Who was the woman who brought Mexican folklore to the world’s stages?
Mexican dance legend Amalia Hernández was born on Sept. 19, 1917. Today, one hundred years later, she’s being honored with a colorful Google Doodle depicting the diversity of Mexican folk dance, which Hernández kept alive through her dance company, the Ballet Folklórico de México.
Here are five things to know about Amalia Hernández and the Ballet Folklórico de México
1. Hernández studied ballet since her childhood in a well-to-do family, but was always intrigued by popular dance. Her mission was to bring Mexico’s traditional dances rooted in rituals and celebrations to the stage with a company of classically trained dancers dressed in colorful folkloric costumes. She choreographed dozens of routines based on diverse Mexican dances from every region of the country. She founded the company in 1952.
2. In 1954, Ballet Folklórico de México became the official cultural ambassador of Mexico.
3. Ballet Folklórico de México performed in Chicago’s Wrigley Field during the opening ceremonies of the 1959 Pan American Games. The Mexican government subsequently named Hernández’s growing troupe the resident dance company of Mexico City’s Palace of Fine Arts, where the company can still be seen today.
4. An album of music from various regions of Mexico that inspired and accompanied the company’s choreography was released in 1963. The album, titled Ballet Folklórico de México, can today be listened to today on streaming services.
5. Amalia Hernández died on November 5, 2000 in Mexico City. The Ballet Folklórico de México continues to bring the art of Mexico’s diverse regional culture to the world.