Mexican Talent in the Performing Arts


Videos: Pianist Salvador Rodriguez  Aldrete from Nayarit.  Professional musician of 30 years. As a  professor of music he is currently heading the “Elemental Music” & “Oratory Principals”  workshops  at the Catholic University of Puerto Vallarta.

This ballet version of the Jarabe Tapatio was a performance that took place as part of the concert celebrating  Mr. Rodriguez’s  30 yr career featuring ballerina Ruth Marcela Perez Contreras.

http://www.pianistasalvatore.com/Enlaces.html

Mexican Fashion Insider


Today’s must have fashion accessory is….. The colorful “pulseras de hilo (pool-seh-rahs-deh- ee-loh)/”pulseras tejidas(pool-seh-rahs-deh- teh-hee-dahs)= thread bracelets/ woven bracelets. In  Mexican culture the tradition of working with textiles and the practice of weaving has been very important, & to this day hand crafts are very popular.  Currently kids pick  up making bracelets as hobbies, some students &  housewives  make it their part-time job selling them at street markets, down town plazas & to neighbors or fellow classmates at school. Some bracelet vendors are even going high-tech and sell them online, and you can even find ritzy fashion boutiques & jewelry shops selling them with gold beads and diamond stones in them.

(Singers/actors Dulce Maria & Alfonso “Poncho” Herrera)

For the real deal killer bracelets however , your best source will always be authentic artisans. These woven bracelets have such an artistic &  organic feel to them, as do the vender themselves at times. I remember on a trip to Mexico as a kid, that downtown some University students with a pretty eclectic flair to them were selling them. When we would go shopping my brother kept joking “Mom, I want a bracelet from the hippies, buy me a hippie bracelet!”  lol xD  This accessory can often be seen worn by kids who are into rock music & the kids who have a fondness for all things  folkloric and traditional love to wear them as well, but you can really see all kinds of kids wearing them.  “Cutsie girls” (preppies) wear them, “pretty boys”, fashion buffs,  metrosexual guys, sporty guys /girls, even celebs wear them. No matter what your style is, everyone can agree that it’s cool to be proud of your roots and sport your pride.

(Cast of novela “Atrevete a Soñar = Dare to Dream)

(Andres Guardado from Team Mexico)

(Mexican Rock Band Maná)

(Singer Alejandro Fernández)

Novelas becoming a Hit in China


It’s being reported that two Novelas are making it big right now in China. The first is a story that everyone fell in love with as soon as it debuted. It garnered so much success and ratings that it wasn’t long before remakes by different countries were being produced.  I’m talking about  Colombia’s “Betty La Fea”= Betty The Ugly Girl .  Mexico’s version was, “La Fea Mas Bella ” = The Most Beautiful Ugly Girl”, the US had “Ugly Betty”,  Germany had “Alles Betty”,  just to name a few.  And still the concept’s popularity continues as China prepares to air the 4th season of its version of the story “Ugy girl with no Rival”. While this novela is being remade with Asian actors, the other drama which is enjoying success in China is being broadcasted in it’s original state.  That dramas is… Mexico’s “Destilando Amor”= Distilling Love. That’s right this is a novela who’s concept is not being borrowed, tweaked, and remade.  The actual original work in its entirety, including: original actors, and storyline is being showcased. Thus our wonderful culture is crossing borders and diffusing it’s beauty. According to the article which reported the success of these two novelas, they are in the Top 3 most watch Dramas of the moment in China. I hope that this is a sign of things to come.

