Art For the Schools | Season finale a seismic event | SierraSun.com

Art For the Schools | Season finale a seismic event

Paula Rachuy
Special to the Sun
Colorful skirts and traditional dress were highlighted during the recent Arts For the Schools public performance.
Courtesy photo |

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — Did you feel the earth tremble Friday night?

The North Tahoe High School Theater was the center of seismic activity as the Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Carlos Moreno took the stage for the final Arts For the Schools public performance of this season.

From ritual dances with Aztec origins, to dances with influences from Spanish, African and indigenous cultures, the performance featured dances representing the various states of Mexico.

It was a whirling, dazzling blur of color accompanied by accordion, guitar, violin, harp, flute and marimba. Adding to the musical instruments were the percussive rhythms of the dancers themselves. Barefoot dancers with anklets of hard nut-like shells made a soft sound like rain on a roof. Booted dancers pounded the stage floor as their feet moved in a blur of intricate steps.

One dance of the coastal Veracruz state ended with dancers displaying a red bow they tied with their feet during the dance’s steps.

BACKGROUND CHECK

Before the public performance the group performed at area schools.

Students learned where the dances are from and how they originated. The mission of the Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Carlos Moreno is to provide a greater understanding and appreciation for Mexican culture through music, dance and traditional art forms. Students stomped their feet, clapped, whistled and hollered as dancers took the stage.

Then they sat mesmerized as dancers performed their art.

Arts For the Schools strives to bring world-class visual and performing art to Truckee, North Tahoe and Incline Village children. It’s through performances like this local children learn about the culture, music, clothing styles, language, geography, history and traditions of other parts of the world.

This 30th anniversary season brought the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, The Story Pirates, Cedric Watson and Dirk Powell, Living Voices, the Joe Craven Trio with Hattie Craven, and the Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Carlos Moreno.

While the school assemblies and public performances are over for this season, the Artist in Residence program in full swing with three professional artists providing classroom art education.

Thanks to Measure A, more than 850 students in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District experienced art firsthand this year.

As the curtain falls on the 30th season, the whirling skirts are still a fantastic image.

Thank you to all who have supported the Arts For the Schools 2013-2014 season. Look for upcoming season information in July.

Make more art and we will see you next school year.

AFTS is supported by grants, Measure A funds and donations. For more information on Arts For the Schools programs and to make a donation visit http://www.artsfortheschools.org

Paula Rachuy is a member of the Arts For the Schools Board of Trustees.