Sunday, May 19, 2013

Retrospective & Prospective - Week 20

Hello Everyone!  Welcome to the Netherlands and the Philippines who joined in this week!  I am amazed that so many countries from around the globe have checked out One Big Wedo!  Thank you for all your support as you share in my folklorico journey.  I sincerely appreciate that you have taken time to read my blog and follow my adventures in dancing.  Don't forget you can find One Big Wedo (Guero) on Facebook and Twitter.   If you have been enjoying these posts, please share them with your friends and family.  I have had fun writing them for you and I hope they make you laugh and develop an appreciation for folklorico dancing. 


Did you know you can "FOLLOW" this blog?  There are a couple easy and convenient ways to do so!  If you have a Blogger account, you can add me to your "Reading List" by clicking "Add".  Or you can follow me by entering your email in the "Follow by Email" area to the right of the page layout on your screen.  By following me, you will receive updates and notices every time I publish a new post!  How cool is that!  You won't miss a beat!  I got my first official "Follower" this week!  Welcome, Welcome, Welcome.  I've gotten lots of visits to the site - pageviews, but now I have a "Follower".  That is awesome!!!

A LOOK BACK:

What a scorcher of a weekend!  It was HOT!  Global Warming has sure hit California hard.  BAM!  On the way to our Mother's Day performance, one temperature sign on the 10 Freeway read 106 degrees.  OMG!  I thought it was still suppose to be Spring.  Summer doesn't start till June 21st.  Can you handle the heat?  I was about to find out if I could.  Our performance Sunday was my one year anniversary performing with Herencia Mexicana!  It was outdoors and in the heat of the day!  Fun!  What a way to celebrate!  I started melting in the car on the way there, even with the air conditioner on.  Good Grief!  What was going to happen once I fired up my dancing boots? 


This week's blog is called "Retrospective & Prospective"  Being "Retro" is so trendy these days, isn't it?  Folklorico takes things way back!  "Oh So Retro" if you ask me.  Can you imagine if folklorico wear became the latest trend again!  That would really be something.  Perhaps I could pioneer the movement.  Sounds like some interesting photo opportunities for the future.  I'll have to work on that!  Be sure to keep up with the wedo, cause I'm heading places and you won't want to miss a beat!  In the mean time, let's go retrospective!  This Sunday's show was my 22nd official performance.  Wow!  I can't hardly believe it.  Time has gone by so quickly.  Let's take a look together at the past year's performances. 


On week 7, I published a post called "Show Time".  Towards the conclusion of that post, I provided a list of dates and venues where I have performed.  I have been updating it every time a show is completed.  Here is the current list:

Live Performances:

