Masters Workshop: Carnaváles de Puerto Rico – Dance & Song Featuring:
Joaquín Nieves Caldero, Director Guateque Ballet Folklórico de Puerto Rico and Special Guest Irvin Santiago, Cuatrista & Trovador from Morovis

Sunday, April 14, 2019

12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Puerto Rican Cultural Center 701 Tillery St, Austin TX 78702

Plan to stay for the FREE picnic and performance in the Pecan grove immediately following the workshop at 2:00pm.

Every year, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Texas brings some of Puerto Rico’s top folklore experts and performers to Austin for a series of private classes to train our performing company and students.

We are excited to offer everyone the opportunity to register for a LIVE 2-hour Masters Workshop led by visiting folklore masters Joaquín Nieves Caldero, Director of the 40-year-old Guateque Ballet Folklorico de Puerto Rico, and special guest Irvin Santiago, prize-winning cuatrista and trovador from Morovis, Puerto Rico.

This year’s workshop explores the tradition of Carnavál in Puerto Rico. We will begin with a demonstration and brief history of Puerto Rican carnaváles. After the introduction we will divide into two study and practice groups. You will choose which session to attend.

Dance Focus (led by Joaquín Nieves) – A folkloric dance workshop focusing on the afro-boricua traditions of carnival in Puerto Rico. Learn an original carnival choreography!

Song Focus (led by Irvin Santiago) – A music workshop in voice and song focusing on the folkloric singing styles of Puerto Rico, including jíbaro/mountain (Trova, Decima) and afro-boricua (Plena and Bomba) traditions. Learn carnival songs!

Workshop: Register Now and Save!

$35.00 in advance
($50.00 at the door)

No extra fees to buy tickets online!

Puerto Rican Cultural Center

Puerto Rican Cultural Center

Joaquín Nieves Caldero

Director & Choreographer
Guateque Ballet Folklórico de Puerto Rico

Joaquín Nieves Caldero

Director & Choreographer
Guateque Ballet Folklórico de Puerto Rico

Joaquín Nieves Caldero was born in the mountains of Corozal, Puerto Rico. Inspired by the island’s culture and Puerto Rican folklore, in 1976 Joaquín founded Guateque Ballet Folklórico de Puerto Rico. As General Director and Choreographer, he has created a 40-year legacy of folkloric repertoire, dances representative of the traditional life in Puerto Rico since pre-colonization up to the more contemporary dances of plena. From Joaquín’s efforts and deep understanding of tradition, elegant, nostalgic, and dignified choreographic compositions have flourished that reflect a sense of nationalism and historic legacy, combined with creativity. These works have been exhibited world-wide, including the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. Nieves holds a Bachelor’s in Anthropology and a Master’s in Counseling from the University of Puerto Rico. His work has been funded by the National Endowment of the Arts and the Institute of Puerto Rican culture. Nieves is an official consultant (adscrito) of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture.

Irvin Santiago Díaz

Cuatrista & Trovador

Irvin Santiago Díaz

Cuatrista & Trovador

Irvin is a prize winning Cuatrista and Trovador of improvised décima from Morovis. He has participated in numerous competitions throughout Puerto Rico, Europe, and the Mainland, such as the Festival of Cuatristas and Trovadores de Comerío, Orocovis, and in his town of Morovis, which in 2004 was dedicated to him. Irvin has had an impressive musical career collaborating with numerous university and professional folkloric groups including Ballet Folkloríco Guateque, Ballet Folklórico Areyto, Conjunto Criollo of the University of Puerto Rico, and musical projects with Decimanía, Mapeyé, Dr. William Cepeda, and Haciendo Punto Otro Son to name only a few. He has brought his artistic talent and educational lectures to a majority of Puerto Rico’s towns as well as countries around the world. Irvin has a Doctorate in Arts of Education with Concentration in Curriculum and Teaching and a Master’s Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education.  He is a professor of the Puerto Rican cuatro in the Music Department of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras and director of their Criollo Ensemble. He is a music teacher at the Jaime A. Collazo del Río del Pueblo High School in Morovis, a rondalla teacher at the Folkloric Workshop Central of the town of Orocovis, and a teacher of trova at the school of children troubadours of the municipality of Morovis.

Workshop: Register Now and Save!

