In the summer of 2012, Richard was notified that there was going to be a folklorico competition in Anaheim, California on August 12th - The Third Annual Ballet Folklorico Competition at the Anaheim Indoor Marketplace. Three judges were being selected for the event. Richard, after going through several qualifying interviews, was selected to sit on the panel as one of the three judges.
The competition featured over 20 folklorico groups from Orange County, the Inland Empire and Los Angeles. There were three age categories for groups to compete in - ages 9 and under, ages 10 - 15, ages 16 and over. The first-place winner in each age category was awarded a $500 cash prize.
Competing groups were required to have a minimum of four dancers and a maximum of twelve. Each group had to present a monograph which included a description of the costumes, the region they were dancing, the culture and the music, in Spanish prior to performing. Some groups presented in both English and Spanish which was nice for us non-Spanish speaking folks. After they presented the introduction, each group performed for 7 to 10 minutes.
The event began at 11am and was open to the public free of charge. Although it was a competition, the event was created to "preserve the Mexican heritage through dance and to present a show with amazing spirit and cultural pride." The event took place in La Placita at the Anaheim Marketplace, which was outdoors. There was a covered stage and a covered seating area for spectators. Most of the competition took place in the heat of the day and weather records indicate the temperature in Anaheim that day was 103 degrees! Toasty!
As far as judging criteria and guidelines, groups had to select a region to present. The regions allowed for this event were:
Central Mexico - Includes Michoacan, Nayarit, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, and Jalisco
Southern Mexico - Includes Guerrero, Puebla, and Oaxaca
Northern Mexico - Includes Sinaloa and Tamaulipas
Baja California - North or South
Judging Criteria included:
Appearance, Makeup and Accessories, Costumes fitting the region, Music true to the region, Precision and Execution of the steps, Expression and Movement, Choreography and Stage Use, Showmanship and Enthusiasm, Originality.
There was also this statement: "Although the Anaheim Marketplace instills traditional folkloric, groups are allowed to be as original, unique, and creative as they want to be with their choreography and/or costumes as long as they are kept true to the region they are representing during the competition."
Each criteria category had a designated point value and after the judges scored, the points were added up and the best out of 100 possible points took 1st place. Awards were given for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each age category.
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Note: Looking for your own adventure or journey? Herencia is a great place to find one! Folklorico lessons and performances are both available. Herencia Mexicana performs for private & public events of all kinds. Book your event today! Herencia Mexicana welcomes new students. No previous folklorico or dance experience required. All are welcome.