Amalia Hernández (Mexico City, 1917-2000) was the creator, director and choreographer of the Folkloric Ballet of Mexico. It all started in 1952 when she created a small ensemble that merged Mexican folklore with the rigor of ballet and modern dance, with which she performed every week in the television program Función de Gala.
The Folkloric Ballet was so successful that it received an invitation from the Department of Tourism to present its show in other countries as a national promotion instrument. Former president, López Mateos gave them the opportunity to make an apperance at the Palace of Fine Arts theater, where to date they have performed uninterruptedly every Sunday since October 1959. Currently, the ensemble is made up of over 65 dancers and musicians who go on world tours with the mission of reviving Mexican dances, customs and traditions.
The international press considered Amalia Hernández the “Empress of Mexican Treasure of Folklore”, and specialized critics described the Ballet as “a living museum transmitting Mexico’s cultural traditions across the world”.5
Elisa Carrillo Cabrera was born in Texcoco, State of Mexico, in 1981. From a very young age she was fascinated with movement; she made up choreographies and presented them to her parents in their living room. She began her training in classical ballet at six years old. Three years later she entered INBA’s National School of Classical and Contemporary Dance and at age 15 she received a scholarship to study at the English National Ballet School in London.
After graduating in London she was hired by the Stuttgart Ballet in Germany. Her great leap to fame came in 2009, when she starred in Snow White, a role that turned her into a European ballet star. A short time later she was appointed prima ballerina of the Berlin State Ballet, recognition that no other Mexican dancer has achieved.
In 2010 the Chamber of Deputies named Elisa Carrillo “Culture Ambassador”, later she became the first Mexican to obtain three of the most important classical dance awards in the world: that of the International Ballet Festival Dance Open of St. Petersburg, in 2013; the Soul of Dance Award by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation —for her work promoting the world’s classical heritage— and the Benois de la Danse Prize, at the Bolshoi Theater in Russia, both in 2019.
In 2018, Isaac Hernández (Guadalajara, Jalisco, 1990) made history by becoming the first Mexican dancer to receive the Prix Benois de la Danse, in Russia —considered the greatest recognition a ballet dancer can receive—, for his interpretation of Don Quixote with the Rome Opera.
Curiously, this role was the first he learned by heart as a child, under the instruction of his father, dancer Héctor Hernández, who taught and guided him, perfecting his technique since he was eight years old.
This preparation laid the foundations for his further development in schools such as the L’Institut Supérieur des Arts de Bordeaux in France, the Escuela Nacional of Cuba in Havana, the American Ballet Theater (ABT) of New York, the Australian Ballet, the Opéra National de Paris, the Stuttgart Ballet, the Eglavsky Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada and the Royal Ballet of London, among others.
After breaking into the international dance scene, Isaac returned to Mexico to create Despertares (2018), considered by specialized magazine Dance Europe as “the greatest dance gala in the world”, with dancers from academies like the English National Ballet, the American Ballet Theater, the Opéra National de Paris, the Royal Ballet of England, to mention only a few; along with exponents of other disciplines including tap and hip hop.
He has also won the Classic Talent Award at the Prague Dance Festival, in the Czech Republic (2002); the National Youth Award for Artistic Activities in Mexico (2002); and the Gold Medal in the pré-pro category and the Grand Prix at the Concours International Odysseé de la Danse in Lyon, France (2002).