Friday, August 30, 2013

Ideas For Folklorico - Week 35

Hello!  Welcome back!  Hopefully I will publish this week on schedule!  Don't want to fall behind again.  My first reader from Israel checked in this week!  Welcome aboard the journey!  Always, lots going on!  Next week's post will reveal the logo contest winner!  Be sure to check back and find out who won and the logo that I selected!

It never ceases to amaze me all the feedback, folklorico headlines and media people forward to me.  I get emails and Facebook messages all the time from people asking me if I have seen this video or read that article?  I enjoy all the stuff people have shared with me.  This week I am going to share some of these things with you and more ideas of my own.  I already pitched the movie idea, but wait! There's more!  Let's get started!

Recently on America's Got Talent, this folklorico trio performed.  Congratulations  guys!  Click on the link below to view the YouTube video.  What great exposure for folklorico!

Ballet Folklorico Mestizo - Machete

Another television show that I have been waiting to see folklorico dancing on is Dancing With The Stars.  Apparently in Mexico, there is a similar sort of show.  And guess what?  Yep, they do folklorico dancing!  Click on the links below to view some of the YouTube videos of the show.  The show is called "Mexico Baila".

I had my own idea for a television show for Spanish television.  My concept was called "Folklorico Battle"!  Folklorico Battle would be a show where people, without folklorico experience per say, learn folklorico routines to famous songs.  Then they compete live against each other, battling it out for the title!  A panel of judges decides who performs the best and selects the winner from the group of contestants.  But wait, there's a catch!  The winner has to duke it out on the dance floor against the Wedo!  "Bring out the Wedo," everyone shouts!  The Wedo comes out and tries to out dance the contestant in a dance both learn the week of the show.  In other words they, "Dance for their life!"  The audience votes and if the contestant wins, they get a cash prize.  If the Wedo wins, he gloats in his victory.

Someone mentioned to me that the blog itself would make an interesting reality tv show.  People would enjoy seeing me getting my butt kicked at practices and then going out and performing, as well as seeing all the behind the scenes costume prepping and dancer drama.  Might be fun.  Wonder what they would call it?  There's certainly enough activity going on to keep a folklorico show interesting.  It could happen, who knows?  I'm down.  Perhaps there could be an episode where I teach the cast of "Little People, Big World" a folklorico routine!  That would be a reality tv show featuring a reality tv show! Too much reality?
Someone else recommended I write a book.  Perhaps, I will someday about Richard's dance career and the history of his dance group, Herencia Mexicana.  My story I've already shared here in this blog.  Now if they develop it into a movie or incorporate it with a movie plot, that would be cool!  But who knows, perhaps I will go on to write a book, especially if we go on a world tour next year or I perform for the President.  It could happen!  And not just for President Obama, but President Enrique Pena Nieto as well!

I'm surprised that more mainstream pop artists have not embraced folklorico dancing in their music videos. I've seen several other cultural folk influenced dances represented, but not folklorico.  It's time to share the spotlight!  Don't get me wrong, there are Spanish videos and performances that have folklorico dancing, but not in American music videos.  You would think that with all those colorful costumes and the energetic footwork, that more artists would tap into the dance style and broaden their viewing audience.  

Back in the early 90's when I was in college in Chicago, the rave scene was all the rage.  Who's ready to bust out their Venetian Paradise hat and pin strip pants?  An artist named Moby was making his way on the scene, creating a techno frenzy!  I had a friend called Big Bill who was all into Moby and he use to rant and rave (haha) over him.  I bought a couple Moby CDs and I really liked his music.  Anyone remember "Next Is The E"?  One day I was going through some stuff and decided to write Moby a letter.  Sure enough he wrote me back...paper mail even!  I didn't have email at the time.   Moby went on to major success and you can hear his music all over the world.

Moby lives in Los Angeles these days and I follow him on Facebook.  Recently, he posted these photos on his wall from the video shoot for "perfect life".  Can't wait to see it when it hits the world wide web!

Funny people use to tell me that I kind of look like Moby.

I would like to shoot a YouTube video for One Big Wedo.  I think it would be cool to have a contest for DJ's to come up with a dance club hit for me.  Or if Moby was up for returning to his dance roots, I would love to work with him on a collaboration.  That would be awesome!  How about it Moby?  As far as the music video itself, it would include lots of folklorico in it and be filmed throughout the Los Angeles area.  I have lots of ideas.  Who would be interested in seeing the Wedo get his "club folklorico" on in an underground club video?  I imagine it  to have a somewhat similar vibe like Jipsta's "Too New York" video.

Here's another concept, I use to go to a lot of concerts.  There was a time I wanted to see everyone perform live.  One artist I saw multiple times was Madonna.  In fact, on her last tour when she performed at Dodgers Stadium, there I was in the front row right up against the stage.  Well, as close as you could get anyway.  There are even a few videos of the show on YouTube where you can see my bald head.  

Madonna is a studied dancer.  I have seen her utilize many styles of dance in her shows, including Flamenco and Salsa.  At the Dodger Stadium show, she even had Mariachi musicians play.  She has a huge Mexican following.  There was also some really fascinating Japanese performers with her on that tour.  So when is it folklorico's turn to go on tour with you Madonna?

