The UCR Studio for Mexican Music and Dance (SMMD) consists of the Mariachi Los Alteños, led by Cynthia Reifler Flores, and Ballet Folklórico Mexicatl, led by John Avalos (Juan Rios). It provides performance experience and collaboration between musicians and dancers who are interested in Mexican and Chicano performing arts. Housed in the Department of Music's Center for Iberian and Latin American Music, directed by Prof. Walter Clark, it is the only program of its kind in the UC system. Long-time UCR lecturer John Avalos serves as overall director of the Studio for Mexican Music and Dance and designs its innovative curriculum, which is taking Mexican-American expressions to new heights in Riverside.
This curriculum features a unique twin-course structure in which music and dance move on parallel tracks to facilitate joint rehearsals and creative activity. Students can take beginning or intermediate classes in Mexican Folkloric Ensemble (MUS 175), taught by Cynthia Reifler Flores, coordinated with beginning through advanced classes in Dance of Mexico (MUS 073), taught by John Avalos. The music ensemble has a broad repertoire embracing not only mariachi but also other regional styles, including Norteño, Jarocho, and Huasteco. Dancers explore traditional Mexican styles as well as the Chicano experience—for example, Zoot Suit Boogie Woogie!—and themes focusing on pre-Hispanic, Indigenous, and Afro-Indigenous roots.
For more information, please contact:
Office: ARTS 156
Phone: (951) 827-2162