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Ballet Folklorico returns to Tampa

The Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, directed and choreographed by Amalia Hernandez, returns to Tampa at the Festival Hall of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m. Nov. 4.

This internationally recognized group has a company of 65 musicians and dancers and is sponsored by Tampa's Spanish Lyric Theater.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the ballet and the 75th birthday of Hernandez, a "500 Years of Dance" program has been created, encompassing Indian myth and ritual, traditions of European colonists as well as the color and rhythm of the African slave cultures.

El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico was founded by Hernandez 40 years ago to realize her dream of preserving the folk traditions of Mexico and sharing them with the rest of the world. Under the auspices of the Instituto de Bellas Artes, the company has become one of the most important cultural institutions of Mexico.

"The Ballet Folklorico de Mexico returns to the United States after its participation in the World's Fair in Seville, Spain, where it was hailed for its color, vigor and sheer beauty," reports Rene Gonzalez, director of Tampa's Spanish Lyric Theater.

Tickets are available at the box office of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center at 221-1045 or through TicketMaster at 287-8844. Tickets are $16, $25 and $30. For information, call 223-7341.