For sometime now the Asian Culture wave has been expanding & as it has, it’s been winning followers and creating enthusiasts where ever it spreads. A large part of its success is due to the diffusion of pop culture, especially music and dramas. If you are not a drama fan, you may not be aware…But dramas are a HUGE deal! Drama fans or “Drama addicts” as they like to call themselves are very devout enthusiasts. Here is an example: Dramas that are not broadcasted across borders or subbed by the original broadcaster still make it big thanks to dedicated “subbers” and “up-loaders”. These are fans who work to help those who couldn’t otherwise enjoy dramas through special sites, sites made by Drama fans for Drama fans. Drama’s are a big deal, because there’s a very special chain reaction that occurs thanks to dramas. Thanks to dramas: fans have become interested in Asian music when listening to the soundtrack while watching the drama , they also  fall in love with the actors which leads them to follow said actors on other shows, and while becoming so fascinated with all these cool and fun things some fans become interest in the language in which they watch dramas,  eventually deciding to study it. I would love it if our culture could be shared, and appreciated with such enthusiasm. I’d love to see sites where Novelas are being subbed and shared with others. I’d love to see more of our actors & singers become popular in countries where Spanish is not spoken.

Let’s learn some Spanish: About Good Manners


When learning a language  who isn’t  eager and excited to learn what will make you sound cool, fun, and friendly, so that you can make new friends &  enjoy communicating with others in your new language?  Well, nothing makes a person cooler than great manners, & so today that’s what we will be learning about. Today’s lesson specifically talks about one little word: “Qué.” While it might be common knowledge that “what” in Spanish = “Qué”(pronounced Keh). The meaning & usage of this word as it pertains to Spanish is sometimes ,not entirely understood. In Spanish missuse of the word  can mean sounding very rude.  Many times I’ve seen on TV the depiction of various characters who speak Spanish(Mexican more often than not), upon listening to another language, umm…say English he/she will automatically respond in a stereotypical voice “Qué??!”

It truly is a most disturbing sound to hear. It’s  a  method used for the purpose of augmenting  inanity, boorishness when it comes to  the portrayal of that character.  The reality of it is that, ““Qué” would not really the first thing someone would say in Spanish. Why? Well, because manners are held in very high regard & are  treated with utmost importance  in Hispanic culture, regardless of social position or the amount of education received.  When you are told something  & did not hear or understand, the polite way to respond is by using the phrase “Mande usted” (mah-deh-oo-steh-ehd) the formal version or “Mande”(shortened version).  The word “mande” literally  means= “You may request/ instruct.”  In essence it means excuse me. Only it has more of a : beg your pardon, excuse me what was that, say that again please,  I’m sorry I  couldn’t hear, but if you’d be so kinds a to repeat you have my attention”…etc  kind of connotation to it.

Another time when “Mande” is used is, when being addressed or called over.  Say your boss has decided to give you an assignment &  so he addresses you “Mrs. X come over for a minute”  You would respond by saying “Mande usted Señor/Señora” = Yes boss(sir/ mam).  At a store if a shopper would adress a clerk , the shopper would also receive a  “mande usted.” Another example, Say your mom calls you into the kitchen . You go to the kitchen and say “What?”, because you’re used to the “what”   in the English expressions: “what is it/what’s the matter?”  It’s quite likely that you’ll receive the following scolding : “What do you mean Qué? Don’t be so rude/disrespectful, you don’t say “Qué, you say Mande usted”. “Mande” in  This sense= yes mom, you called, Yes ma’m. “Qué?” does have it’s place in Spanish however,  “Qué?” alone is used as more of an interjection than a question, and it’s used to express: surprise/shock /or confusion in a  direct, and explicit manner, thus using it alone sounds rude at times.  The moral of the story? One little word can mean the difference between sounding abrasive & disrespectful, or friendly, and well mannered.

