Danza! Amalia Hernández and el Ballet Folklórico de México

Duncan Tonatiuh

Book - 2017

"Award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh tells the story of Amalia Hernandez, dancer and founder of El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. Published in time for the 100th anniversary of Hernandez's birth, Danza! is the first picture book about the famous dancer and choreographer. Danza! is a celebration of Hernandez's life and of the rich history of dance in Mexico. As a child, Amalia always thought she would grow up to be a teacher, until she saw a performance of dancers in... her town square. She was fascinated by the way the dancers twirled and swayed, and she knew that someday she would be a dancer, too. She began to study many different types of dance, including ballet and modern, under some of the best teachers in the world. Hernandez traveled throughout Mexico studying and learning regional dances. Soon she founded her own dance company, El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, where she integrated her knowledge of ballet and modern dance with folkloric dances. The group began to perform all over the country and soon all over the world, becoming an international sensation that still tours today. Duncan Tonatiuh's picture books have been honored with many awards and accolades, including the Pura Belpre Award, the Robert F. Sibert Award, and the New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award. With Tonatiuh's distinctive Mixtec-inspired artwork and colorful drawings that seem to leap off the page, Danza! will enthrall and inspire young readers with the fascinating story of this important dancer and choreographer"--

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Subjects
Genres
Biographies
Picture books
Published
New York : Abrams Books for Young Readers 2017.
Language
English
Physical Description
29 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9781419725326
1419725327
Main Author
Duncan Tonatiuh (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* In his latest picture-book biography, Tonatiuh celebrates the work of Amalia Hernández, the dancer, instructor, and choreographer who founded the Ballet Folklórico de México in 1952. Born in Mexico City in 1917, Ami was enthralled as a child by dancers in a town square. Growing up, she studied both ballet and modern dance. After choreographing a piece based on the street performers who first inspired her, she began to travel throughout the country and learn its local, indigenous dances. These led her to choreograph many distinctive pieces for the Ballet Folklórico, which has traveled the world performing ballets based on Mexican traditional dances. The text also links Mexican folkloric dance to Cinco de Mayo festivities in the U.S. Right down to the endpapers, this beautifully designed, large-format picture book is a showcase for Tonatiuh's distinctive illustrations, drawings with digital collage elements that add colors, patterns, and textures to strong, well-delineated forms. An interesting author's note, a useful glossary, and a source bibliography are appended. This concise, informative biography includes compelling details, such as Ami's father's initial resistance to her learning dance, and mentions that although Hernández died in 2000, her ballet company still performs in Mexico and throughout the world. Brava! Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Tonatiuh follows his picture book biographies of Diego Rivera and José Guadalupe Posada with a vibrant introduction to a Mexican artist who made her mark in the arena of dance. Inspired by the danzas she saw performed on the streets of Mexico City as a child, Amalia Hernández went on to study ballet before being exposed to modern dance. Eventually, she became a choreographer and founded a company that sought to pay tribute to Mexico's past and present, fusing her study of traditional dances from across the country ("She paid special attention to the steps, the music, and the outfits people wore") with top-notch production values. Employhis his customary brand of Mixtec-inspired collage, Tonatiuh makes expert use of photographic bits of lace, cloth, and hair to bring warmth to the dancers, who dip and turn on each spread. A closing note and glossary provide additional context and insight. Ages 6–10. (Aug.) Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly Annex.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 3 Up—Amalia "Ami" Hernández (1917–2000) didn't expect to break with tradition. It was assumed that perhaps she would become a schoolteacher like her mother. But when she saw dancers in a town square while on vacation with her family, she knew what she wanted to be. Her parents nurtured her love of dance, and she benefited from studying under some of the world's best ballerinas and teachers. Always disciplined in her practice and technique, Hernández became a seasoned dancer and later a teacher and choreographer. She was inspired by the fusion of modern ballet and the traditional dances of her native Mexico. Drawing on her knowledge of indigenous danzas, as well as art, music, and architecture, she established a truly unique concept: el