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"Navidad en el Barrio promises to be a perfect choice for the entire family to celebrate and share the heritage of Mexican communities during the holidays without leave the safety and comfort of one’s home. The company encourages you to invite your moms, dads, children and grandchildren to join you in making it part of your own annual holiday traditions." Full Article
Jeff Slayton, L.A. Dance Chronicle, December, 2020
"Gema Sandoval has a long and illustrious history as a choreographer in Los Angeles. She is the founder, artistic director and choreographer for Danza Floricanto/USA that was formed in 1975. Sandoval’s stunning work Stereotypes is not like many of her works, but still incorporated her wealth of knowledge about her artform, Mexican Folklórico. Here, Sandoval uses the footwork she is familiar with and the repetition of rhythms to create a tension for a work that is very timely. Stereotypes is about how People of Color are perceived and treated in this country by those with racial prejudices and bigotry. Sandoval does not clutter this dance with any unnecessary items. The costumes are black shoes, pants and hoodies that for most of the dance prevent us from seeing the faces of the performers. And the movement has been stripped down to the bare truth of how Sandoval and many see the world. She dramatically brings this truth home when at the end of the dance each dancer has a brief rhythmic solo during which they remove their hood to reveal who they are." Full Article
Jeff Slayton, L.A. Dance Chronicle, October, 2020
"What a beautiful performance, 11 stories all told through the power of dance and music. The dancers were amazing in interpreting the intent and power of the stories. The stories were all so different yet carried on similar topics: strength, family, love, resilience, power, culture, unity and sacrifice. Storytelling at its best!!"
Adrij, Goldstar review of Immigrant Stories, March, 2020
"Now in its 15th year, Danza Floricanto/USA's Navidad in Whittier has become an annual seasonal celebration with traditional dance, music and song from different regions of Mexico. highlights include Zacateca's polkas and quadrilles, Jaranas from the Yucatan, the procession honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe considred the mother of all Mexicans, and the traditional breaking of the piñata."
Ann Haskins, Culture Weekly, December, 2019
"In rejecting the antique costume spectacle that has become a cliché of folkloric performance in favor of something more contemporary and socially aware, choreographer and company leader Gema Sandoval has helped redefine the art... who else currently active in folkloric dance has Sandoval's commitment to replacing ethnic vaudeville with a vision of how people live in the real world and how their culture sustains them? As her skills grow, the horizons of the whole field expand."
Lewis Segal, Los Angeles Times, October, 2007
Whether tracing Floricanto's changing approach to dances from Jalisco over its 30-year existence or merely letting the dancers cut loose to a remarkably fresh arrangement of La ”Bamba, the performance exemplified the high energy and higher intelligence that Los Angeles has come to expect from Sandoval's company.
Thirty years ago, many world dance pioneers trivialized the cultural identities they wanted to celebrate by adopting formats from ballet and show-dancing that turned every foreign idiom into ethnic vaudeville. Sandoval... saw deeper, worked harder and quietly, step by step, they've brought us the amazing transformation of intentions and practices so resplendent at the Ford on Friday.
Lewis Segal, Los Angeles Times, 8/21/2006
"... Latin America - The Spiritual and the Sacred Across the Centuries, the traditional music ensemble Los Folkoristas and the dance troupe Danza Floricanto/U.S.A. presented a mesmerizing collection of material, much of it from Mexico. Dancers garbed in attire such as Aztec costumes and full-skirted flamenco dress explored an extraordinarily rich body of music, beginning with a colorful Homage to the Virgin of Guadalupe and ending with the hopeful symbolism of La Paloma.
Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times, 9/19/2005
In the Fandango Without Borders program both groups Danza Floricanto and Quetzal demonstrated how the "son Jarocho" has influenced Chicano culture. For those who attended the event it was the perfect evening. The whole audience danced to the beat of Danza Floricanto and Quetzal. What transpired there on Saturday night only confirmed how solid they cultural ties are between the people from Veracruz and Southern California. A great example of this phenomenon was the program which was so warmly applauded for its colorful spectacle..."
Juan Rodriguez Flores, La Opinion, 06/16/2004
What would a Los Angeles festival be without the jubilant stylings of Danza Floricanto/USA? Under the stellar direction of Gema Sandoval, this beaming company brought the regional companies of Mexico to life... Characterized by breezy line formations, rhythmic stamping and swirling skirts, the dancers were as frothy as cotton candy.
Victoria Looseleaf, Los Angeles Times, 3/22/2002
The company breathed jubilant life into the Los Angeles premiere of their nine part suite Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). At the Local Cemetery. The occasionally raucous treatment of the holiday rites proved poignant, whimsical and infectiously enter taining...the suite rang with authenticity.
Victoria Looseleaf, Los Angeles Times, 5/5/2001
Sandoval earned new respect for mounting a cavalcade of Latin dance (classic folklorico to Tex-Mex and beyond) without ever losing sight of the sensual torso action and percussive footwork that united them. Her Danza Floricanto/USA looked comfortable in every style...
Lewis Segal, Los Angeles Times, 7/19/1999
Sandoval and Livingston joined forces... for a piece they created in tribute to Cesar Chavez. They had the brilliance not to make it biographical... The dancing, particularly in the ensemble marching sections, astonished.
S. Anawalt, LA Weekly, The Best of Dance in 1998