(KXAN) – A traditional Mexican dance with historic roots is alive and well in Texas’ capitol city. Austin is where, step-by-step and stitch-by-stitch, Ballet Folklórico deepens its roots.
Jesus “Chuy” Chacon is part of that tradition. He makes some of the costumes that keep the show strong.
“It takes about 12 yards of fabric,” says Chacon of some of his elaborate creations deighed to highlight the flow of the dance. “It has to have a lot of fabric for the movement.”
His costumes stand out on stage and have been captivating audiences for generations. It’s all part of a colorful dance spectacle that originated in Mexico to celebrate the beauty of a diverse nation, but the show has found a home across the border.
“Ballet Folklórico represents the traditions, the music and the costumes for a nation,” says Chacon. “We have shows where we present say, six, seven regions, the music is completely different. The costume is completely different. The style of dance is completely different.”
Dance partners at the Roy Lozano Folklórico of Austin practice for hours to get each step just right before each performance. Dancers like Kassandra Gonzalez are a part of a legacy dating back to the 1980’s,
“I started dancing when I was six,” Gonzalez says. “I was starting to learn the historical moments of these dances, there were stories behind them on why certain things are the way they are.”
Staying connected to the deep Mexican roots is what keeps Ballet Folklórico alive, and it’s why Chacon says he doesn’t think the dance will ever die, at least in Texas.
“A lot of the people they’re not able to go back to Mexico. So, by us being in this culture to them is this how they feel in Mexico,” he says.