ballet folklórico. Hernández and her fellow dancers gave wildly successful performances throughout Mexico that motivated her to create her own dance company, El Ballet Folklórico de México. Traveling first in Mexico and then around the globe, the company became the face of innovative and artistic modern Mexican dance for the whole world to admire. Tonatiuh's Mixtec-inspired illustrations capture the movement and vibrancy of El Ballet Folklórico and pay homage to the artistic vision of one of the world's most beloved dancers. VERDICT Part biography and part homage to the history of Mexican dance, this essential, first-ever children's biography of Amalia Hernández is a vivid celebration of Mexican culture, art, and life and a timely release in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of Hernández's birth.—Natalie Romano, Denver Public Library Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"Award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh tells the story of Amalia Hernandez, dancer and founder of El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. Published in time for the 100th anniversary of Hernandez's birth, Danza! is the first picture book about thefamous dancer and choreographer. Danza! is a celebration of Hernandez's life and of the rich history of dance in Mexico. As a child, Amalia always thought she would grow up to be a teacher, until she saw a performance of dancers in her town square. She was fascinated by the way the dancers twirled and swayed, and she knew that someday she would be a dancer, too. She began to study many different types of dance, including ballet and modern, under some of the best teachers in the world. Hernandez traveled throughout Mexico studying and learning regional dances. Soon she founded her own dance company, El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, where she integrated her knowledge of ballet and modern dance with folkloric dances. The group began to perform all over the country and soon all over the world, becoming an international sensation that still tours today. Duncan Tonatiuh's picture books have been honored with many awards and accolades, including the Pura Belpre Award, the Robert F. Sibert Award, and the New YorkTimes Best Illustrated Book Award. With Tonatiuh's distinctive Mixtec-inspired artwork and colorful drawings that seem to leap off the page, Danza! will enthrall and inspire young readers with the fascinating story of this important dancer and choreographer"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"This is a picture book biography for children ages 6-10 about Amalia Hernandez (1917-2000), the dancer and choreographer who founded the Mexican Folkloric Ballet, a dance organization that continues to perform today. The author/illustrator is Duncan Tonatiuh"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Celebrates the life of the dancer and founder of El Ballet Folklâorico de Mâexico as well as the cultural history of dance in Mexico.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh tells the story of Amalia Hernández, dancer and founder of El Ballet Folklórico de México.   As a child, Amalia Hernández saw a pair of dancers in the town square. The way they stomped and swayed to the rhythm of the beat inspired her. She knew one day she would become a dancer.   Amalia studied ballet and modern dance under the direction of skilled teachers who had performed in world-renowned dance companies. But she never forgot the folk dance she had seen years earlier. She began traveling through the Mexican countryside, witnessing the dances of many regions, and she used her knowledge of ballet and modern dance to adapt the traditional dances to the stage. She founded her own dance company, a group that became known as el Ballet Folklórico de México.   Using his signature illustration style, inspired by the ancient art of the Mixtecs, award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh tells the story of Amalia Hernández and the formation of the Folkloric Ballet, one of the most famous and successful dance companies in the world.  

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh tells the story of Amalia Hernández, dancer and founder of El Ballet Folklórico de México.   As a child, Amalia Hernández saw a pair of dancers in the town square. The way they stomped and swayed to the rhythm of the beat inspired her. She knew one day she would become a dancer.   Amalia studied ballet and modern dance under the direction of skilled teachers who had performed in world-renowned dance companies. But she never forgot the folk dance she had seen years earlier. She began traveling through the Mexican countryside, witnessing the dances of many regions, and she used her knowledge of ballet and modern dance to adapt the traditional dances to the stage. She founded her own dance company, a group that became known as el Ballet Folklórico de México.   Using his signature illustration style, inspired by the ancient art of the Mixtecs, award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh tells the story of Amalia Hernández and the formation of the Folkloric Ballet, one of the most famous and successful dance companies in the world.