For nearly 60 years, Victoria, Texas has been celebrating Mexican culture by bringing traditional Mexican dances to audiences everywhere with the Ballet Folklorico. What began as just a few youths getting together and performing in local talent shows has grown into a tradition passed down from generation to generation. Over the years, dancers have been invited to perform in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and Guadalajara, just to name a few places. And Victoria has even inspired other Texas towns to form their own Ballet Folkorico dance groups. In addition to the dancers themselves, there have also been those who designed and created all of the beautiful costumes and others who have participated in the group in a variety of ways. Some have turned their experiences into careers and many continue to make an impact in their local communities. The fact that Ballet Folklorico is still going strong today in Victoria shows how important it is to keep these traditions alive!
I believe that now is the perfect time to tell the story of the first Ballet Folklorico group in Victoria, Texas in an ongoing documentary series. I plan to take audiences through the history of the Ballet Folklorico by hearing directly from those who were there, learning how their motivation and vision set the stage for future generations, and seeing how this tradition was carried on in the hearts of is being carried on today. I can’t wait to share this wonderful story of family, friendship, and heritage with the world.
This story of Ballet Folklorico is a very personal one for me. Though I never danced, my family in Victoria has been involved with the Ballet Folklorico for as long as I can remember. Over the years, my family members have participated as dancers, instructors, directors, onstage extras, costume creators, and even mariachi performers. Seeing so many of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and second cousins on stage has always filled my heart with a sense of pride for my culture, my heritage, my hometown, and my family. To this day, watching any folklorico performance is still an emotional experience for me.
As an artist, I am excited to begin production on my very documentary project. Having worked in commercial photography and video for the past decade, I am accustomed to producing video projects by myself, from filming and editing to adding visual effects. And while I enjoy working with my clients, I am excited to have the full creative control to tell the story the way I want. And I can’t think of a better, more compelling, first story to tell.
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Producing this documentary series is a serious undertaking. I will be leaving my home in Colorado and spending 4-6 months on the road connecting with and interviewing as many people as possible who have been part of the Ballet Folklorico. Though my journey will begin in Victoria, TX, I will be traveling throughout Texas and other states, possibly even Mexico, to film past group members sharing their stories. Because this is an independent documentary project, it is up to me to raise the funds for this production. In addition to travel and equipment costs, there will be other expenses like obtaining rights to traditional Mexican music, locating archived images and videos, and more. I will be doing all of the planning, filming, and editing myself, but I cannot make this happen entirely on my own. I need your help to bring this series to life.
If you would like to support the production of my documentary on the Ballet Folklorico, you can make a contribution online via PayPal by clicking the button below.
Having touched so many lives over the years, I know this story is personal to a lot of people. Your support will enable me to get started researching and filming as soon as possible and to give this story the attention it deserves.