Lesson Plans: Ballet Folklorico, Universidad de Colima, Mexico

The University of Colima’s Folkloric Ballet is a rich interpretation of Mexican expression, history, and tradition. The University’s Dance Company was founded in 1981 by artist and dancer/choreographer Rafael Zamarripa Castaneda, and has since performed around the world, on average 130+ shows a year! The Dance Company is known for an extensive repertoire that showcases early history, traditional Mexican folk dances, and the varied cultures in Mexico.

Colima is a small state in Western Mexico. Large towns in the state include Colima, Manzanillo, and Tecoman. However small this state is, the dance impact on the world is large, as this Dance Company has performed in several Olympics, many festivals, and thousands of shows around the world.

Teach Through Educational Travel

  • Watch this video of the Dance Company performing, and then watch this video trailer from a documentary about Zamarripa’s lifelong work on Mexican Folkloric Dance. What stands out to you, when you see these deeply cultural dances? Are they representative of Mexico and Mexican folklore?
  • Take a look at the extraordinary traditional folkloric costumes in these 7 photos in this photoset from an international festival in Billingham. If you were to look at these without knowing where the dancers were from, would you have been able to pick Mexico? What about these bright colors signifies this location and culture?
  • Watch this video with Zamarripa about his work, both in sculpture and dance. Do you feel that art and dance are closely related?

This lesson was contributed by Jessie Voigts: Get to know her! Want more lesson ideas? See last week’s Teach Through Educational Travel: Walls of Avila – perfect for your next classroom activity.