Amalia Hernandez: The choreographer whose spectacular folk ballet brought Mexico's culture to the world

Latest Google Doodle celebrates a choreographer instrumental in popularising the proud musical traditions of her homeland with international audiences

Joe Sommerlad
Tuesday 19 September 2017 19:49 BST
(Nils Jorgensen/Rex/Shutterstock)

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Mexican dance impresario Amalia Hernandez (1917-2000) on a day that would have marked her centenary.

Hernandez was born in Mexico City, the daughter of wealthy politician Lamberto Hernandez and Ava Navarro. Her devoted mother is credited with encouraging Amalia’s passion for the arts from an early age, her parents even going so far as to build her a home studio in which to practice.

Amalia joined Mexico’s National School of Dance at 17 before dropping out to get married and start a family. Realising she could not allow her true calling to go unanswered, she soon resumed her career at the Fine Arts National Institute, teaching modern choreography.

In 1952 she created the work for which she became best known, the Ballet Folklorico De Mexico, bringing her country’s folk music traditions to a world audience. The show still tours to this day and is said to have been performed over 15,000 times, including once for US President John F. Kennedy.

Above you can catch a flavour of this world dance institution in action from its most recent appearance in London in 2015, a production that thrilled audiences through its vibrant staging and the impassioned commitment of its performers.

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