May 11, 2012:  Mariachi de Azusa 6th Annual Benefit Concert - Azusa, California (Herencia Mexicana) - Live Mariachi
May 13, 2012:  Our Lady of Assumption - Mother's Day - Carnival - Claremont, California (Herencia Mexicana)
May 18, 2012:  Plaza Mexico Performance - Lynnwood, California (Herencia Mexicana)
July 19, 2012:  Azusa Memorial Park Event - Azusa, California (Herencia Mexicana) - Live Mariachi
July 25, 2012 :  2nd Annual Viva La Vida @ Fiesta Mexicana Restaurant - Montebello, California (Images of Mexico) - Live Mariachi
July 28, 2012:  Durado Cultural Heritage Foundation Fundraiser Event - El Monte, California (Herencia Mexicana & Images of Mexico) - Live Mariachi
August 19, 2012:  Private Birthday Event - Pico Rivera, California (Herencia Mexicana)
September 14, 2012:  Plaza Mexico Performance - Lynnwood, California (Herencia Mexicana)
September 15, 2012:  Private Birthday Event - Montclair, California (Herencia Mexicana) - Live Mariachi
September 26, 2012:  Private Wedding Event - Loma Linda, California (Herencia Mexicana)
October 7, 2012:  St. Adelaide Church Carnival - Highland, California (Herencia Mexicana)
October 28, 2012:  Private Birthday Event - Azusa, California (Herencia Mexicana) - Live Mariachi
December 1, 2012:  Foster Care Event (DFCS) - Montebello, California (Herencia Mexicana)
December 9, 2012:  Riverside Festival of Lights - Riverside, California (Herencia Mexicana)
December 11, 2012:  Durado Foundation, Misa y Fiesta de Celebracion a la Virgen de Guadalupe - Riverside, California (Images of Mexico) - Live Mariachi
February 9, 2013:  Mission School Event - Redlands, California (Herencia Mexicana)
March 9, 2013:  Santa Teresita Hayden Child Care Family Festival - Duarte, California (Herencia Mexicana)
April 6, 2013:  Private Birthday Event - Ontario, California (Herencia Mexicana)
April 13, 2013:  Herencia Mexicana 2013:  El Mitote - Historic Civic Center Theatre - Corona, California (Sol de Mexico Ballet Folklorico) (Herencia Mexicana)
April 28, 2013:  City of Azusa - 2013 Cinco De Mayo Celebration, Azusa, California (Herencia Mexicana)
May 5, 2013:  Workman & Temple Family Homestead Museum, City of Industry, California.  "Romance of the Ranchos" (Herencia Mexicana)
May 12, 2013:  OLA Fiesta!  Our Lady of Assumption Parish, Claremont, California.  (Herencia Mexicana)
May 18, 2013:  Private Family Reunion Event - Arcadia Park in Arcadia, California.  (Herencia Mexicana)
June 1, 2013:  Ascension Church Community Festival 2013 - Los Angeles, California.  (Herencia Mexicana)
June 14, 2013:  Orgullo 2013 (Sponsored by Unidos Y Orgullo) - Potrero Night Club - Glendale, Colorado (Herencia Mexicana)
June 15, 2013:  Denver Pridefest 2013 @ Civic Center Park - Orgullo Latino Stage - Denver, Colorado (Herencia Mexicana - 2 Shows)
June 16, 2013:  Denver Pridefest 2013 @ Civic Center Park - Orgullo Latino Stage - Denver, Colorado (Herencia Mexicana - 2 Shows)
September 1, 2013:  Disney's Community Arts Showcase - Disney California Adventure - Hollywood Backlot Stage - Anaheim, California (Sol de Mexico Ballet Folklorico
September 7, 2013:  City of Azusa Recreation Department - Azusa Senior Center Fiesta Event - Azusa, California (Herencia Mexicana)
September 8, 2013 - Plaza Mexico Colima Festival & Estrella TV - Lynnwood, California (Ballet Folklorico Mi Tierra)
September 22, 2013 - LA County Fair - Plaza De Las Americas Stage @ The Fairplex - Pomona, California (Ballet Folklorico Sol de Mexico) 
September 29, 2013 - LA County Fair - Plaza De Las Americas Stage - Pomona, California (Herencia Mexicana)
November 2, 2013 - Day of The Dead 2013 - Olvera Street Gazebo - Los Angeles, California (Herencia Mexicana)
November 2, 2013 - Dia de Los Muertos Ten Year Anniversary - Historic Downtown Riverside @ Market & Tenth - Riverside, California (Herencia Mexicana) (BF Sol de Mexico)
November 9, 2013 - Private Event - Quinceanera - Razzle Dazzle Dance Studios - Riverside, California - Live Mariachi (Herencia Mexicana) (BF Sol de Mexico)
November 16, 2013 - 50th Wedding Anniversary Private Event with Mariachi Los Camperos - The Ritz Gardens - Whittier, California - Live Mariachi (Dancers from Various Groups)
December 7, 2013 - D.C.F.S. Holiday Event at Montebello Senior Center - Montebello, California (Herencia Mexicana)
December 14, 2013 - Riverside Festival of Lights sponsored by The Mission Inn - Main Stage at University & Main - Riverside, California (Herencia Mexicana)
December 21, 2013 - Disney Viva Navidad Guest Performances - Disney California Adventure Park - Anaheim, California - Paradise Gardens Stage - 4 Shows (Herencia Mexicana)
December 22, 2013 - Disney Viva Navidad Guest Performances - Disney California Adventure Park - Anaheim, California - Paradise Gardens Stage - 2 Shows (Herencia Mexicana)
March 29, 2014 - Priscilla's Quinceanera - City Of Industry Expo Center - Industry, California (Herencia Mexicana)
April 8, 2014 - Veracruz Photo Shoot - Los Angeles, California (BF Mi Tierra)
April 27, 2014 - Azusa Cinco de Mayo Celebration - Azusa City Hall - Azusa, California (Herencia Mexicana)
May 1, 2014 - Destination Downtown Riverside Fashion Show - Riverside California (Herencia Mexicana)
May 1, 2014 - Riverside Cinco de Mayo Celebration at I.E. Art walk - Riverside, California (Herencia Mexicana)
May 6, 2014 - First Steps Independent Living Cinco de Mayo Event - San Bernardino, California (Herencia Mexicana)
May 11, 2014 - OLA Fiests Mother's Day Performance - Our Lady of Assumption Church & School - Claremont, California (Herencia Mexicana)
June 20, 2014 - Unidos Y Orgullo's 2014 Pride Event at Club El Potrero - Glendale, Colorado (Herencia Mexicana)
June 21, 2014 - Denver Pridefest 2014 at Civic Center Park - Latin Stage - Denver, Colorado (Herencia Mexicana - 3 shows)
June 22, 2014 - Denver Pridefest 2014 at Civic Center Park - Latin Stage - Denver, Colorado (Herencia Mexicana - 2 shows)
KGNU Radio Interview.
July 26, 2014 - 15th Wedding Anniversary Celebration - Mentone Moose Lodge - Mentone, California (Herencia Mexicana)
August 2, 2014 - Fabiola's Birthday Party - Escobedo's Residence - Covina, California (Herencia Mexicana)
August 23, 2014 - Disney Community Arts Showcase - Disney California Adventure - Hollywood Backlot Stage - Anaheim, California (Herencia Mexicana)
September 6, 2014 - City of Azusa "Fiesta" - Azusa Senior Center - Azusa, California (Herencia Mexicana)
September 27, 2014 - St. Bernardine's Multicultural Festival - San Bernardino, California (Herencia Mexicana)
September 28, 2014 - Los Angeles County Fair - Plaza de Las Americas, Pomona, California (Herencia Mexicana)
October 5, 2014 - Unity Fellowship of Christ Church Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration - Riverside, California (Herencia Mexicana)
October 12, 2014 - Private Wedding Reception Performance - Mentone Moose Lodge, Mentone Beach, California (Herencia Mexicana)
October 18, 2014 - Herencia Mexicana's 2014 Annual Fundraiser Event - The Ranch - Riverside, California - 2 Performances (Herencia Mexicana)
November 2, 2014 - Placita Olvera - Olvera Street Dia de Los Muertos (Day of The Dead) Festival - Los Angeles, California (Herencia Mexicana) 
November 2, 2014 - Riverside Dia de Los Muertos Featival - Downtown Riverside, California (Herencia Mexicana)

