For more than 40 years, acclaimed dance group Ballet Folklorico Mexicano has been putting Mexico's heritage on display.
The group will perform with Grammy Award-winning band Los Lobos at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at the McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, as they celebrate the contributions of Mexican Americans through a display of song, dance, music and film.
Tickets range from $55 to $75, available by going to tickets.com.
Carlos Garcia Moreno is the group's artistic director. His father, Carlos Moreno Samaniego, founded Ballet Folklorico Mexicano in 1967.
Suburban Life reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Garcia Moreno about the upcoming show.
Schelkopf: You have been touring together for the past few weeks. How has it been going?
Moreno: Everything has been going awesome. It's one of those things where Los Lobos does its thing, we do our thing, but we seem to be working in such a parallel line in terms of what we do.
Schelkopf: For those who might not be familiar with Ballet Folklorico Mexicano, what do you try to do through your shows?
Moreno: One of the things that we do is to try to preserve the traditions of our ancestry from Mexico. We are very passionate about preserving our traditions.
The show kind of touches [on] the heart and soul of Mexico.
Schelkopf: Before the tour started, did you guys rehearse together?
Moreno: We rehearsed together for one day before the first performance. I was a little bit nervous about that, I must admit. I like to be a bit more prepared.
But it just jelled. Everything worked out perfectly. And we've been having a pretty smooth run of the shows we've been doing. It's been an awesome experience.
Schelkopf: How does the show work? Are Ballet Folklorico Mexicano and Los Lobos performing together?
Moreno: They share the stage for about 50 percent of the show. And within the show, Los Lobos has its own sets and we have our own sets also.
Schelkopf: Ballet Folklorico Mexicano has a dance repertory of 120 pieces. How do you select which pieces to do?
Moreno: It's a balance of the dancing and the music. ... So we just try to get a balance of the different styles and genres and put on a great show.
Schelkopf: What do you like about what you do?
Moreno: It's the reaction of the people. They are having a good time and gaining a new appreciation of Mexican culture.