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Danzantes Unidos Festival gives a new twist to folklórico dances

Ballet Folklórico Paquiyollotzín from Petaluma performed a dance from Aguascalientes on opening night of the 40th annual Danzantes Unidos Festival at the Warnors Theatre.
Ballet Folklórico Paquiyollotzín from Petaluma performed a dance from Aguascalientes on opening night of the 40th annual Danzantes Unidos Festival at the Warnors Theatre. jesparza@vidaenelvalle.com

What in the world has the Danzantes Unidos Festival come to?

First, you have a charro performing with machetes. That would be like watching a hip hop boogie turn into a waltz!

Then, you have Jalisco-clad dancers get into some break dancing!

And, you dozens of dancers balance a tray of drinks on their noggins without spilling a drop in a performance the makers of Modelo beer would appreciate.

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Sol de Fuego from San Gabriel presented dances from Baja California during opening night of the 40th annual Danzantes Unidos Festival at the Warnors Theatre. JUAN ESPARZA LOERA jesparza@vidaenelvalle.com

Welcome to the world of the 40th annual Danzantes Unidos Festival, which kicked off Friday evening with a showcase concert at a packed Warnors Theatre. Featured were 18 dance groups performing everything from Baja California to Nayarit to Veracruz to Durango ... and every point in between.

Festival organizer María Luisa Colmenárez said more than 1,700 dancers registered for the festival. That’s a record!

Workshops for children, teens and adults will be held Saturday and Sunday at Sunnyside High School.

The showcase concerts continue Saturday and Sunday evenings.

It was the Stockton-based Ballet Folklórico Raíces Mexicanas de María Valdovinos that put a new twist on Mexican folkloric dancing with the machete-wielding charros and the break-dancing gals.

Fans will have to tune in Saturday and Sunday to see what more surprises await them.

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