Cool Mexican of the day Part 2


A BRIEF BIO OF MARIA ESPINOZA. VIDEO TRANSLATION:
MARIA: “It all started with a pair of boxing gloves. My dad would put them on me.”  NARRATOR: This story begins in La Brecha Sinaloa, with a population of merely 2,500. There are no paved streets, here the bare, raw paths are traveled. MARIA’S AUNT: “We may be poor economically speaking, but we have a lot of heart, & that is beautiful.” NARRATOR: This is a town that does not think twice about lending a helping hand. Maria was taught early on that in order to eat, one has to do more than just sit at the table and request. MARIA: “We had to find a way. We had to work to put food on the table. We come from a family of fishermen, so we had to work as merchants.”  Her mother did not like being absent from her home , but the economic necessity made it so that Maria and her siblings had to be without her. Thusly, Maria found in her grandfather(on her dad’s side) her best friend. MARIA : “I would enjoy going to visit my grandpa, growing things, farming. It was my way of learning how to grow up tough, learning how stand up to life”
MARIA’S GRANDMA: “We had many animals at our home, & Maria always loved riding and interacting with them.”  NARRATOR: Eventually boxing became a fleeting thing. Thanks to heredity she found out she had more potential with her feet than with her hands. She feels indebted to her grandmother for this. MARIA’S GRANDMA: “I have a very large foot. I’ve always had a large foot,  it’s even bigger now that I’m older, I ‘m 74.  Instructor Ruben Contreras was Maria’s first coach at a gym in La Brechea.
MARIA: “My first competition was in Hermosillo when I was about 5 or 6, my daddy accompanied me on that occasion.” MARIA’S UNCLE:  “Early on we saw Maria was a good brawler.”  MARIA: “I went to the competition with such joy & energy, I was just a kid. I was like “Wow an actual competition & it’s going to be outside of my city in Guasave! I’m going to meet new kids!  I had to battle this young man who was taller then me, I always partnered with him, because there weren’t any girls. So it was like, Oh well let’s do it.  There was no other way. I was just happy to be competing.”  Then her first disillusion came, her 1st teacher, the one who ignited Maria’s love for Taekwondo decided to leave La Breacha in order travel to the capital in Sinaloa to look for different opportunities. That was Maria’s 1st brief brush with the sport. MARIA: ” A cousin told me later on that there was Tae Kwon Do instruction in the city of Guasave,  & I decide to attend.”  From La Brecha to Gusave=30 miles. Her dad was away at sea, her mother working as well, but at just 10 years of age Maria found the perfect solution, during what she calls the best chapter of her life .
Her great journey began at noon after she would come out of school.
MARIA: “So that’s 1 hour from La Brecha to Guasave, arrive at the gym around 2:00 pm, train from like 4-5 then back home again.”  NARRATOR: These are the echoes of Maria’s adventure.  MARIAS’ AUNTS: “Some buses would collect money later on , not at the moment you got on, sometimes Maria was so tired that by the time the collector came around she was fast asleep. During those times they did not charge her.  There were times when buses with two doors came to pick her up & she would shoot in the back door. As soon as the door opened she slide for home with all her might.” MARIA:  “There was a couple of times that I would just give they driver a coin, not the full fare & dash in. I was thinking of my family and our situation.”
Hardships, escapades & all,  Maria had decided Tae Kwon Do would be her life. In Guasave she met a new trainer, Rolando Garcia. Rolando: “Maria would always spar with guys. Maria is so strong that, generally the girls couldn’t withstand her kicks. The guys too were weary of sparing with her, they’d say “No coach, please not Maria”.  NARRATOR: Maria spent her days between school, fishing, and martial arts. MARIA: “There was a tourney in Monterrey in ‘02.  I didn’t fare so well, but at that point I decided that I really wanted to earnestly commit to this sport. ” It was during this tourney when she experienced her utmost bitter heartbreak. When she was away competing her grandfather died. MARIA: “I was away training, competing, and at that same time he was…He passed away. Up to this day he has helped me a lot, he contributed to my embracing the sport,  has helped me  in my personal life… I’ve had some tough moments.”
Maria  went on to join the youth national team & she obtained a medal in the adult division at age 15. The time came when she had to leave her hometown & move to San Luis Potosi to fully concentrate on her training at a higher level. She soon realized however, that not everything had gone according to plan. MARIA: “While staying in San Luis, I went through rigorous training, &  I felt that at times instead of going a step forward, I went a few steps back. There was a time when I felt like, I just want to go home. I can’t, just cant’ anymore.” She moved forward however & during an international competion in Brazil she was up against a Brazilian opponent for the final. MARIA:  ” Up against a local, all of the audience rooting for her. I had never been so nervous. It was one the toughest battles I’ve ever experienced. ” Narrator:  It came down to a single point, one kick would decide it all.  MARIA: “To win under such circumstances, with my opponent having home court advantage was like a bomb.”  Maria’s next goal now was, a ticket to the Olympics.

