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  • Writer's pictureGabriel San Roman

Relámpago del Cielo Celebrates 40 Years as OC's Baile Folklórico Powerhouse

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

"Desde el principio!" dance instructor Emilio Rivas says from the middle of a rehearsal studio in Santa Ana. "From the beginning!" Mariachi music cues dancers from Relámpago del Cielo. Men cross from one side of the studio to greet women at the opposite end. The men twirl a bandana above their heads while women perform traditional faldeo movements with long, ruffled skirts in hand. The gracefulness of their dance turns into a thunderous sound with zapateado, lightning quick percussive heel steps, creating a rumble below the studio's floor. The mariachi song comes to its "tan-tan" finale with the dancers turning their heads for a would-be kiss. Rosie Peña, the dance company's founder, leans on the ballet bars taking in the legacy of her vision that began decades ago.

Read more on my latest OC Weekly Music Feature out on newsstands tomorrow and at the link below:

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