Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

Ensamble Folkórico Indianapolis keeps Mexican traditions alive

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With each and every step, Ensamble Folklórico Indianapolis is making sure Mexican traditions are kept alive in the heart of the community.

“This is not coming from 10 or five years ago. It’s hundreds of years ago of generations from Mexico,” the founder of Ensamble Folklórico Indianapolis, Sergio Avalos, said.

“When you sit there in the theatre and watch them you actually get the feeling that you’re in Mexico. You get the feeling that you’re in Colombia,” the owner of Community Works, Elia James Sánchez, said.

With both children and adults, the group has more than 20 members.

Avalos started the group in 2001 with the goal of bringing many traditional dances from Mexico’s different regions and states.

Baile Folkórico, literally, “Folkoric dance”, also known as ballet folklórico, can be traced all the way back to the ceremonial dances of indigenous people.

“Some dances are real slow. Some dances are real excited and happy like the Mariachi band, which is a more popular show for Mexico and Veracruz with the harps,” Avalos said.

“When I started we started with three Peruvian girls, like 15 years old, and we started with two guys from Brazil. I was the only Mexican in the group, but that’s real good experience. I never forget that one,” Avalos said.

While Ensamble Folkórico isn’t the only group with traditional Mexican dances, Avalos says they are known for their brilliant visual and theatrical work.

“A lot of comments like, ‘Teacher, Sergio, perfect. I cried because this show is awesome.” I said, “Oh, thank you very much.” This is very important these comments for me because that’s what keeps me working hard for more new productions,” Avalos said.

For some immigrants, it’s a chance to keep the new generation connected with their Mexican heritage.

“When we come here, we kind of lose our identity a little bit, but looking for these opportunities and sharing and going to these types of events and going to see or even participating, having your children participate they learn so much,” Sánchez said.

Ensamble Folklorico says they’re looking for more dancers to join the team. Those who are interested can contact them on their Facebook page.