Compania Folklorica Alegria Mexicana: Costuming the Dance for Cinco de Mayo

Fiesta en la Huasteca de Compañia Folklórica Alegria Mexicana [Source: Dance Houston]

Compania Folklorica Alegria Mexicana is one of many Mexican folklorico or folk dance groups that will be busy today for Cinco de Mayo. Such companies often perform folk dances from different regions of Mexico, each of which has their own style of costume.

Isidrio Salas is in charge of the companies costume making and traveled:

“to many indigenous villages across Mexico to learn from elderly women who taught the younger generation how to embroider the skirts, dresses and blouses. Salas and a team of volunteers make the costumes for the Alegria Mexicana group out of his southwest Houston home. He and the group’s administrator, Eva Santos, stand in his living room embroidering and sewing, often working late into the night to finish the costumes for the 25 dancers.”

Other groups import costumes or visit local retailers. The director of Grupo Folklorico Xochipilli, Gerardo Mercado, even travels to Mexico City to outfit his company. He says that there it’s “easier to find costumes from different regions of the country”.

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