Workshop Details: (schedules are tentative)
  • 30 minutesClass and Demonstration – Carnival history and a demonstration (led by both artists).
  • 60 minutesWorkshop Intensive focusing on either dance or song.
    • Option 1 – Dance (led by Joaquín Nieves)
      • A 60-minute folkloric dance workshop focusing on the afro-boricua traditions of carnival in Puerto Rico.
      • Learn basic steps and character that recreate carnival traditions.
      • Learn an original carnival choreography that you could perform with us at the free picnic following the workshop!
    • Option 2 – Voice & Song (led by Irvin Santiago)
      • A 60-minute workshop in voice and song focusing on the folkloric singing styles of Puerto Rico, including jíbaro/mountain (Trova, Décima) and afro-boricua (Plena and Bomba) traditions.
      • Learn to sing in character to distinct styles. In our folklore, many times the voice is a “percussive instrument”. Learn to hear the rhythms and the timing for singing to live instrumentation — in the correct place without singing “cruzao” or “dragging the words.”
      • Learn carnival songs that you could perform with us at the free picnic following the workshop!
  • 30 minutes – Practicing Together – a mini Carnavál!
    • Practice – We will come back together to practice what we have learned with live music, dancers, and singers.
    • Build Confidence – You can do it! Stay for the FREE picnic starting at 2:00pm and join us in the grass as we perform jíbaro and afro-boricua traditions during the picnic. Be part of the mini Carnavál!

Workshop: Register Now and Save!

Festival Traditions in Puerto Rico

There is always a party somewhere in Puerto Rico! Usually held in the town square, every weekend a town somewhere is hosting a festival celebrating their patron saint (fiestas patronales) with parades, games, rides, regional food, and live entertainment. Here are some only a few of the well loved traditions.

FIESTAS DE LAS MASCARAS HATILLO

Each year on December 28, Hatillo celebrates their Festival of Masks (aka Fiestas of the Holy Innocents), which dates back to the town’s founding in 1823. Arriving with settlers from the Canary Islands, this tradition remembers the biblical story of King Herod’s unsuccessful attempt to find the baby Jesus.

Today, the people of Hatillo dedicate themselves to this day of fun and celebration. Masqueraders of all ages wear traditional colorful costumes with ribbons, ruffles, capes, a mask and a great hat. The day is marked with live music concerts, competitions, and parades with creative floats followed by large crowds in joyful processions though nearby towns that end at the Hatillo town center.

FESTIVAL DE SANTIAGO APOSTOL

The Festival of Santiago Apostol reflects Spanish traditions transformed in the new world. The devotion to St. James the Apostle began in Spain in the early decades of the 9th century when on July 25, the Bishop Teodomiro was guided by a star to the tomb of the Saint. In later years, people from all over Europe would make pilgrimages. It was in 844, during the wars between the Christians and the Muslims, a legend tells of a battle where the Christians, fighting at a great disadvantage, were saved by Santiago who, dressed as a knight and riding a white horse appeared and defeated the Moors.
The devotion to Santiago came to Puerto Rico with the Spanish conquistadors. By the early 1600s, the Island annually celebrated the feast day of Santiago every July 25th with great enthusiasm. This tradition is still preserved in Loiza with a week-long festival beginning July 25 that include both religious ceremony and lively carnival traditions including townspeople dressing as the four historic characters: the Caballero (Spanish knight), the Vejigante (Evil), El Viejo (raggedy old men), and La Loca (men dressed as crazy ladies who sweep streets and balconies asking for money).

CARNAVAL PONCEÑO

For over 200 years, the Carnival in Ponce is Puerto Rico’s equivalent to Rio de Janeiro’s Carnaval and New Orleans’ Mardi Gras. It occurs days before and ends on Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. The star of the festival is the Vejigante, a folkloric character dating back hundreds of years, wearing a bat-like costume and paper mache horned mask with teeth. With origins in 17th century Spain, the tradition of using devil masks during Carnival was to scare the public away from sin and into church. Brought to Puerto Rico during colonization, today, African and Taino influences coloring the appearance of the mask and costume.

Parades day and night, vejigantes (translated as giant bladder) playfully whack unsuspecting passersby with cow bladders to “send away” evil spirits around them. Parades also include thematic floats, marching bands, and Carnival queens (both adult and child). The loud, joyful crowd enjoys traditional bomba y plena music and authentic food. The festival ends on “Fat Tuesday” with a mock funeral that sets a coffin and dummy on fire to burn away of the sins of the flesh — and the burial of a giant mock sardine, a medieval Spanish tradition dating back to the medieval ages.

Workshop: Register Now and Save!

Puerto Rican Cultural Center

Puerto Rican Cultural Center
The 2019 Celebrando heritage project is made possible in part through funding and support by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.