Mariachi Christmas celebrating 23 years music and ballet folklórico

Nov. 30—It's important for Miguel Angel Peña Caballero to carry on the tradition of folklórico dancing.

As the director of Ballet Folklórico at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, it's a job he takes seriously.

"Every day is a challenge to tell a great story through dance," he says. "There's beauty in each dance and we are trying to represent the various states of Mexico."

Peña Caballero is returning to Albuquerque to celebrate 23 years of Mariachi Christmas at Popejoy Hall. This year's event takes place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9.

The New Mexican favorite brings to life Christmas in Mexico through traditional ballet folklórico accompanied by magnificent mariachi music.

The masterful mariachi music of Mariachi Mexico Mestizo and the dynamic dance of Ballet Folklórico University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) create a magical holiday celebration suited for the entire family.

Peña Caballero says Ballet Folklórico at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley is currently composed of 32 students who travel and perform for local, state, national, and international audiences.

He says the group has danced at state and national dance conferences such as the Asociación Nacional de Grupos Folklóricos, the American College Dance Festival and the North Texas Folkloric Festival.

In 2006, the group became one of 100 outstanding Texas artists chosen for inclusion on the Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Roster Program.

Peña Caballero says the dances represent four Mexican states — Michoacán, Jalisco, Nuevo León and Veracruz — as well as a Posadas Navideñas or Las Posadas.

The group practices twice a week anywhere from three to four hours, meanwhile leading up to a tour or special performance, it's kicked up to four days a week.

Created in 2020, Mariachi Mexico Mestizo showcases outstanding musicians and talent from the Rio Grande Valley. Celebrating the cultural heritage of their native ancestry, Mariachi Mestizo performs beloved canciones and sones derived from the mariachi tradition.

Mariachi Christmas

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9

WHERE: Popejoy Hall, University of New Mexico campus

HOW MUCH: $25-$65, plus fees, at