COLDWATER – To promote and celebrate the Hispanic culture in Branch County, El Ballet Folklorico Estudiantil returns to Tibbits for a performance of traditional Mariachi music and Folklorico dance on Cinco de Mayo, Sunday, May 5 at 1 pm.
This student group combines traditional mariachi music and dance to create performances that have been seen all over the Midwest as well as nationally and internationally. El Ballet Folklorico Estudiantil (EBFE), is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase awareness and preservation of the Hispanic cultural heritage and to enhance self-determination and confidence among residents in the Hispanic communities. The group has been the leader in providing Hispanic cultural programs to Michigan residents for over 20 years. They have branches servicing Hispanic communities in Flint, Pontiac and Lansing.
The dance troupe has extensive performance experience and competed in dance competitions up to the international level. The mariachi and music program for youth was developed in 2014 and included training by José Hernández, director of the internationally-known mariachi group, Sol de México. Their program has even grown to include the production of musicals based on children’s literature with Hispanic themes. In 2016 they were awarded a grant from the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture to participate in an international cultural exchange program which greatly expanded their knowledge of instruments and music of new regions.
Last year Tibbits celebrated Cinco de Mayo with several activities which included El Ballet Folklorico Estudiantil. Tibbits Executive Director Christine Delaney said, “We had so much fun presenting the group last year. The musicianship and the dance were excellent; we wanted to bring them back to hopefully reach a broader audience.”
The performance is free thanks to sponsorship support of Jalisco Grocery and El Cerrito Mexican Restaurant, as well as the generous support of Branch County Community Foundation. A cash bar featuring margaritas and Corona will be available at the Ghostlight Bar in the theatre’s elevator lobby. The performance will be held at the historic Tibbits Opera House at 14 S. Hanchett St in Coldwater, MI. Please visit Tibbits.org for a complete listing of shows and events.