La Ultima Parada 2016 – CascaNueces: A Folklorico Nutcracker sneek peek!

Christmas comes to Day of the Dead!  LUP 2016 is pleased to present a sneek-peek at CascaNueces:  A Folklorico Nutcracker.

12241311_925751704127942_7442815268604717403_nWith cross-cultural understanding as an educational mission, Dance Kids of Monterey County has created an annual holiday tradition advancing the music and dances of Mexico and the countries south of our border.  The idea of melding European and Hispanic music to create CascaNueces: A Folklorico Nutcracker, has brought together mariachi musicians and folklorico choreographers, in a project designed to educate young children about the culture indigenous to Hispanic familial background as a bridge to European artistic culture.  The project has been touring the Salinas Valley for the last three years and has delighted countless hundreds of school-aged students.  This year, Cascanueces 2016 is once again delighted to partner with San Jose dancers from Folklorico Heruvi Kalo and Junko & Raul.  Interested parties may contact Cascanueces Producer, Carol Richmond at 831-809-1122

12227625_10153777976078944_2094844543389531540_nCascanueces, a thirty-minute exploration in dance and music through the dreams of a young Maria, is based on the time-honored story of Nutcracker. Maria dreams of the dances, land, and music of her extended family and is entertained by folkloric dancers, in colorful traditional costumes and mariachi musicians.  She travels thru Hispanic culture and is visited by the Sugar Plum Fairy in a traditional European tutu and Pointe shoes dancing to the rewritten version of the classic variation.

Co-Creatives Artist Bios:


screen-shot-2011-07-09-at-12-20-47-pmThe Latino Nutcracker project was launched in 2012 as a collaboration with William Faulkner, world renowned Jalisco harpist.  The U.C. Berkeley graduate formed the Mariachi Mixtlán, and in the summer of 1981 first toured México.  Mr. Faulkner is currently on staff at Harnell College in Salinas, California and travels to Mexico regularly and is the official harpist for the town of Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico. We are very proud to have him directing the musicians of Mariachi Cascanueces.

In 2013, the collaboration continued with choreographers Maria Luisa Colmenarez and Rudy Garcia.

vintage-rfg-mlcMaria Luisa Colmenarez, Mexican Folk Dancer/Artist, has served as Artistic Director for Grupo Mizoc de Sacramento, Danzantes del Alma de UC Davis, Los Lupenos and Alegria de San Jose. Performance highlights include touring with Linda Ronstadt’s Mas Canciones, the pro-omnibus performance at Candlestick Park for Pope John Paul II and six seasons as a performer at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. She is an NEA Folk Arts grant recipient, former California Arts Council, Artist-in-Residence and Dance Grant Panelist. For a span of twelve years, she served as a faculty member of the International Mariachi Conference in Las Cruces, NM.  She is currently Executive Director of the federal nonprofit, Danzantes Unidos de California, which in April 2017 will convene over 2000 folkloristas for a weekend of workshops, concerts and seminars in Fresno, CA; as well as, Artistic Director for the San Jose Mariachi & Folklorico Festival coming to the Mexican Heritage Plaza in January of 2017.  Ms. Colmenarez is the Co-Creative Director for La Ultima Parada.  As a visual artist, she has received awards and honorable mention for her work in ceramic, glass and bronze.

12274319_925751484127964_40159618493489143_nRudy F. Garcia began his dance training while a student at Stanford University. He danced with many Bay Area Mexican dance groups, including El Ballet Folklorico de Stanford, Flor de la Esperanza, Xochipilli, Los Lupeños de San José and Alegría de San José. He has served as Artistic Director of Los Lupeños and Alegría de San José. In addition, he has performed with the IL Quartiere Italiano, Ballet Folklorico Peruano de Patricia Llosa and in Jubilee American Dance Theater.  He has served on the Board of Directors of World Arts West, which annually presents the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival.  As an avid researcher of Mexican folk culture and history, he has established a vast network of information resources and has served as a consultant to groups throughout the state. His “Folklorico Handbook” is currently in use as a textbook for the Folklorico curriculum in colleges throughout California and in Arizona. He is also a contributing author in the book “Dancing Across Borders: Danzas y Bailes Mexicanos”. He received a National Endowment for the Arts Folk Arts grant and has served as a California Arts Council Dance Panelist. He currently serves as President of the Board of directors for the statewide organization, Danzantes Unidos de California, which this year will present DUF 2017 “Alma Indigena” in Fresno, CA on April 7-9.  Professionally, he is a Research Scientist at KLA-Tencor.

La Ultima Parada is funded by grants from the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, The Castellano Family Foundation and our community–YOU!!  Avoid the long lines and buy your ticket TODAY!