If you watch a performance by the Nahualli Folklore Society, get ready to travel across Mexico from north to south.
Lily Cazares, one of the founding members of the troupe, is happy to take you on the journey.
“Our vision is to share Mexican culture through dance and to show different faces of Mexican culture that people probably never realize existed,” says the Maple Ridge resident, who is getting ready to perform this weekend at the Latin Summer Festival in Vancouver.
The name Nahualli originates from an indigenous language of Mexico called Nahuatl (Naa-Walt). It signifies an animal spirit or a transforming power that protects and guides each person from the moment of birth.
“We feel this transforming power on stage as we represent Mexico to you,” Cazares explains.
Nahualli Folklore Society has a wide repertoire of dances representing several Mexican states that include: Baja California, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Guerrero, Chiapas, Colima, Jalisco, Michoacan, Huasteca Tamaulipeca, Veracruz, Yucatan among others.
With Mexico attracting migrants from Germany to France, each state has its own unique influences that manifest in dance and combine with indigenous traditions.
“It depends where you go. It will show through the music and the costumes,” says Cazares.
Originally from Mazatlan, Cazares admits she has a soft spot for dances from the state of Sinaloa.
“If I get to dance them, I’m the happiest person,” she adds. “I like the fact that it is very lively music.”
• The Latin Summer Festival takes place Sunday, Aug. 17 at Trout Lake in Vancouver from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Nahualli Folklore Society performs at 2 p.m. Festival hotline: 604-593 – 2448.