So I was feeling nostalgic and wanted to share a little bit of my beautiful culture with you all.

This is a video of the gala in celebration of the Ballet Folklórico de Amalia Hernández 60th anniversary in the National Auditorium in the capital of México. It features the Youth Symphonic Orchestra of Veracruz with director Antonio Tornero.

The title of this particular section is Fiesta de Tlacotalpan, and it features music and dance from the state of Veracruz. We have the musicians, called jarochos, playing a style of music known as Son Jarocho. It represents a fusion of indigenous (primarily Huastecan), Spanish, and African musical elements. Lyrics include humorous verses and subjects such as love, nature, sailors, that reflect life in colonial and 19th century México. Verses are often shared with the wider Méxican and Hispanic Caribbean repertoire and some have even been borrowed from famous works by writers of the Spanish “Siglo de Oro.” The instruments played by these jarochos are the jarana jarocha, a small guitar-like instrument used to provide a harmonic base; the requinto jarocho, another small guitar-like instrument plucked with a long pick; the diatonic arpa jarocha; the leona, a type of acoustic bass guitar, and sometimes a minor complement of percussion instruments such as pandero, the quijada or the güiro. Some groups add the marimbol, a plucked key box bass, and the cajón.

As far as dancing goes, the faldeo or skirt work, is very simple and elegant. What is truly a joy to watch when it comes to the region of Veracruz is the zapateado. The footwork from this state is very intricate and not every dancer can perform it; it takes a very skilled dancer to master dances such as El Zapateado, El Repiqué, and El Colas. Not only is the footwork extremely tiring, but there are very minimal rest steps or moments when the dancer can rest, so energy must be high throughout the entire dance. The first two dances are excellent examples of this amazing zapateado Veracruzano.

Zapateado by Sarasate, performed by Midori Goto.

(gracias a @FaniArias, via @twitter)


Pablo de Sarasate - Zapateado

Performed by Itzhak Perlman