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Golden recollections: Tarde de Oro explores NM’s history, culture through dance, music

The dance group Las Bailarinas de Oro will be part of the Tarde de Oro on Thursday, May 16. (Courtesy of De Oro Productions)

A review of New Mexico’s history and culture through dance and music is what Tarde de Oro is all about.

“This is the seventh annual, and it’s grown every year,” said Frances Lujan, dance instructor and owner of De Oro Productions, which puts on the event. “Not rewriting history every year; it’s the history of New Mexico through music and dance. We follow the eras, the historical eras, so we start with the Native, and then we go into our Spanish era, we go into our Mexican, and I combine the Western/Territorial, and then we end with Contemporary, who we are today.”

The event on Thursday, May 16, will feature a variety of dancers and musicians representing New Mexico’s rich culture. They range in age from young teens to senior citizens.

Flutist Shelley Morningsong will perform with her husband, Fabian Fontenelle, who will dance to the music.

There will also be flamenco performances that represent the Spanish era. The flamenco group is led by native New Mexican Leslie Roybal Geraldes.

“I’ve known Leslie forever. She started at 3 years of age doing Mexican, New Mexican folk dances, and then expanded, got her degree in performing arts and then went on. She is currently with a dance company out of New York. She travels back and forth. And there will be four up there onstage, musicians and dancers during the Spanish era,” Lujan said.

The show will continue with the Mexican era. It will feature marimba player Mike Anaya accompanied by dancers from Ballet en Fuego and senior citizen dance group Las Bailarinas de Oro.

Next up is the Western/Territorial era. It will showcase Lenore Armijo, who will be playing guitar and singing about New Mexico’s history. The era will end with a fiesta feel.

“And then last but not least is the Contemporary era,” Lujan said. “We’re going to have Freddie Chavez and Sal Garcia, renowned musicians from Albuquerque that made it big and are back in Albuquerque, and they play a number of different venues. They still tour and travel nationally, internationally, but they will be here for the show, and they’ll be playing the Contemporary era. So we’re going to have a jitterbug number out there, rock ‘n’ roll, and then Freddie’s rewritten a song by Lionel Ritchie, ‘All Night Long,’ and I’ll be accompanying him with castanets, kind of giving it a Latin feel.”

The city of Albuquerque sponsors the event.

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