Chido(cool) Mexican of the Day


Today’s chido Mexican is Olympic athlete Maria del Rosario Espinoza.  Miss Espinosa bestowed Mexico with the honor of  a gold medal in Tae Kwon Do in Beijing.

VIDEO TRANSLATION:

Three days after Guillermo Perez covered himself in glory Maria Espinosa made good on the predictions that situated her among the best in the world, and won the second gold medal for Mexico in Beijing. Maria’s journey to Beijing: Maria won bronze in the Central American games, then went on to be crowned world champ at the Panamerican level . After that she went on to victory in the Beijing Olympics. All this with just 20 years of age. In order to triumph in her first Olympic games Maria had to make many sacrifices. (Maria) “First of all I had to sacrifice my family, the time that I had with them. I had to be apart from them, I was no longer living and sharing with them. I had to leave friends and those closest to me behind. I now had to dedicate my full attention to Tae Kwon do.”

Maria beat her Tunisian opponent 4-0. In the quarter finals she defeated her Swiss contender who did not shake her in the least 4-2 . During the semi finals she beat her British opponent Sarah Stevenson 4-1, an opponent which up to that point she had not defeated.  This bout was especially controversial, as the British athlete had been defeated by China’s representative earlier, but due to an appeal sought by her team the decision was modified. This caused Chinese supporters to root for Maria. During the final Maria felt the support & comradery from her fellow compatriots who filled the stands of  the Beijing University of Science and Technology. Their warmhearted cheers in her support made her feel at home. She beat her opponent, Norwegian /Korean  Nina Solheim 3-1.  After emerging victorious the first thing Maria did was graciously hug her opponent. She remained graceful and poised until the moment when she received congratulations from her trainer, at that point she couldn’t help tears of joy rolling down her cheeks. Maria worked very hard to achieve her dreams, &  always pictured hereself high atop the podium. Guillermo Perez and Maria Espinoza are two athletes that brought home the gold for Mexico.
Tae Kwon Do has always brought good results for Mexico. We are sure that with athletes like Guillermo & Maria we will be able to keep harvesting  medals.

Mexico’s “Bicentennial Stars” commercials


Gorgeous, artistic, breathtaking, cinematography. Pristine shots filled with elegance, that tell a mesmerizing  story.  These are the commercials produced by tv network Televisa to commemorate Mexico’s Bicentennial celebration this year. The stunning commercials showcase all that is Mexico, its: beguiling people, its enthralling culture, luxurious natural resources, awesome geography, it’s  colorful, inviting flora, it’s rich & remarkable fauna….  In a word: its bewitching, miraculous, unique Magic. So far the first two commercials released feature the states  Tamaulipas & Chihuahua.
Among the Places showcased in these two videos :
Samalayuca Desert (Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua)
Basaseachi’s Waterfall  (Copper Canyon, Chihuahua)
Bocatoma, “The Sky” Biosphere Reserve (Gomez Farias,Tamaulipas)
Morales Lake (Soto la Mariana ,Tamaulipas)
“The Barracks” Grotto (Aldama ,Tamaulipas)
“The Lush one”/ “Grassy One”  Natural deposit of spring water (Aldama, Tamaulipas)
They ran ads announcing open auditions for these commercials, I think. How awesome would it be to participate in such a beautiful, meaningful project!  If I lived in Mexico I would have so gone to the auditions.