November 22, 2014 - Disney Viva Navidad! - Disney California Adventure Park - Paradise Pier/Goofy's Sky School - Anaheim, California - 2 Shows (Herencia Mexicana)
November 23, 2014 - Disney Viva Navidad! - Disney California Adventure - Paradise Pier/Goofy's Sky School - Anaheim, California - 2 Shows (Herencia Mexicana)
December 6, 2014 - Knott's Merry Farm - Knott's Berry Farm - Calico Stage - Buena Park, California (Herencia Mexicana)
December 13, 2014 - Winter Wonderland - The Roosevelt Bowl @ Perris Hill Park - San Bernardino, California (Herencia Mexicana)
December 13, 2014 - Riverside Mission Inn Festival of Lights - Riverside, California (Herencia Mexicana)
December 21, 2014 - KCAA Radio Event @ The Carousel Mall - Performance & Radio Interview - San Bernardino, California (Herencia Mexicana)
December 6, 2014 - Knott's Merry Farm - Knott's Berry Farm - Calico Stage - Buena Park, California (Herencia Mexicana)
December 13, 2014 - Winter Wonderland - The Roosevelt Bowl @ Perris Hill Park - San Bernardino, California (Herencia Mexicana)
December 13, 2014 - Riverside Mission Inn Festival of Lights - Riverside, California (Herencia Mexicana)
December 21, 2014 - KCAA Radio Event @ The Carousel Mall - Performance & Radio Interview - San Bernardino, California (Herencia Mexicana)
January 18, 2015 - Disney Community Arts Showcase - Hollywood Backlot Stage - Disney California Adventure - Anaheim, California (Herencia Mexicana)

That's a lot of performances for one year!  Goes to show you that there are plenty of opportunities for folklorico dancers to perform.  In fact, June is booking up with many more performances!  I will be sure to continue updating the lists so you can follow me everywhere I go.  Herencia receives many calls throughout the year for performances.  It is a privilege to provide folklorico entertainment for people at their events - whether private or public.  I enjoy doing them all and hope to continue doing more of them in the future.  You should call and book us for your event today! 

ANNIVERSARY SHOW:


Our Lady of Assumption Parish in Claremont, California has been a big supporter of Herencia Mexicana over the years.  Every year on Mother's Day they have their OLA Fiesta and have the group come out and perform for them.  Herencia also performs for their Mexican Independence Day celebration in September.  The OLA Fiesta has an abundance of entertainment, rides, food carts, games and more.  It's a great time for all.  If you are ever in the area on Mother's Day, you should stop and check it out.  While you're there make sure you stop by the stage and say "Hello!" to the Big Wedo.

