by José Luis Ovalle

en Español⇒

Sinaloa is a very prosperous modern state and the cradle of some of Mexico's most venerated performers such as Lola Beltrán and Pedro Infante. However, aside from a few indigenous and mestizo interpretations, the state did not have a formal regional dance form until the early 1970's. The efforts of local choreographers and the findings of some impromptu research resulted in the staging of what became Mexico's "banda" style in the 1990's. The music — loud, violent, and explosive — was itself a very recent inspiration of composer Luis Pérez Meza and Don Cruz Lizárraga who founded the famous "Banda Sinaloense del Recodo".

The "Banda Sinaloense"

In its humble beginnings, in the mid 40's the banda was only hired as entertainment in local bars or — as with Zacatecas' Tamborazo — to lead a drinking party down the streets of the port of Mazatlán. The exhilirating ambiance created by the thundering ensemble soon became Sinaloa's favorite. By taking Don Lizárraga's banda de viento into recording studios this banda style won incredible acceptance in the entire country. Aside from typical ranchero songs and sones, the repertoire of a banda embraces all imaginable rhythms including the mambo, and even 1960's rock and roll.

Sinaloa Dress

The costume is also recent, as the dance forms, but based on turn-of-the-century fashions. Its fabrication goes from very simple printed calico ruffled blouse and skirt, topped with a hat, to muslin dresses painted with regional symbols. The main dance style, as indicated by all modern research of this Pacific area, is inspired by the Jalisco sones. Although many variations have been included, reflecting the integration old popular tunes and songs from the 60's Mexican hit parade into the banda Sinaloense repertoire.

The Carnival @ Mazatlan

The port of Mazatlán is the scene of an annual Carnival that is a local version of Mardi Gras, and includes all types of dancing, singing and revelry. For the concluding number of the Company's Sinaloa set, José Luis Ovalle reproduces a carnival to the sounds of a mambo, a rhythm of Cuban origin that was created and popularized by Don Damasco Pérez Prado in Mexico City, in the late 1940's.

© Copyright José Luis Ovalle, 2007 - 2017. All Rights Reserved. Derechos reservados.

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