Danza!: Amalia Hernández and Mexico’s Folkloric Ballet

By: Duncan Tonatiuh

As a child, Amalia Hernández watched a group of dancers in the town square. The way they stomped and swayed and moved to the rhythm of the beat inspired her. She knew she would become a dancer one day. Author's note. Glossary. Bibliography. Index. Full-color hand-drawn illustrations, collaged digitally.

ISBN: 9781419725326

JLG Release: Oct 2017


Sensitive Areas: No sensitive areas
Topics: Amalia Hernández (1917–2000) , Mexico , Ballet Folklórico de México , Mexican folk dancing , Mexican dancers , Biography , Dance , Folk dancing , Cultural heritage , Performing arts , Art and music , Choreographers

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Awards & Honors

2018 Américas Award Winner
Booklist Top 10 Diverse Nonfiction for Older and Middle Readers: 2018
CCBC Choices 2018 Choice: The Arts
CSMCL Best Multicultural Children’s Books of 2017
New York Public Library Best Books for Kids 2017

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
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
[STARRED REVIEW]
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

Horn Book

Tonatiuh (Separate Is Never Equal, rev. 7/14; Funny Bones, rev. 11/15) tells the story of Amalia Hernández (1917–2000), founder of Mexico’s most famous dance company, El Ballet Folklórico de México, which still performs today. As a child Hernández was inspired by a danza (“a dance that is p Tonatiuh (Separate Is Never Equal, rev. 7/14; Funny Bones, rev. 11/15) tells the story of Amalia Hernández (1917–2000), founder of Mexico’s most famous dance company, El Ballet Folklórico de México, which still performs today. As a child Hernández was inspired by a danza (“a dance that is performed for an audience or one that has ceremonial purposes”) she witnessed while on vacation with her family. Hernández’s parents were supportive and gave her opportunities to study ballet; she later learned modern dance. As a young woman she traveled throughout Mexico learning about different regions’ unique danzas, histories, and traditions in order to incorporate them into dance; she founded El Ballet Folklórico de México in 1952. Tonatiuh’s recognizable illustration style, inspired by Mixtec art and with well-chosen photo-collage elements on costumes and accessories, is particularly resonant with a subject whose own desire was to preserve and celebrate Mexican arts and culture. A beautiful look at one of Mexico’s most cherished institutions. sonia alejandra rodriguez

Book Details

ISBN

9781419725326

First Release

October 2017

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

792.8092 B

Trim Size

9" x 11"

Page Count

32

Accelerated Reader

Level 6; Points: 0.5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 6.3; Points: 3;

Lexile

Level 980L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Abrams

Potentially Sensitive Areas

No sensitive areas

Topics

Amalia Hernández (1917–2000), Mexico, Ballet Folklórico de México, Mexican folk dancing, Mexican dancers, Biography, Dance, Folk dancing, Cultural heritage, Performing arts, Art and music, Choreographers,

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