Our Lady of Assumption is where I performed my first full length show with Herencia.  It's like "home" for me.  In fact, you may recall the "Three Amigos" video I shared from my first performance.  If you haven't seen it yet, then take a visit to the One Big Wedo (Guero) Facebook page and have a look.  It's certain to put a smile on your face.  Now, a year later, Herencia is back to perform again.  It's the one year Big Wedo anniversary show!

This year's Mother's Day show was awesome!  Even in the heat!  I am very pleased with my performance.  No folklorico bloopers or failures to report this week!  Herencia gave the audience a good show.  The heat actually helped the wedo become more limber.  Imagine that!  Between the heat and sweat, it practically caused a giant steam iron effect which took all the wrinkles out of my dancing.  I think I found a way to effectively relax the gene!  Who knew!  The heat was exhausting however and by the end of the show my white undershirt was completely drenched.  Sweat was dripping from every pore.  Call me "One Big Wet - Oh"!  I must have lost 5 pounds!  And there was an unusual smell of bacon in the air around me.  Perhaps, it was the food carts outside our dressing room.  Perhaps it was my belly of jelly frying!  Made me hungry never the less.  Let's eat!  Just kidding.  Anyway, we had a cold water buffet backstage in the dressing room so no need to worry.  We stayed hydrated and no one collapsed from heat exhaustion.


We took the stage at about 3:00 p.m., after the Spanish Mass let out.  What a crowd!  Thanks to everyone that came out to show their support for the Big Wedo!  I can't wait to get my Big Wedo T-shirts made, then my supporters can all show up wearing them to performances!  I'm working on it!  Back to my story!  I need to focus!  I danced three regions with Herencia at this show.  The first was Tamaulipas, with its fringed jacket and chaps.  Gotta love those chaps!  The second was Veracruz with the white guayabera, pants, shoes and hat.  Blood free by the way!  I like to call it my "White on White" costume.  And lastly, we wrapped up the show with Jalisco, recognized by the charro.  A crowd pleaser.  My most challenging region which demands a lot of energy to execute!  Why can't we start the show with this region rather than end the show with it?  I think I need to start taking B-12 injections throughout the show just to prepare for the big Jalisco finish!


Sol de Mexico Ballet Folklorico joined Herencia for the show!  Sol brought their young dancers and featured the region of Yucatan.  The audience loved it.  The Yucatan dances Sol performed are done while a tray with glasses and bottles is balanced on your head as you dance on wood boxes.  Sometimes I feel like folklorico is excessively complicated!  How much more challenging will this get?  An awesome spectacle to behold if you can pull it off and Sol de Mexico Ballet Folklorico did great!  That takes talent!  Thank you for being a part of the show. 

After the 45 minute show, we mingled with the audience and handed out business cards and colorful metallic bead necklaces.  People really enjoyed the show which made it all worth it.  In fact, one lady even gave me a Hi-5!  She also asked me where they were serving the B.L.T. sandwiches!  Our show was followed up with live music and dancing and a performance of some amazing modern Vietnamese folk dancing.  I can't wait to do it again next year!  It's a fiesta indeed!

One fun fact about this show was the announcer/emcee.  He was a fellow wedo like me.  He coordinated the hosting of the dance group upon arrival to the church grounds.  He didn't speak Spanish.  So, he was having some challenges with saying our group name.  He practiced during the hour before we took the stage and got it down.  I jokingly told him I was going to recruit him to dance in the group now.  Dos Wedos!  Sounds good to me.  Can I get tres?  He declined, but the offer is still stands.  Any other takers out there?

As I have shared about many of different dance regions, some of you may be wondering what these regions "look" like.  A great resource to view regional costumes and history is www.houstonculture.org where you can view their photos and commentary on "Traditions of Mexico - Ballet Folklorico".  Take a look!  Be sure to also visit my other blog posts on past performances.  On week 16, I shared a post called "Heart & Sol" and on week 19, I shared about "Cinco de Mayo".  There will be plenty more performance history incorporated in upcoming posts as well and lots of photos too.  Make sure you drop by every Sunday for my latest published post.

BACK - TO THE FUTURE:

So now that we've taken a brief look back at the past year, where do you go after going "retro"?  Let's go "Pro"!  No, not pro-fessional, but pro-spective.  Where is the Big Wedo headed in the future?  There is a lot of uncertainty about the future of Big Wedo and his world of folklorico.  Yes, it's true.  It's an uneasy feeling not knowing what the future holds exactly.  I'm an aging wedo in a youthful folklorico movement!  40 is just around the corner.  "Oh My!  Oh No!  Say It Isn't So! " That's like 100 in folk years!  If I were a dog I'd be dead!  That's an ugly reality check.  Botox, hair implants, dye jobs, liposuction, plastic surgery, energy drinks, vitamins, gold injections....Is this what the future holds?  I've got a better idea: The Folklorico Fountain of Youth & Folk Therapy!  In other words, "Keep calm and Folklorico on."


