VISD Folkorico dances for Dia de Los Muertos holiday

Camille Doty

Oct. 29, 2011 at 5:29 a.m.
Updated Oct. 30, 2011 at 5:30 a.m.

Juhree Rodriguez wore a white gown and veil to honor her deceased bisabuelos, or great-grandparents, for Dia de Los Muertos.

"They had a really good marriage together," she said.

The 15-year-old Victoria East High School sophomore danced with other students at the Nave Museum festival. Instead of the traditional folkorico attire, most dancers dressed like football players, cheerleaders, and school girls.

"We believe they (the deceased) come back to us, and celebrate life again," said Elsa Pina.

The director of VISD Folklorico also said their spirits take part in the festivities, although they cannot be seen.

This will be the first performance of the school year for the VISD Ballet Folklorico, which has two separate groups - students from Victoria East and Victoria West high schools as well as Cade, Howell, Stroman, and Patti Welder Middle Schools. Each team danced separately.

Pina read "Día de los Muertos" by Olivia Garcia, as a tribute. Performers set down their pictures.

Some of the lines she read said, "Color your face into skulls. Wear hats in my honor." The final words state "Come back to me So I can feel home again." Some held back their tears.

The East High School group performed "Danza de la Viejada" from Veracruz, Mexico. Dancers yelled, "whoo-haa" as they stomped to the upbeat tempo.

Some in the audience were brought to the stage.

Nicia Pena, from the Victoria West High School group, helped to teach her fellow dance partners the "Danza de los Diablos." She learned the routine in a summer conference.

Students wore hand-painted devils mask, with all black costumes.

Pina said dancing benefits those living as well as the dead.

"It helps you to remember and realize life goes on," she said.



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