In the picture book Danza!, award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh tells the story of Amalia Hernández, dancer and founder of El Ballet Folklórico de México.
Winner of the Pura Belpré Award and the Robert F. Sibert Medal
“A vivid celebration of Mexican culture, art, and life.” ―School Library Journal (Starred Review)
As a child, Amalia saw a pair of dancers in the town square. The way they stomped and swayed to the rhythm of the beat inspired her. She knew one day she would become a dancer. Amalia studied ballet and modern dance under the direction of skilled teachers who had performed in world-renowned dance companies. But she never forgot the folk dance she had seen years earlier.
She began traveling through the Mexican countryside, witnessing the dances of many regions, and she used her knowledge of ballet and modern dance to adapt the traditional dances to the stage. She founded her own dance company, a group that became known as El Ballet Folklórico de México.
Using his signature illustration style, inspired by the ancient art of the Mixtecs, Tonatiuh tells the story of Amalia Hernández and the formation of one of the most famous and successful dance companies in the world.
This is a celebration of Mexican heritage, culture, and dance that will entertain young readers and their parents.
“Tonatiuh tells Hernández’s story with careful attention to detail and with obvious admiration for the subject. . . . His digitized, hand-drawn illustrations are striking. They showcase, in his signature style based on Mixtec art, the beauty and grace of many different dance styles.” ―Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"Tonatiuh’s recognizable illustration style, inspired by Mixtec art and with well-chosen photo-collage elements on costumes and accessories, is particularly resonant with a subject whose own desire was to preserve and celebrate Mexican arts and culture. A beautiful look at one of Mexico’s most cherished institutions."