Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - From April 27 through May 7th, 16 dance groups from twelve Mexican states and three South American Countries will participate in the Eleventh Puerto Vallarta Folkloric Dance Festival, an annual event organized by Grupo Folklorico Vallarta Azteca and endorsed by the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Art (CIOFF), a partner organization of UNESCO.
According to event organizer Juan Antonio Salcedo, who is also the director of the Ballet Folklorico Azteca Vallarta, the festival's goal is to create bonds of peace and brotherhood between the groups and countries involved, as well as provide Puerto Vallarta residents and visitors with a celebration that brings the colors, music and traditions of Mexico to life through dance.
Out all of the dance troupes that auditioned, only sixteen were selected, with the national groups coming from Aguascalientes, Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Estado de México, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Hidalgo, Michoacan, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca and Sinaloa, and international dance companies coming from Chile, Colombia and Peru.
Salcedo explained that the repertoire of each participating group is traditional to the region it represents. "Every dance group will perform a 45 minute repertoire with pieces emblematic of the state they represent. Many times the pieces and choreography of each group represents the result of intense research, which makes this festival very interesting," he said.
The festival kicks off at 6:00 pm on Thursday, April 27th with a parade that begins at Los Arcos del Malecón and ends at IPEJAL, (the beach volleyball court in front of the Municipal Sports Stadium), where an inauguration ceremony will be held at 7:00 pm to welcome the more than 600 participating dancers to Puerto Vallarta. IPEJAL will be the festival's "headquarters," with free performances every night at 7:00 pm.
A distinctive feature of this festival is that, in addition to the main venue, there will also be free performances in downtown Puerto Vallarta; at Los Arcos del Malecón amphitheater April 27-30, and at Parque Hidalgo on May 3, 5, 6 & 7. All performances begin at 7:00 pm.
The traditional, bright and multi-colored costumes represent a great part of Mexico's history and culture, making this year's an event that you won't want to miss!More information, photos from past Vallarta Folkloric Festivals, and a complete schedule of this year's performances can be found on the Festival Vallarta Azteca del Folclor Internacional Facebook page.