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Cinco de Mayo Ballet Folkorico at Fox

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The University of Wisconsin - Fox Valley is celebrating a date of great importance for Mexican culture and history. Cinco de Mayo, "the fifth of May," marks the victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla, in 1862. Ballet Folklorico, a Mexican dance company, is performing at UWFox on Wednesday, May 5, from noon - 1:00 p.m. in the Student Union as part of the celebration.

Carmen and Jesus Avila, a sister and brother who still perform with the company, founded Ballet Folklorico in 1972. The dance company was created to preserve Mexican Folk dances, and as a means to provide others with the opportunity to appreciate diversity among cultures. Ballet Folklorico "weaves history with rhythm, taking their audience on a never to be forgotten, colorful trip through Mexico."

They begin their program with ancient Native American dances of the Aztecs, and "seduces the senses with sights and sound of more contemporary dances of Mexico." Other historic dances include those from the Azteca, Michoacan, Guerrero, Sonora, Jalisco, and other regions of Mexico.

Over the years, Cinco de Mayo has become a holiday that many people see as a time for fun and dance. It has become more of a Mexican American holiday than purely a Mexican one, because it is celebrated on a much larger scale in the USA than in Mexico.

Although the Mexican Army of the 1860's was eventually defeated by the French, the "Battalla de Puebla" came to represent a symbol of Mexican unity and patriotism. "With the victory, Mexico demonstrated to the world that Mexico and all of Latin America were willing to defend themselves of any foreign intervention."

The Ballet Folklorico performance is free and open to the public. Free parking is available on the West Side of the campus.

The University of Wisconsin - Fox Valley is located at 1478 Midway Road, Menasha, between S. Oneida St. on the east, Hwy. S. Appleton Road on the west, and south of #441.

For more information, contact:

Jeff Kuepper, Student Services Coordinator

Posted 5/4/1999