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Mexico Society and Culture 14/1/2013: Ballet Folklórico de México celebrates anniversary

Ballet Folklórico de México celebrates 60 year anniversary; ancient murals discovered in El Tajín; animal rights activists defend stray dogs in Mexico City

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Attribution details for image: Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dboo/747595619/ Author: Nick DeWolf Photo Archive

60 years of Ballet Folklórico de México

The renowned Ballet Folklórico de México marked its 60th anniversary this week. The company commenced celebrations to mark its 60-year anniversary in 2012 and the festivities culminated on Sunday 13 January 2013 with a performance at the National Auditorium at 6pm that included more than 260 artists.

Mexican ballet choreographer Amalia Hernández began the dance company that is now known as the Ballet Folklórico de México (BFM) in 1952. Her decision to create BFM was influenced by her desire to choreograph pieces that would incorporate the ancient, indigenous musical sounds of Michoacán.

The company first premiered under the name of Ballet Moderno de México, with a performance in the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. The company had its name changed to Ballet Folklórico de México in 1959 by presidential decree, following a period of international success.

From its conception until the present day, the BFM has performed regularly at the Palacio de Bellas Artes.

The anniversary of the ballet company is also marked by the forthcoming publication of a book about the history of the company, edited by Fomento Cultural Banamex.

BFM is currently co-directed by Hernández’s nephew and daughter: Salvador López López and Viviana Basanta.

Explaining his visions for the future of BMF, López emphasized the importance of constant innovation. He stated that following its anniversary the goal of the company should be to constantly strive to be a ‘company of 60 years, but new’ rather than ‘an old company’.

Ancient murals discovered in El Tajín

Archaeologist Arturo Pascual Soto recently published an article in the Mexican Archaeology journal on the discovery of hundreds of fragments of ancient murals in building 40 of the El Tajín archaeological site.

According to Pascual Soto, these murals once covered the walls but were knocked down during the first half of the 11th century during a period of architectural reconstruction, becoming part of the debris that gave the structure the raised height that is evident today.

Currently, archeologists are working to uncover these mural fragments, which represent almost an entire layer of debris that extends down into the base of the structure.

As Pascual Soto explains, archaeologists believe that the murals originally displayed scenes of warriors. The characters that can be seen on the fragments have been identified as belonging to processions or groups. They are depicted wearing helmets that resemble the head of a jaguar and their bodies are painted yellow with red spots.

The characters depicted on the murals are positioned in two distinct groupings according to their size: the first group of characters are about twice the height of the second group. The reason for this difference in size is not currently known.

Animal rights activists defend stray dogs in Mexico City

The recent raids against stray dogs in Mexico City – prompted by the government’s discovery that four people had died after stray dogs attacked them – received attention from animal rights activists this week.

A protest of around 200 demonstrators – some dressed in animal costumes – met in the Zócalo, the main square in Mexico City. Animal rights groups such as the ‘Furry Homeless’ were involved.

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