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The Pacifico Dance Company Performs at the Center for the Arts

Pacifico Dance Company, California's premier baile folklorico company of nearly 40 dancers and musicians, will take the audience on a colorful journey to Mexico through exhilarating music and dance when it takes to the Smothers Theatre stage at Pepperdine University on Sunday, Apr. 28. 

The performance will begin at 2 p.m. Following the performance, the audience is invited to a pre-Cinco de Mayo celebration featuring family-friendly fun, food, and festivities.

Mexican folk dance is a veritable history of colonization and settlement in the country, with each region reflecting the outside influences of various other traditions. All the states within Mexico, as well as specific geographic and cultural regions within each state, cultivate a particular folkloric dance style. Characteristics unique to each region are reflected in differing music, footwork, skirt work, patterning, and costuming. The dance styles of the northern region of Mexico suggest the European influences of the polka and ballroom dance forms, while on the southeast coast one finds influences from Africa, the Caribbean, and Spain.

Mexican dance is still evolving. While the earliest dances of the Mayan and Aztec civilizations are carefully preserved and still practiced today, new influences of modern dance and ballet have contributed to the growth of this dynamic art form. To this end, the Pacifico repertoire presented at Pepperdine is comprised of pieces that carefully preserve the traditional dance forms of the past, as well as original works that fuse the folk style with modern influences.

The Pacifico Dance Company was founded in 1992 under the direction of Adriana Astorga-Gainey, its general and artistic director. Since then it has evolved into a dance company with its own unique style, costume designs, music, and choreography. The company has performed for audiences throughout the United States and Asia. It prides itself on educating culturally diverse communities, as well as providing Hispanic audiences with a forum for developing pride in their own heritage.

Additionally, Pacifico actively provides opportunities for all youth to participate, experience, and learn about the history, legends, and myths of Mexico through dance. Over the past several years, Pacifico has brought the magic and excitement of live performances to young audiences at a variety of school districts throughout the region. Pacifico will present two free performances for schoolchildren as part of Pepperdine's ARTSReach program on Monday, Apr. 29.

The company has been prominently featured in a number of publications, both locally and nationally, including the Los Angeles Times, the Oregon Mail Tribune, the Delaware News Journal, Hispanic magazine, and the Spanish-language daily La Opinion. Pacifico has been profiled by KCET-TV's award-winning program Life & Times and the nationally syndicated show American Latino TV, broadcast to over 50 million homes in the U.S.

Tickets, priced at $35 or $25 for adults, $20 for youth 17 and under, and $10 for full-time Pepperdine students, are available now by calling (310) 506-4522. Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787. For more information, visit the Center for the Arts website.

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