I'm not announcing my folklorico retirement or anything.  I've just gotten started for goodness sakes.  But I want to do a Day Of The Dead (Dia de Muertos) show before my folklorico career days are over.  I want to dance with a skull painted face.  When is it my turn to do it?  I declare Dia de Muertos 2014.  In fact, I've been developing a show around it.  This is an original show especially for Richard and Herencia Mexicana.  I call it, "Recuerdos de Mi Madre" which translates to "Memories of My Mother."  I think the title fits perfectly as its storyline incorporates a mother passing, The Mother Mary, The Motherland - Mexico and Herencia Mexicana - my folklorico "mother".  That's a whole lot of Motherhood.  Perhaps the title "One Big Mama" would be a better fit.  What do you think?


Here a brief synopsis of the storyline concept.  The curtain opens to a dimly lit stage with an altar bearing four candles illuminating a large picture of the Mother Mary.  As Gregorian chant is heard and the ringing of a bell, a priest in a white robe carrying a processional cross with four monks following him, acting as pall-bearers, carry a coffin onto the stage as four mourning daughters in Veracruz costumes lament over the loss of their mother.  The coffin is set on the ground and the cross placed beside the altar and the priest and monks exit the stage as the four women grieve.  Then they each take one of the four candles on the altar and La Bruja begins to play.  As the women dance La Bruja and soul of the mother rises from the coffin.


The story then goes back in time to the childhood of the mother being taught to dance by her parents.  Then in her youth she begins to travel throughout Mexico.  The story being told by the various regional dances.  Interwoven in the storyline is her courtship and marriage to her husband which has its share of drama as other men compete for her affections.  Through out the show as characters die off, they return as a skull person.  The climax is at the end of the story as it shows her reunited in the afterlife with her husband, in the company of all the skull people.  This of course being depicted to the song "Guadalajara" as that is the tradition for Herencia Mexicana to close all its shows with it.


Another facet to the storyline would be the altar itself.  Throughout the show the altar would be built with all the diverse elements that compose a Day of the Dead memorial altar.  By the end of the show, the completed altar would be all the remained on stage after the dancers and characters exit. 

As far as regional dances to be represented, I would like to see Veracruz (La Bomba - wedding song/marriage - Tying the knot), Puebla (courtship dance), Jalisco (Guadalajara - Finale!), Chihuahua (La Jesusita - Fighting for affection), Aquascalientes (Rooster Fight - Winner gets the girl), Chiapas, Tamaulipas, Yucatan, Sinaloa, Guerrero, Durango, Colima, Nayarit and Michoacan (Old men at the wedding try to dance with the bride) all in the show.  I would like the show to intertwine the regions, allowing the storyline to flow through the dances.  I don't want isolated segments of regions.  The show would consist of dances for the whole ensemble, solo and couple dances and dances for men and women only.  Lots of variety and costumes.  Personally, I would like to play an old man at the wedding reception that dies from a heart attack after chasing the bride.  Sounds like typecasting to me!

I don't want one woman to play the mother throughout the entire show.  Rather, I would prefer the story line to be carried out with different dancers portraying the same characters throughout.  I think the show could be done with five to six couple, a young boy and girl and a handful of extras of all ages.  Twenty people max.  I want the show to run on either the weekend of Day of the Dead or the weekend prior for one to three performances.  Sounds like a good plan to me, what do you think?  Tickets go on sale next year so mark your calendars now and hold the weekends in November!  More specifics to come. 

In closing, I want to say that it has been a fun year.  I have enjoyed my folklorico experiences and look forward to what the future holds.  Be sure to stay tuned and read all about it.  Until next week everybody...wedo out!

Contact Information for "The Big Wedo":

Google E-mail: onebigwedo@gmail.com
Facebook: One Big Wedo (Guero)
Twitter: Michael Smith @onebigwedo
Blogger: www.onebigwedo.blogspot.com

Contact Information for Ballet Folklorico de Herencia Mexicana:

Richard Solorzano, Director: (909) 201-1957
Facebook: Herencia Mexicana
E-Mail: Bf_herencia_mexicana@yahoo.com

Note: Looking for your own adventure or journey? Herencia is a great place to find one! Herencia Mexicana practices in Duarte, California.  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.


 

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