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Arts & Culture

Rio Bravo Flows Again Through the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center

A music and dance performance returns to the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center on Friday.  It's called "Rio Bravo" and it was created and first performed in San Antonio twenty years ago.

“It brings to life dance and music on both sides of the Texas/Mexico border... from very primitive dance to present day Tejano, and everything in between," says Belinda Menchaca, program manager at the Guadalupe.

The performance is essentially a history of the Texas-Mexico border, as manifested in music and dance, beginning in pre-history all the way to now. Ms. Menchaca told me who will be providing live music.

“We have our Mariachi Azteca de America under the direction of Gino Rivera as well as the Conjunto band La Naturalesa. La Naturalesa is directed by Santiago Garza.”

I also spoke to Film and TV star, dancer and singer, San Antonio native, Jesse Borrego, who plays a central role in each segment. I asked him about the concept--"Given that it’s a broad sweep of history, doesn’t the kind of dance itself vary a lot?"

“Oh, yes…lots of steps and lots of different kinds of dancing!" he answered enthusiastically. "That’s what’s great about this piece is that it showcases all of that.”

I wondered if it was fun to come back to San Antonio and perform for his home town.

“Absolutely. I was born and raised doing it." Coming from a family full of music and performance talent, they were constantly entertaining.  "I grew up on the south side, singing and dancing for the Parks and Rec and school.”

He’s hoping young San Antonians come to see Rio Bravo.

“I’ve got an opportunity to bring them to the live theater, to bring them an incredible experience.”

Each scene of the performance manifests a different era in history, with interpretive dance and music tailored to each. He says audiences are in for a treat.

“They’re going to get it all. They’re going to get blown away" said Borrego. "They’re going to follow on a journey of the influences that have created our wonderful culture right here.”

We have more on Rio Bravo here: http://www.guadalupeculturalarts.org/rio-bravo-20th-anniversary/