Danza!: Amalia Hernandez and El Ballet Folklorico De Mexico
Danza!: Amalia Hernandez and El Ballet Folklorico De Mexico

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Annotation: With vibrant illustrations, tells the story of Mexican dancer and choreographer Amalia Hernandez (1917-2000), founder of the famed Ballet Folklorico de Mexico.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #149951
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 29 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-419-72532-7 Perma-Bound: 0-605-99486-2
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-419-72532-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-99486-7
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 2016050075
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
Amalia Hernandez (19172000) traveled throughout Mexico learning about regions' unique histories and traditions in order to incorporate them into dance; in 1952, she founded Mexico's most famous dance company, El Ballet Folklsrico de Mixico, which still performs today. Tonatiuh's illustration style, inspired by Mixtec art and with well-chosen photo-collage elements, is particularly resonant with a subject who celebrated Mexican arts and culture. Bib., glos., ind.
Publishers Weekly
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.)

School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 3 UpAmalia "Ami" Hernández (19172000) 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
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
An ode to Mexico's rich heritage of indigenous dance. Amalia Hernández was born in Mexico City in 1917 and saw her first local dance performance when still a young girl. Entranced, she determined to become a dancer, and with her parents' encouragement, she began to study ballet and, later, modern dance. She then started to choreograph, basing her steps on "folkloric danzas" similar to what she had seen as a child. Hernández followed this first foray by forming her own small troupe and fashioning numbers based on Mexico's many different traditions and indigenous danzas. Her work melded old traditions with ballet and modern dance and was filled with drama, featuring colorful costumes and sets. Works based on Mexican history also became part of her company's repertoire, along with music from Europe such as the waltz. National and international success and acclaim followed for her company, El Ballet Folklórico de México. Tonatiuh tells Hernández's story with careful attention to detail and with obvious admiration for the subject, adding in his author's note how popular Mexican dance is across both Mexico and the United States. His digitized, hand-drawn illustrations are striking. They showcase, in his signature style based on Mixtec art, the beauty and grace of many different dance styles. Play music from Mexico and dance to the beat. (glossary, bibliography, index) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*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!
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (Tue Aug 01 00:00:00 CDT 2017)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal Starred Review (Sun Oct 01 00:00:00 CDT 2017)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (Sun Apr 01 00:00:00 CDT 2018)
Publishers Weekly
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (page 31) and index.
Word Count: 1,272
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.0 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 193553 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:6.3 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q71778
Lexile: 980L
Guided Reading Level: S
Fountas & Pinnell: S

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Hernandez's birth comes the first picture book about the famous dancer and choreographer, from an award-winning author and illustrator who tells the story of the founder of one of Mexico's most revered dance troupes. Full color.


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