Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Text Size

20190213 UTRGV 08.55The experience of attending a performance of the UTRGV Ballet Folklorico Alegría is nothing less than spectacular. The beautiful costumes, the stage scenery and the professional sounds of the UTRGV Mariachi Aztlan provide the perfect setting for this highly talented cast of dancers to perform their magic on stage at the university’s Performing Arts Complex. This is where audiences go to experience the best of the best in folkloric dance combined with the finest mariachi musicians in South Texas.

Audiences at the UTRGV Ballet Folklórico’s presentation of Alegría, a two-hour exploration into the myths and musical motifs of Mexico, are treated to vibrant visuals that pour over a cast of 34 dancers spinning out in Aztec ritual before shifting into the subtleties of Mexican-styled polka.

Miguel Peña, director of Alegría for the last three years, acknowledges that the seven acts of song and celebration that make up this year’s show function as a form of education as well as entertainment.

This year Alegría has incorporated a new piece called Mexikatl, which focuses on the lives of Mexicas or Aztecs before, during, and after the Spanish conquest.

Peña describes the informative arrangement as “a collaboration between scenery and lighting designers, theater and dance professors.”

“Dance will help the audience digest this information in a very unique way,” he said.

20190213 UTRGV 09.04In a rush of spectral choreography and haunting corridos, Alegría illuminates a story that starts with colonial catastrophe before springing towards Mariachi-styled merriment.

According to Peña, everything from the pyramid backdrop to the agrarian floor props works together to help the audience, “know more about the Mexican culture, to know the Mexican cultural tradition.”

Peña said he is grateful for the support Alegría has received from UTRGV. The costumes, for example, are all brought in from Mexico. Each set of costumes runs about $5,000, so that the six different sets of costumes for each Alegría season, amounts to $30,000.

The Alegria productions are highly popular among locals and winter visitors, but Peña insists that it is the Winter Texan patrons who are the most excited.

“It is the Winter Texans who are always the most fascinated,” says Peña, citing their appreciation for the authenticity of the costumes as well as the chance they get to observe unfamiliar customs expressed through dance.

Peña feels the resulting richness of the show is due to the combined gifts of its committed dancers as well as its talented designers and musicians.

Erick Perales, a dancer described by Peña as one of his best, is thrilled by the opportunity to celebrate his heritage on stage. “My family is from Mexico,” says Perales, “I am proud to show my roots.”

According to Tirzah Claus, a dancer who also works on stage props, the students involved with Alegría are all in fact “ambassadors for the university” and are displaying “the color of culture.”

20190213 UTRGV 09.18Claus feels the work she does with Alegría holds a special resonance. “Being half Latina but raised in a household where Spanish wasn’t typically spoken, becoming involved in this production has helped me feel more connected to the pieces of my culture that I didn’t always have the opportunity to experience growing up,” she says.

Claus is quick to point out that the very name of the show -- Alegría-- means happiness and that this feeling is expressed in every aspect of the production.

Speaking of the Alegría attendees, she says: “We hope they enjoy sharing in the celebration of the richness of our culture,” adding, “and we hope that audiences leave with a smile and a heart full of the contagious sense of joy that unmistakably permeates throughout the show’s majority”.

From the cast to the crowds, it is obvious that the labor of putting on a show like Alegría is a happy one.

For ticket information for upcoming performances call 956-665-2230 or visit

UTRGV Alegria Upcoming Performances
Edinburg Performing Arts Complex
February 15-16 7:30 p.m.
February 17 2:00 p.m.
Brownsville TSC Performing Arts Center
March 10 7:30 p.m.

Admission Prices:
Children $5
Senior Citizens & Students $10
Adults $15

Top News

  • Museum exhibit features Mexican dresses

    20190320 MHM Sister City Chinelos Costume courtesySpecial to Winter Texan Times

    A new exhibit opens this week at Mission Historical Museum. The special exhibit, “The Traditions and Culture of Mexican Textiles & Designs,” incorporates seven beautiful Mexican dresses, each representing a different region in Mexico. The dresses are part of a cultural exchange… Read More +

  • Paradise Park Quilters honor veterans

    20190320 Veterans Quilts Paradise Park DSC02286In honor of the veterans of Paradise Park in McAllen, the Paradise Quilters hosted a veterans’ quilt presentation on January 26. Fifteen quilts were presented to veterans in the park during a program that included a dedication thank you poem by Barb and Greg Foster, singing of “God Bless America” by Ginger Engels accompanied… Read More +

  • Harlingen Flower Show marks 50th anniversary

    HARLINGEN–The Harlingen Flower Show has been showcasing beauty for 50 years with an annual show open to the public.
    March 23 and 24 is the weekend for this year’s show which will be at the Harlingen Cultural Arts Center, 576 ’76 Drive, next to the Harlingen Public Library.

    Exceptional horticulture specimens will be judged and… Read More +

  • Bentsen Grove Resort Line Dancers Hold Marathon

    20190320 Bentsen Grove Dance A Thon PeggyCreach 1403Line Dancers at Bentsen Grove Resort recently held a charity marathon to benefit the Cinderella Pet Rescue located in Palmview.

    Intermediate and advanced dancers took to the floor at 9 a.m. under the direction of their instructor, Mary Lou Lane. They were quickly joined by beginning… Read More +

  • Canada vs USA All-Star games close out season

    20190320 Baseball IMG 4065League Commissioner Ed Martens retires – maybe

    It was only fitting that the sun came out at Westside Park during the annual Senior Texan Softball All-Star Games.

    Not only did it shine, but it seemed to shine even a little brighter around Ed Martens.… Read More +

  • McAllen Wind Ensemble season finale is March 29

    20190320 McAlen Wind Ensemble Francisco RocafuerteConcert features pianist Francisco Rocafuerte

    The McAllen Wind Ensemble’s season finale, “A Gatsby Gala,” will be a celebration of music from the Roaring ‘20s. Under the baton of director Roger Olivarez, the band will perform the music of Gershwin, Holst, Grainger, Cole Porter, and more. This concert will… Read More +

  • Spittin’ Image combines comedy and music for great entertainment

    20190320 Spittin Image IMG 4566Ron Kriesel had no clue what was about to happen.

    Sitting in the back row against the wall in McAllen Mobile Park's dance hall, Kriesel was picked out by identical twins Blain and Brian Swabb, known as “Spittin' Image,” and brought on stage along with two other “volunteers” to… Read More +

  • Monarch Festival at Quinta Mazatlan

    20190320 Monarch IMG 4693Carmen and Tim Connaughty had been driving past Quinta Mazatlan, located at 600 Sunset Dr. in McAllen, but never knew what it was.

    “We would drive to the market or to the mall and see it. I mean, we knew it was there – you can’t miss it,” Tim said.… Read More +

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • All
  • Border
  • Charity
  • Free Health Care
  • Groceries
  • Grocery Stores
  • HEB
  • Immigration
  • Mission
  • Operation Lonestar
  • Ribbon Cutting
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Sharyland
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
load more hold SHIFT key to load all load all