bailes y música de Puebla durante los próximos seis meses, conectando todo el trabajo de la Compañía y la organización a esta nueva producción.

Domingo, 24 de marzo a las 2:30 p.m.
Presentación de obra en desarollo
Centro Internacional de Danza Kaatsbaan
33 Kaatsbaan Road, Tivoli, NY

Enlace del evento: https://kaatsbaan.yapsody.com/event/index/348576/calpulli-mexican-dance-company

Boletos: $10-$20

En mayo del 2019, la Compañía realizará la nueva producción en los Estados Unidos compartiendo su historia más allá de la ciudad de Nueva York. Calpulli continuará su recorrido con la producción en el primer semestre de 2020 con el apoyo continuo de NEFA. Viernes, 3 de mayo a las 7:30 p.m. en el Centro Wortham en Houston, Texas Sábado, 4 de mayo a las 7:30 p.m. en el Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center en Sandy Springs, Georgia Lunes, 6 de mayo a las 11:00 a.m. y 7:00 p.m. en Count Basie Center for the Arts en Red Bank, Nueva Jersey Después de recorrer su nueva producción en los Estados Unidos, Calpulli hará su debut europeo el 16 de mayo en Estambul, Turquía. “Puebla” contará con nuevas obras del director artístico Alberto López Herrera, originario de San Antonio Chiltepec en el sur de Puebla. La producción también contará con aportes de la ex directora artística de la compañía Noemy Hernández, quien se especializa en la fusión estilizada de la danza folklórica y el movimiento contemporáneo. Grisel Pren Monje, originaria de Cancún, México y directora de ensayos de la Compañía, quien coreografía varias obras folklóricas en esta historia. Javier Dzul, director artístico de Dzul Dance Company y Juan Castaño, cofundador de la compañía y coreógrafo estrenando también nuevas obras. El Director Musical George Saenz está creando el tapiz rítmico que abarca tradiciones de los nativos
americanos de México, marchas de guerra francesas, valses europeos y canciones hispanas de la época en Puebla.

Siendo esta obra la primera producción histórica, Calpulli comenzó la investigación a principios de 2018 para establecer las bases de la historia artística desarrollada para “Puebla: La historia del Cinco de Mayo.” La
información relacionada con los eventos cronológicos alrededor de la batalla de Puebla y también las conexiones con Estados Unidos y la ciudad de Nueva York inspiraron el trabajo. Calpulli señala que los inmigrantes del estado de Puebla conforman uno de los subgrupos más grandes dentro de la comunidad de inmigrantes mexicanos en la ciudad de Nueva York. Además, aunque ha habido ataques en países de América desde la batalla de Puebla, ningún país ha sido invadido por un ejército de otro continente desde entonces. Curiosamente, mientras estuvo en el exilio, el presidente mexicano Benito Juárez envió a su familia a vivir a la ciudad de Nueva York durante la ocupación francesa de México. Su esposa e hijos vivían en lo que hoy es el Lower East Side de Manhattan. Se recibió un gran apoyo de New England Fundation For the Arts gracias al Premio del Proyecto de Danza Nacional. La puesta escénica también es posible gracias al Consejo de las Artes del Estado de Nueva York, The Harkness Foundation for Dance y McGraw Foundation. Los patrocinadores de medios y socios comunitarios incluyen el Centro de Danza Rioult, El Diario de México, el Centro de Música y Danza Tradicionales, BRIC, Casa Puebla, y Spaceworks. Este programa y sus actuaciones en la ciudad de Nueva York también cuentan con el apoyo, en parte, de fondos públicos del Departamento de Asuntos Culturales de la Ciudad de Nueva York. Se recibió apoyo adicional a través de la Iniciativa de Inmigrantes Culturales con el miembro del Consejo Jimmy Van Bramer y el miembro del Consejo Daniel Dromm.

