The University of Colima’s Folkloric Ballet is a rich interpretation of Mexican expression, history, and tradition. The University’s Dance Company was founded in 1981 by artist and dancer/choreographer Rafael Zamarripa Castaneda, and has since performed around the world, on average 130+ shows a year! The Dance Company is known for an extensive repertoire that showcases early history, traditional Mexican folk dances, and the varied cultures in Mexico.
Colima is a small state in Western Mexico. Large towns in the state include Colima, Manzanillo, and Tecoman. However small this state is, the dance impact on the world is large, as this Dance Company has performed in several Olympics, many festivals, and thousands of shows around the world.
Watch this video of the Dance Company performing, and then watch this video trailer from a documentary about Zamarripa’s lifelong work on Mexican Folkloric Dance. What stands out to you, when you see these deeply cultural dances? Are they representative of Mexico and Mexican folklore?
Take a look at the extraordinary traditional folkloric costumes in these 7 photos in this photoset from an international festival in Billingham. If you were to look at these without knowing where the dancers were from, would you have been able to pick Mexico? What about these bright colors signifies this location and culture?
Watch this video with Zamarripa about his work, both in sculpture and dance. Do you feel that art and dance are closely related?
This lesson was contributed by Jessie Voigts: Get to know her! Want more lesson ideas? See last week’s Teach Through Educational Travel: Walls of Avila – perfect for your next classroom activity.
The town of Avila, Spain (located just west of Madrid), has the best preserved medieval walls in the country (and among the best in Europe), and is the second biggest wall in the world (after the Great Wall of China). These ancient walls were built as a defensive mechanism, but also served to control the entrances (of both people and goods) to the city and guard it from outbreaks of the plague. The walls are shaped in a sort of rectangle, and feature 88 towers and 9 gates. The most spectacular gate is Puerta del Alcazar (Gate of the Fortress). Avila (and its walls) is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The walls took almost 600 years to build, starting in 1090, and are 12 meters high. Today, visitors can walk along the tops of some of the walls, just as people did hundreds of years ago (although you pay an entrance fee of a few euros now – I’m not sure if people paid back then). And, the walls are beautifully illuminated at night.
Read about the history, structure, and architects of the wall. Note the last paragraph, which focuses on how the citizens of the town were included in the obligations of tending and guarding the walls. Can you think of other places in the world where people feel so connected to an aspect of their town? Or do you think this is a rare instance of a structure building, as it were, a community?
Watch this video of the walls of Avila, and then take a walk yourself, along the wall, here. Click, if you like, on the 360 degree section of that site for closer looks. Note some of the details in the carvings and stone. What are some of the ways that the town has incorporated the walls into buildings – and daily life?
Read one traveler’s experiences in Avila, including walking along the walls. How do you think walls impact a city, long-term? What do they keep in – and keep out?
Hi, I'm Ashley! I've lived and traveled around the world and I'm a true believer that travel changes lives. I want to share my personal travel discoveries and insights on all of our social media avenues, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest! On The Educated Traveler blog, the official blog of WorldStrides International Discovery programs, you'll find all kinds of great information about travel and education, tips, news, classroom lesson ideas and more! Subscribe above!