Northwest Folklife is proud to work with culture-bearers, community leaders, performers and artists representing over 100 communities from the greater Pacific Northwest. Our Behind the Curtain Series will give you a behind-the-scenes peek into how our community celebrates and their culture, traditions and heritage off the stage. Because many of us only witness the end product through seeing their live performances, Behind the Curtain aims to showcase how our various communities uphold their culture and pass down their traditions 365 days a year.
Our first episode features traditional Mexican folkloric dance group, Bailadores de Bronce, as they hold rehearsals to practice dances from Oaxaca and Nayarit, Mexico.
Bailadores de Bronce is a traditional Mexican folkloric dance group that performs in and around Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Bailadores de Bronce’s mission is to promote the beauty and richness of Mexican traditions through music and dance, while also seeking to encourage a bridge of understanding among all people by sharing their culture instilling pride in their youth.
From January 12-14, Bailadores de Bronce held a weekend-long workshop in preparation for their upcoming performances, one of which being the 2018 Northwest Folklife Festival in May. Sam Cortez, a dance instructor based in California, joined their weekend-long rehearsals to teach them a special quatro from the region of Nayarit, Mexico.
Not only do we witness their dedication to their craft, but we also hear from dancers about how Bailadores de Bronce helps them feel connected to their Mexican roots.
“It’s my second family,” shares Gabriella Martinez, a dancer of Bailadores de Bronce, as she explains how she’s met some of her closest friends through joining this group.
“It’s a way that I feel really tied into the culture because I don’t speak Spanish–it’s a way for me to feel a part of it and stay connected,” says Board Member and dancer, Kamala Squires-Henry, who has been dancing folklorico for over 23 years. She shares how joining Bailadores de Bronce upon moving to Seattle to attend university has helped her stay rooted in her culture.
Bailadores de Bronce is more than just a talented dance group–it is a place for Seattle’s Mexican community to connect and celebrate traditional folklorico dance and traditions. It is a place where traditions are passed down from generation to generation. It is a space to feel rooted in one’s heritage.