Sobre Calpulli Mexican Dance:
La misión de Calpulli Mexican Dance Company es celebrar la rica diversidad de la herencia cultural mexicana y mexicoamericana a través de la danza que incluye música en vivo. Fundada en el 2003, la compañía continúa creciendo su gira nacional e internacional desde su sede en Queens, Nueva York. La organización diseña experiencias de educación artística para estudiantes y maestros y ofrece clases gratuitas de danza y música dirigidas a las comunidades de inmigrantes mexicanos y mexicoamericanos en Nueva York y Nueva Jersey. Fue aclamada como una “excelente compañía” por The New York Times. Más información sobre la compañía está disponible en calpullidance.org.

Watch: Calpulli Directors Interviewed for “Boda Mexicana”

See the interview with Artistic Director Alberto Lopez Herrera, Music Director George Saenz, and Guest Choreographer Javier Dzul about their work with “Boda Mexicana.”

BroadwayWorld.com says “If you haven’t seen the amazing work of this company, you are missing out!”

BWW Review: Celebrating Dia de los Muertos with CALPULLI MEXICAN DANCE COMPANY
By: Caryn Cooper

On the weekend of October 29th and 30th, 2016, the acclaimed Calpulli Mexican Dance Company presented audiences with a special Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) production with live music, classical and folkloric dances with a mix of contemporary work with long-time partner at the Queens Theatre. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Alberto Lopez Herrera, Choreographer-in-Residence and former dancer with Ballet Hispanico Roberto Lara, and Music Director George Saenz, the company took audiences on a journey to a small town in Mexico to Michtlan- the beautiful underworld of Aztec mythology.

Dia de los Muertos is a holiday that is celebrated throughout Mexico, and around the world, as a way to honor those who have passed on. Families bring ofrendas (offerings) to the deceased such as flowers, candles, and food to the cemetery, and create altars at home with items such as marigolds (the flower of death), fresh water, the deceased’s favorite foods, and sugar skulls (a reminder that death is the sweet continuation of life). It is believed that the spirits will bless those who honor their dead. La Catrina is the most popular image associated with the holiday. Originally created by Jose Guadalupe Posada, La Catrina represents death and the willingness to laugh at death.

This production, tells the story of a breadmaker, Don José, who attempts to have his daughter, Lupita marry Maximiliano, the town’s arrogant millionaire, despite her courtship with Raul whom she loves. Maximiliano challenges Raul to a duel, to which he loses. Blinded by his vengeance, Maximiliano sends a poisoned drink to Raul that Lupita mistakenly drinks, ending her life. Lupita arrives in Michtlan where she is received by La Catrina and her happy court. However, Lupita is sad because she did not get to say goodbye to her love, prompting La Catrina to grant Lupita a chance to return to the world of the living for one final dance. La Catrina leaves with Lupita, but not before she reassures Raul that one day he will be reunited with his love in the world of the departed. This gives Raul hope and joy as he decorates and cares for Lupita’s resting place.

What a wonderful show! The costumes were just beautiful and the live music was the perfect cherry on top. Being that I have seen the company perform at a number of previous engagements, I have never seen anything like this. It was a nice mix of traditional dance with a hint of Western dance forms such as ballet. It is different, but it shows how powerful dance can be. And what a talented group of dancers! They perform with such athleticism with the men’s high jumps and kicks, and grace as the women danced while balancing candles on their heads.

Calpulli Mexican Dance Company is a Queens-based Dance Company that looks to celebrate the rich diversity of Mexican and Mexican-American culture through dance and music. In this show, they have taken the charge of having Mexican traditional dance, with a captivating love story, while fusing it with diverse styles of dance vocabulary and technique. This collaborative effort highlights the indescribable beauty that is found in the universal language of dance. It is a new opportunity to expand artistic inspiration and connect with audiences, both new and old, in a different way.

If you haven’t seen the amazing work of this company, you are missing out! They are truly a terrific company. Be sure to save the date on either March 18th or 19th, 2017, for the company’s return to the Queens Theatre for a special presentation entitled Boda Mexicana (Mexican Wedding) that will explore the many wedding/marriage traditions found throughout various parts of Mexico.

This article appeared on BroadwayWorld.com on 11/03/2016.
Original Article Here.