Sunday, Oct. 27



Come experience the influence of Africa in Mexico! This workshop will explore movement from the Afro-Mestizo dances of la Costa Chica in Guerrero, México and will review some of the Afro-Caribbean characteristics of dances from the Carnival of Veracruz. Throughout this experiential process we will discuss general historic and socio-political elements that surround the settling of African cultures in México through the interwoven cultural and artistic African influences vibrantly present in various festivities and religious celebrations throughout the country. This workshop begins with a circle warm up that uses movements of Danza de los Diablos, a series of grounded sequences that challenge the body into locomotion with low center of gravity. Next we will explore La Tortuga, an entertaining dance full of characters that incorporates basic footwork, the use of a bandana/pañuelo and improvisation. We will end by going across the floor building on the footwork, skirt work and stylings from some mestizo comparsas/carnaval dancing. The across the floor combination will emulate the parades in Veracruz and lead to a freestyle celebration. Dancers are encouraged to bring their own folklore skirts.

Belinda A. Sáenz, is an interdisciplinary performer, choreographer and instructional specialist who collaborates as a teaching artist with Lincoln Center Education, Disney Theatrical Group and TADA Youth Theatre. She served as adjunct professor at NYU Steinhardt’s Dance Education program for three years. Belinda currently performs with Bessie ward-winning Joya Powell’s Movement of the People Dance Company and Callaloo Kids. Belinda has performed at Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, The Kennedy Center, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Davis Hall, United Palace Theatre, Queens Theatre and more. She has also studied and performed in England, Eastern-Central Europe and throughout Mexico. She served the Instituto de Investigación y Difusión de la Danza Mexicana, A.C. for twelve years through the Chihuahua State Delegation developing intensive Mexican folklore field studies, research and performances throughout the country. She is a proud active member of the UNESCO International Dance Council and American Guild of Musical Artists.

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