The heart of it

NYC’s Calpulli Dance Co. brings traditional Mexican dance to Caltech

By Justin Chapman, Pasadena Weekly, 9/30/2010

Since 2003, a dance company has been capturing the spirit of Mexico by utilizing traditional music, costumes and artistic vision. Founded by artists in New York City, the Calpulli Mexican Dance Co.’s mission is to teach and produce dance-based performance art that incorporates music and theater to promote the rich cultural heritage of Mexico.
Calpulli showcases regional Mexican dances across the United States, including traditional Aztec dance and performances developed in the states of Jalisco, Michoacan, Puebla and Vera Cruz. The company seeks to enhance the quality of traditional Mexican dance and make it relevant to contemporary life in North America. 
The performers and teaching artists work all year, with the company’s touring show comprised of 25 dancers and a core of musicians.
“One of the goals of Calpulli is to find the heart of what we know as traditional,” said Artistic Director Daniel Jáquez. “Find how tradition impacts our lives today and honor it using both folk and contemporary forms of expression. It is an exciting, ever-changing road.”
Funded in part by grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and JPMorgan Chase in association with the Queens Council on the Arts, Calpulli also conducts community outreach programs, including collaborating with other arts organizations, schools, libraries, individual artists and the NYC Parks and Recreation Department.
Mexico Vive, Calpulli’s main outreach program, is a summer arts education festival combining performance with interactive workshops. The company also hosts family dance programs for children ages 6 to 10. 

Calpulli performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at Caltech’s Beckman Auditorium, 332 S. Michigan Ave., Pasadena. Tickets are $16 to $26 or $10 for youth high school age and younger. For a special discount, mention the Caltech Folk Music Society when ordering. Call (626) 395-4652 or visit for more information.