This year's musical, inspired by the life of Celestina Cordero, a woman ahead of her time, took place in "The Turbulent 60s." Maria had everything it took to make it out of the poor working class tenements of her struggling barrio of Spanish Harlem. She even planned to take Chino with her! That is, until her dreams were shattered by tragedy. Then, from the darkness, emerged a guiding spirit named Celestina Cordero who encouraged Maria to continue the fight and find her place in the world.
Celestina Cordero (1787-1862) was a woman and -- a hero -- ahead of her time, but many people have never heard her name! She was the first black woman who, through Actos Calidas (government petitions), fought for the right of poor boys and girls, mulatos and free blacks, to be educated. She began a school in her home where she, along with her famous brother Rafael Cordero, provided a free education to poor boys and girls. Read more about her.
Done in PRFDance's traditional, lively style, everyone had a part in this year's inspiring musical that showcased 30 of our own -- from our Coqui-Preschool WITH their parents to Youth Students to our Performing Company of dancers and musicians -- who shared the stage singing, dancing, acting in this live musical theatre production. During pivotal moments of the play, we were thrilled to include special guests Ballet Afrique, a new contemporary dance company directed by (will-always-be-a-PRFDancer) China Smith Lott, who came "back home" to share her new dance company and her work dedicated to the expressions of cultures and experiences of the African Diaspora.
People who drove in from near and far, cities in Texas (from Houston to Dallas), Florida, Oklahoma, and more, appreciated all they learned from this year's historically revealing musicial. Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance is very proud of our mission to share our culture and history with the community, and to hand our traditions down to the next generation.