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Local dancer blends styles

A fusion of traditional steps creates something totally new

Posted: April 26, 2009 10:29 p.m.
Updated: April 27, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Cristina Romero celebrates Mexican and Irish cultures with a new dance performance combining steps from each choreographic style.

Since the age of 5, Cristina Romero always has had a love of dance. Now 16, she is dancing as a member of the Grandeza Mexicana, a professional dance company based in Los Angeles. She started dancing as a member of the city of Santa Clarita's Ballet Folklorico at the Newhall Community Center.

Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company celebrates the depth and diversity of Mexican culture by presenting dynamic performances to audiences throughout Southern California with performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, both in Los Angeles.

In addition to her love of folkloric dancing and its cultural significance, Christina joined the world renowned O'Connor School of Irish Dance in Santa Clarita, winning numerous awards for her accomplishments in her routines.

The idea to blend the two dance styles came from Jose Vences, Grandeza Mexicana's Founder and Artistic Director, who was observing a rehearsal for a new performance.

"As I observed the movements of the legs, the footwork, the metrics of the music and the style of dance, I realized that there was a strong similarity to Irish dancing," Vences said.

With the idea in mind, Vences immediately met with Cristina to begin analyzing and comparing steps and style in order to adapt some Irish sequences to Tabasqueno music. The result was the creation of Grandeza Mexicana's "La Flor de Maiz." a unique blend of Irish and folkloric choreography.

On May 2 at 8 p.m., Grandeza Mexicana will be performing the premiere of Tabasco at the Luckman Theater Fine Arts Complex on the campus of California State University at Los Angeles.


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