Amalia Hernandez founded the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico and used it to share Mexican culture with the world.
Hernández was born to the military officer and politician Lamberto Hernández and his wife Amalia Navarro.
On 19th September 2017 Google Doodle celebrates dancer and choreographer Amalia Hernandez. Google is showing Doodle in many countries for Amalia Hernandez’s 100th Birthday
She was a pioneer in developing Baile Folklorico, and in 1952, Hernández founded the Mexican Folkloric Ballet with only 8 dancers. By 1959, the ensemble had grown to 60 performers. It was commissioned to represent Mexico at the Pan American Games in Chicago, Illinois, in 1959.
Born in 1917, Hernandez developed a passion for performing and dance early in life. She became a choreographer at the Fine Arts National Institute, where she taught modern dance. She then turned her focus to traditional Mexican folk dances. She combined these dances with more choreographed movements from her formal training, helping to create an entirely new style of dance known as baile folklorico.
Since 1960, Hernández created over 60 choreographies and her famous ballet has performed uninterruptedly Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City.
The Ballet Folklorico de Mexico still performs to this day. Since its inception, the group has danced for more than 22 million people. Hernandez remained involved with the company until her death in 2000, working alongside her daughters and grandson.
Additionally, she founded the Folkloric Ballet School in Mexico City, Her brother, architect Agustín Hernández Navarro, designed the building in 1968.
She died in Mexico City at the age of 83.
Amalia was always vocal about her love for her native Mexico, but she was careful to place significance upon Mesoamerican cultures, highlighting them when possible through her dancing.
Her goal was to convey the diversity of Mexico, while also exploring pre-Columbian culture and traditions. She became a symbol for Mexicanidad, her pursuit of indigenous inclusionary dance an indication of her dedication to the presentation of a realistic Mexican identity (i.e. not only Western-influenced).
Amalia Hernandez’s love of indigeneity has also cemented the indigenous image of Mexico around the world, a direct result of the company’s world-wide presence. This has helped recognize the unique Mexican culture, as well as promote a sense of national pride in regards to folklorico dancing.
Additionally, Amelia does not shy away from regional differences, her dances focusing on specific geographical areas and cultural areas in Mexico in order to provide a diverse outlook of Mexico. For example, her most famous dances (Melodies of Michoacan, Deer Dance, Jalisco, Fandangos) all spotlight certain areas of Mexico, along with their cultural traditions.