Sharing the Passion: The National Folklore Ballet of the Dominican Republic - P2/2 (In Spanish)    
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Today’s A Journey through Aesthetic Realms will be presented in Spanish, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

Greetings, enthusiastic viewers, and welcome to A Journey through Aesthetic Realms on Supreme Master Television. Today we present the conclusion of a two-part series introducing the National Folklore Ballet of the Dominican Republic.

Between June 16 and 19, 2010 this renowned dance troupe staged a performance of “Creole Passion” in four large Formosan (Taiwanese) cities.

The word creole describes best that very mixture that we are. And what we are is a creole country, a mulatto country, a Caribbean country.

Passion is the strongest feeling you can have. It could be a passion for dancing, a passion for singing. Where does this passion come from? From the culture of our country, the passion of our folklore.

The event was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Formosa (Taiwan) and the Embassy of the Dominican Republic. Like a fresh breeze in mid-summer, the magnificent dances led to a true love and appreciation for Caribbean culture across this beautiful island.

The Director of the Ballet is Professor Josefina Miniño, who is an accomplished artist and a wonderful cultural ambassador. In 2006, Professor Miniño received a commendation from the Congress of the Dominican Republic in recognition of her 50 plus years of contributing to the Dominican arts and for laying the foundation of modern dance in the nation.

I started on television in my country in 1952. Oh! Long time, yes. But I started at nine years old. Afterwards I went to study abroad. I studied in the United States with that great master of modern dance in the world, Martha Graham.

I have already had groups and groups and groups formed by me. It is my new generation already and today I am the director of the National Folklore Ballet, where we project what we are as a people, our identity, and a faithful portrait of the Dominican man in every aspect.

As a woman I feel very, very happy, very fulfilled, very privileged, because I’ve had in my hands a lot of youth, to which I’ve taught all my knowledge through 59 years of my artistic career. I’ve received high honors. I contribute to my country, in keeping youth healthy. Thanks to this kind of work that I’ve had, I keep them happy preserving and knowing and loving their folklore.

The folk music and dance of the Dominican Republic has a distinctive charm that has won the hearts of many, including those living far from the shores of this small Caribbean nation.

The culture of our country is very broad, very beautiful and very lovely. We have a lot of cadence. Our rhythm is a very contagious rhythm.

The spirit of the dance is a spirit that I would say is one of the strongest. But the dancer has to show it, has to feel it and has to convey it to the audience, all at the same time; it is the strongest and most beautiful thing that exists.

Nowadays it is the merengue, and the bachata taking off in the international market too. And los palos is a music that started just as the merengue did. It is a national rhythm but it has not been spread as the merengue has. Los palos is a really great rhythm that is literally played throughout the whole country.

The Dominican Republic’s northern countryside is home to “bachata,” a term that describes a style of music and dance which typically features a guitar. Bachata pieces are usually stories about romance, love lost and heartache. Merengue and bachata are the two music and dance genres most close identified with the Dominican Republic and that is why both are included in the Creole Passion production. Noted Dominican artist Juan Luis Guerra is credited with popularizing bachata abroad.

We also have something that our Juan Luis Guerra has made known to the world and it is the bachata. It is really easy for you to dance your bachata.

It is a rhythm that has appeal both worldwide and nationwide as well.

These amazing music and dance are derived from a unique blend of cultures.

The Dominican Republic has an extensive repertoire, like some 50 kinds of dance. The mixing of Spanish, Africans and Dominicans develops a frenzied, rather euphoric dance where really only the one who has a passion for something, can perform this type of genre.

About the dresses, they are very colorful?

Yes, they have many colors, precisely because of the mixture of races. Because there are black colors, the very strong colors, the reds, yellows, greens, a combination of very strong colors, which is what really makes these dances vibrant. We also have things from Spanish origin mixed with Dominican customs that bring calm to every wardrobe, the laces, the flounces and the colors are softer.

And do the colors have any meaning?

Well, there is one that has a special meaning, and it is the color of our flag, that we perform a good merengue with the color of the Dominican flag as something as a tribute to our land. The colors are all strong, flying colors and many mixes of blouses with long sleeves, of collars; (it is) very pretty.

The folk dances of the Dominican Republic are truly expressive of passion! We’ll be back after this important message and continue our discussion of Dominican dance costumes. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

Welcome back to A Journey through Aesthetic Realms on Supreme Master Television. The National Folklore Ballet travels the world sharing the magic of the traditional dance arts from the Dominican Republic. Costumes are an integral part of this country’s dance heritage and well represent its national spirit.

For merengue, most of the time we use flag-dresses standing for the colors of our flag, which is a red, white and blue dress and we always decorate it with flowers as you can see on me right now. We always decorate it with white or red flowers depending on the prevailing color of our dresses. We use character shoes just as the ballet dancers and they also will depend on the color of our dresses.

And do these colors represent any spirit?

Well yes, red indicates strength, white purity and each one of these colors we wear them with a lot of pride and with a lot of love.

The music ensemble that accompanies the National Folklore Ballet plays a medley of instruments with different origins.

Our musical group consists of a guira, drum, accordion that is of European origin, to strengthen our group melodically, because in the past it was played with guitar, then the accordion came, and later the saxophone joined them.

Let’s take a closer look at merengue, the most popular dance style in the Dominican Republic.

Merengue was born in the region of the north of Santiago.

We have merengue because it is the national dance that truly identifies us.

The merengue is the most representative dance in our country and it was the first which spread outside our country. And it is, I would say, the window through which the world has seen us. It is the one that has been recorded the most by all these big Dominican artists. Juan Luis Guerra, Papa Molina, Jose Antonio Molina, many, many big stars, Rafael Solano, many big conductors have spread merengue far from the country.

To promote the beautiful Dominican artistic traditions, Professor Miniño has worked tirelessly over the years to share her passion for the arts with fellow citizens.

We have a program, maybe four or five galas a year, in the biggest auditoriums of Santo Domingo, and we also dance in squares, for the Dominican families for free, and the Department of Culture.

It is our point that the Dominican families watch and know about our folklore so that generation by generation they learn it, love it and preserve it.

We also have a television program. We have talks which we attend. I also have a program which will be in its 25th year now; it is called Folklore for the Schools. Schools go on their buses to the Palace of Fine Arts or the National Theater, and all those students will hear, on an educational level, a program where we say who we are as a people, our identity, our roots, our music, our singing, and that they must preserve and love their folklore more and more.

On behalf of the warm Dominican people, Professor Miniño has a sincere invitation to the world to come and experience Dominican hospitality and culture.

We want to present to the world that we are a people who sing, who laugh, who dance, who believe in God, and that thanks to God we are all very united. We want to tell the world that in the world does exist a small island called the Dominican Republic which is waiting for you, to dance for you, to sing for you, to smile at you, to offer you our beaches, to give you all this immense sun that we have. It is endless in giving you love, in giving you smiles and making you feel like you are in your very own house.

Our appreciation National Folklore Ballet director Professor Josefina Miniño and dancers Gregorio Rodriguez, Wanda Camilo and all other members of the troupe for sharing with us your loving and colorful heritage. Blessed be your effervescent nation with everlasting peace and prosperity!

We’d like to thank the following organizations for allowing us to film the dance performances: *Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Formosa (Taiwan) * ICAA, IOV Taiwan *Embassy of the Dominican Republic For more details on the National Folklore Ballet, please contact Professor Josefina Miniño at

or Gracious viewers, thank you for your heartwarming company today on A Journey through Aesthetic Realms.

Up next on Supreme Master Television is Vegetarianism: The Noble Way of Living, following Noteworthy News. May everyone across the world enjoy eternal peace and tranquility.
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