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Actress Yalitza Aparicio, center, with Guelaguetza dancers in Oaxaca. Actress Yalitza Aparicio, center, with Guelaguetza dancers in Oaxaca.

More than 15,000 celebrate 87th anniversary of Oaxaca’s Guelaguetza

The celebration of Oaxacan traditions will continue with a second show next week

The 87th edition of the Guelaguetza kicked off yesterday in Oaxaca city, where the annual celebration of the indigenous traditions of Oaxaca’s eight regions drew a record-breaking 15,000 visitors.

Yalitza Aparicio, the star of Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma and the face of this year’s Guelaguetza, was in attendance, accompanied by Oaxaca Governor Alejandro Murat and federal Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco Marqués.

The delegation of Chinas Oaxaqueñas from the state’s Central Valleys region launched the festivities with a lively jarabe, balancing baskets of flowers on their heads as they whirled around the auditorium with giant paper-mâché figures, huge paper lanterns and decorative symbols.

They were followed by representatives from Chicapa de Castro in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, who delighted the audience with The Kidnapping and the Carrying of the Trunk, a representation of a traditional wedding in the region.

Delegations from Chalcatongo de Hidalgo, Sola de Vega, Huautla de Jiménez and Tlaxiaco also presented traditional dances from each of their regions, culminating in an emotional performance of Canción mixteca, a famous song by Oaxacan composer José López Alavez that evokes the loneliness and longing he felt while living far from his home state.

guelaguetza dancers
Dancers on stage yesterday at Latin America’s biggest ethnic festival.

The audience gave loud approval for the myriad colors and intricate choreography displayed in other spectacles, from the dancers of Santa María Tlahuitoltepec with their sones mixes, to a feather dance by representatives from Zaachila, and even The Taking of the Turkey by the delegation from Ocotlán de Morelos, among many others.

The celebration reached a climax when, during the presentation of the delegation from Putla Villa de Guerrero, the dancers invited the representatives from the other 22 delegations to join in the fun. Even Governor Murat could not contain himself from moving to the happy rhythms of the Mixtecan sones and chilenas.

The event closed with a fireworks display, kindling the celebration’s festive spirit in one of the largest crowds of spectators the Guelaguetza has ever seen.

A variety of other festivities will follow throughout the week until next Monday when the dancers will once again meet at the auditorium to continue with the second show, another vibrant spectacle of colors, dance and age-old traditions.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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