© 2024 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Urban 15 Wants You To Help Shed Light With "Farolitos" Dance Group

Cheryl Beck
Farolito dancer.

“Urban 15 is a music and dance ensemble and training center here in San Antonio. You might think that we’re San Antonio’s ambassadors of rhythm and motion," said Urban-15 Music Director George Cisneros.

The group is known for its public performances in parades. Their pounding drums, wild costumes and rhythmic dancing have been seen in San Antonio since 1974.

But now something new is brewing and Urban-15 is looking for a few good men, and women.

"It’s open to people who are in shape, and like to move," said Cisneros.

He said he is creating a new group within the group that he’s calling "The Farolitos." He explained that the name comes from the object they’ll hold.

"The farolito is basically a luminaria on a stick," Cisneros said.

You know luminarias, they're those lit paper bags some people line their driveway with around Christmas. Urban-15’s version has no flame as they’re electronically lit. And they have an interesting backstory that Cisneros explained.

“One of our dancers, Dr. Jose Hernandez, is from Cuba, and he has given us replicas of the Cuban farolito, which is like a square lantern on top of a five-foot stick" Cisneros said. "And we’ve created a new dance ensemble which will be carrying these lanterns.”

I asked if the farolitos would be only dancers, not drummers, and he laughed.

“Well, they could be someday," Cisneros said. "Everybody has to learn some kind of rhythm with Urban-15. But right now, no, it’s a movement ensemble. The Sunday rehearsals are a workshop opportunity."

They’re inviting you shed a little light by trying out for The Farolitos.

Check out Urban-15 in action:

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii