Amalia Hernandez: Who was she, and how did she change the world?

She is seen as an influential figure in bringing Mexican culture to other parts of the globe

Clark Mindock
New York
Monday 18 September 2017 22:40 BST
Hernandez died in 2000, but would be 100-years-old Tuesday
Hernandez died in 2000, but would be 100-years-old Tuesday (Nationaal Archief)

Google is celebrating the life and legacy of Amalia Hernandez with a colourful nod to her passion for dance.

Hernandez, who would be 100 years old, is remembered as an ambassador for Mexican culture, and for having played an integral role helping to share her country’s culture with the world.

Hernandez, a dancer and choreographer, was born in 1917, and danced for most of her life. She is perhaps best known for having developed the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, which was used to bring Mexican dancing and music to the world.

That ballet still performs to this day, and has reached more than 22 million people since its creation in 1952. There were just eight performers when the troop was created then, but has grown considerably since then. That ballet didn’t end up on television until 1954, and was able to successfully translate that performance into a weekly broadcast.

Those successes allowed Hernandez and her team of dancers to organise more ambitious trips, including a tour of North America and, alter, the honor of representing Mexico in the Pan American Games in 1959.

Hernandez died in 2002, while working with her daughters and a grandson.

In addition to the ballet, he was also the founder of the Folkloric Ballet School in Mexico City.

Hernandez was careful throughout her career to focus her interests on Mesoamerican cultures and dance styles, and endeavored in her life to highlight those indigenous cultures where possible. Even so, she worked hard to portray the diverse cultures that make up the indigenous areas of Mexico.

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