Recently Madonna released a song called "Give Me All Your Luvin'" which featured M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj in the video.  Click the link below to see the video:

Mariachi Intermission (Madison Square Gardens) - The LA show was more traditional if I remember correctly, no video found.
Flamenco Dance

Nicki Minaj recently released this video "Pound The Alarm" where tribal looking feathered costumes were used.  The video depicts Carnival costuming in St. James.  Click this link to watch the video:

I had an idea for Madonna's next LA tour visit.  I would like to see the two women reunite for one night and create an tribal and folklorico free for all!  You have Nicki and her tribal women vs. Madonna and her white charro clad men.   It would be cool if they could incorporate the song "Die Another Day" for the production.  I see the two on stage with their dancers challenging each other.  Then the two stars unite on stage as the tribal women dance around them and the charro men do deslices around the the women in the opposite direction.  What's deslices? Kind of looks like de-slices.  But is sounds like dis-lee-sus.  Anyway, this is the movement where the guys kick their leg out to one side repeatedly in a chopping kind of motion.  You often see this when men dance around the hat during The Hat Dance.  The verb in Spanish means to slide, glide, or slip.  This continues as the stage with Madonna and Nicki rises.   The song finishes with fireworks!  A big finale!

Another celebrity I would love to work with is Gwen Stefani.  I adore her!  Here's what I have for Gwen!  I would love to shoot a music video with Gwen Stafani and dance Jalisco with her in the video.  Yes, Jalisco!  I see Gwen in a vision of royal blue with her blond hair and intense eye makeup and lashes.  I would wear the traditional black charro.  The video would start in a traditional Mexican village setting.  For the shoot, we could use the area in the back lot of Universal Studios that I believe is called or referred to as "Anywhere Mexico".  Gwen would come out into the village square in the heat of the day, sun glaring overhead, in her blue Jalisco dress and blond trenza.  What's a trenza, you ask?  I had to ask too!

A trenza is literally, a braid.  In folklorico, women's hairpieces are braids and therefore are called trenzas.  Trenzas are often made with black yarn, however I have seen some made of synthetic hair as well.  Oftentimes, trenzas have colorful ribbons and flowers incorporated in their construction. Trenza making is a unique art of its own and the women who do it take great pride in their work.  I have seen several photos of Gwen with flowers in her hair.  So a trenza for Gwen is absolutely appropriate!  

Now back to my story, where were we?  Gwen, sun, heat of the day, village square!  For some reason I see lots of people standing and starring at her from a distance.  I also see dust stirred up from her walking and castanets sounding.  Although castanets are more associated with flamenco dancing and Spain.  Yes, Mexico has a lot of Spanish influence, however people often confuse flamenco and folklorico as both indigenous of Mexico.  Even on television, I have seen Mexico represented with features more true to Spain than Mexico.  In a future guest post, I hope to share with readers the connection and difference between flamenco and folklorico.  Anyways, where was I again?  

That's right, castanets!  Scratch the castanets and lets replace them with trumpet and Spanish guitar. Ok there's Gwen in the courtyard village square, hair looking spectacular and make up fierce - eyelashes, red lipstick, the whole works.  Then it's my entrance, I come in and we do our Jalisco love dance for a bit.  Then Richard appears to challenge me and take Gwen for his own.  Aye, Richard!

Gwen, in a moment of panic, runs into an alley which leads her into the current downtown Los Angeles in a graffitied area of the city.  There she is met by a group of men in charros and a dance off ensues.  Gwen is captured and taken to a building in the city, Richard's lair!  But wait for the ending!  

Gwen sneaks out through the window and down the fire escape!  Go Gwen, Go!  And behold, there I am on a horse ready to rescue and take her away off into the city sunset!  What do you think Gwen?  I think you need to add some Mijas to your Harajuku Girls clan. 

This would make a good Big Wedo video as well, featuring the music of Gwen and Moby!  Wouldn't that be cool?  Hey, Gwen and Moby have already worked together on the video "Southside"!  Perhaps they would like to do it again?  How about it guys?  Here's a link to their last feature together:

Lastly, what do you think of a folk opera?  Hmmm.  Let's incorporate folklorico and opera together and see what we get!  I'll have to keep working on this idea and get back to you on that!

In closing, I wanted to share this video of a Mexican dancing dog!  Enjoy!  If a dog can do it, then this Wedo can do it too!  Apparently, there is even a dog dancing competition.  Check it out too!

Mexican Dancing Dog
2012 Salzburg Dog Dancing Competition

Lastly, here are two cultural connection photos for the week!  Enjoy!

 Dancers doing their makeup before a folklorico performance
Marcos getting his charro on!
Until next week everyone, Wedo out!  Send me some of your ideas for folklorico this week!


Contact Information for "The Big Wedo":

Google E-mail:
Facebook: One Big Wedo (Guero)
Twitter: Michael Smith @onebigwedo

Contact Information for Ballet Folklorico de Herencia Mexicana:

Richard Solorzano, Director: (909) 201-1957
Facebook: Herencia Mexicana

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.

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