This is the podcast about the history of Mexican folklorico dance and music from the Pre-Columbian era to the modern day. This will have not only descriptions and samples of the different pieces from different regions and eras, but also live interviews with the musicians and artists that have been involved with Mexican folklorico music and dance. In particular, mariachi musical groups, trios and other bands will be discussed.
Episode 15- El Huapango and the Huasteca Region
In this episode, we explore the region of the Huasteca and the musical genre of the Huapango.
The Huasteca region consists of:
- the southern part of the state of Tamaulipas;
- the northern part of the state of Veracruz;
- the state of San Luis Potosi;
- the state of Hidalgo
- the state of Queretaro
- the state of Puebla
We introduce the section by the introduction of 2 Huapangos:
- Brief introduction of the Classic huapango of LA PETENERA, as played by a conjunto huasteco; and
- Brief introduction of the Modern huapango EL REY DE LA HUASTECA from Jose Hernandez, the director of the Mariachi Sol de Mexico.
We then go into the elements of the Huapango, which includes:
- the inverted verses;
- the falsetto voice (in Spanish, falsete);
- the dynamic and improvised lyrics of the pregronero;
- and in some cases, the picaresque and rogue-like double-meaning huapango picante.
For the latter, we demonstrate with a case-in-point of the huapango picante EL QUERREQUE.
Also, to demonstrate the falsetto voice (falsete), we have the classic huapango of LA MALAGUENA, as compared to the purist version from the original style as played by the Trio Chicontepec. Both of these are only a few seconds in length to show the contrast of the same song, but in different styles that have emerged for the benefit of entertainment.
And finally, we end the episode by playing the entire version of the modern huapango, which was written and composed and arranged and played by Jose Hernandez. He is the director of the Mariachi Sol de Mexico from South El Monte, California, and whose restaurant CIELITO LINDO is highlighted during the interview with him in episode 2 of this podcast series. The theme and story line for this song, published in 2005-2006 by Hernandez Productions, is also explained.
Episode 14- Oaxaca - Jarabe Mixteco and La Gelaguetza
In this episode of Arriba! Folklorico Music and Dance of Mexico, we travel to the South of Mexico on the Pacific waters, stretching along the coast to the northern part of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The state of Oaxaca has one of the largest populations of native indigenous tribes, or "indios" as the Latin Americans call them.
Of the seven major cultures and areas of Oaxaca, we focus on 2: the Zapotecas and the Mixtecos.
In this episode, the music from the Jarabe Mixteco opens the show.
We also discuss the fiesta that takes place in July which is known as La Gelaguetza, or the "fiesta de la Sierra."
In the capital city of Oaxaca itself, we describe one of the main indigenous dances, DANZA DE LA PLUMA.
Also, during the festivities of La Gelaguetza, the food is rich--in particular, the famed MOLE NEGRO Oaxaqueno.
In addition to the mention of the archaeological zones in the region--such as Mitla and Monte Alban--the episode describes the courtship dance of the JARABE MIXTECO, with its stanzas and tableaus for the CHASE, the TORITO and the conquest of the man over woman to symbolize the move from suitor to marriage partner. Especially symbolic is the rose that the lady carries by the stem in her teeth, and which the man grabs from her with his teeth to symbolize the transition from enagement to marriage.
The episode ends with the ending musical score of the JARABE MIXTECO. It is usually played by big brass bands during the festivities of La Gelaguetza, but here, we listen to a version performed by mariachis.
13- Michoacan and the Tarascos
In this episode of Arriba! Folklorico Music and Dance of Mexico, we explore the idyllic region in Southwestern Mexico, the land of the Tarascan indigenous tribes--the Tarascos-- the state of Michoacan.
The Tarascan tribes are a people that feel that they have never been subjugated by the Spaniards--although their land was occupied. Like other indigenous tribes of Mexico today, they still mingle their Spanish language with inclusions of phrases and words from their own native dialects, which descend from the word-of-mouth teachings in the Tarascan tongue.
Case in point: the song in the audio podcast episode demonstrates the Tarascan lady singing in Tarascan language, then ending up with a Spanish phrase, as she delves into the eternal theme in Mexican folklore--that "Life is a Dream" (la vida es sueno).
In addition to the song whose lyrics are mixed with both languages, the instrumental piece of folklore that is common to the entire region of the Tarascos is the Jarabe Michoacano. This is a longer dance, in which the shyness of the woman is characterized by her never looking at her partner--instead, she stares at the ground through most of the dance, until the joy of the parts signifying fiesta, burro, noviazgo, aguila, estrella, and the final pursuit or chase.
In the end, the man (who is wearing a zarape or large gavan) covers her braided hair under her straw hat (sombrero michoacano) and symbolizes the marriage--a union of the man and woman.
A fitting end to this jarabe from Michoacan, as this dance contains all the symbolism of work, life, fiesta and fun, courtship (as all jarabes are), conquest of the lady's heart, and commitment of marriage and acceptance of the man by the woman.
Episode008- Repost- Romantic music of Trios
Episode009- Corridos of the Revolucion
Episode008- RePost- Music of the Trios