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Image #1 - Deer Dance

The Dancers — Los bailadores

A gallery of images.

The Mexican Players at Padua Hills Theatre interpreted dances from both Mexico and Mexican California, celebrating those heritages and helping to keep those traditions alive in California.

Image #10

Image #4
Image #2 Image #3 Image #5 Image #6 Image #7 Image #8 Image #9 Image #11 Image #12 Image #13 Image #14

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  Esmeralda Marroquín recollects:

 “My grandparents, who met as dancers at Padua Hills back in the early 50s, played big roles there... My grandparents’ names, at that time, were José Rubio and Nelia Yanez-Franco. My grandparents met and married, and thus became José and Nelia Rubio.

 My mother, Blanca Franco, began working there as a young teen, [and she] met Rene Marroquín. They too, married. My aunt and two uncles performed as children there (Angela, Pete Rubio, and Saul Rubio). Casilda happened to be the first visitor at the hospital on the day of my birth. I, Esmeralda Marroquín, am currently a server at Walter’s Restaurant in Claremont.

 I’ve heard many stories and happy memories of the theatre. I only hope you will do all you can to help preserve that memory for the children of the paduanos. It’s almost a family heirloom for me. I always said to myself that if I ever became a millionaire, I would buy it, and bring it back the way it was. Not just the building, but the atmosphere, the menu, the daily agenda, the tastes, the smells, the laughter, and family. The performers would gather after performances with the guests, and they’d serve authentic homemade tacos and gazpacho and punch. Never any alcohol. It was mingling and colorful flowers and costumes. Laughter and all the rest. NOT weddings and catering. NOT jazz or cocktails. It was classy in an old-fashioned way.”

Bailadores Image #1
              Rogelio Alfaro - Deer Dance

 

 

Deer Dance

Bailadores Image #1


Historical photograph by Irene Welch Garner


Alfaro Family Collection

Rogelio Alfaro

 

 

Bailadores Image #2
              Fiesta a San Ysidro - Apache Dance


 

 

  Fiesta a San Ysidro — Apache Dance

Bailadores Image #2


Historical photograph by Irene Welch Garner


Alfaro Family Collection

 

 

Bailadores Image #3
              Plume Dance of Oaxaca


 

 

Plume Dance of Oaxaca

Bailadores Image #3


Historical photograph by Irene Welch Garner


Alfaro Family Collection

Bailadores Image #4
              Plume Dance of Oaxaca

 

Plume Dance of Oaxaca

Bailadores Image #4


Historical photograph by Irene Welch Garner


Alfaro Family Collection

Center figure: Eligio Herrera
To his right: Rogelio Alfaro

 Eligio Herrera became Theatre Director after the death of Charles Dickenson in 1950. He taught many of the dances, such as the Plume Dance of Oaxaca shown above, and writing some of the plays, including the California-theme play, Rancho viejo.

Bailadores Image #5
              Harvest Festival in Iguala

 

 

Harvest Festival in Iguala

Bailadores Image #5


Historical photograph by Irene Welch Garner


Alfaro Family Collection

Tecomates — Guerrero

On the right: Rene Marroquín

Identified by Esmeralda Marroquín

Bailadores Image #6
              A Tarascan Dance from Michoacán

 

 

A Tarascan Dance from Michoacán

Bailadores Image #6


Historical photograph by Irene Welch Garner


Alfaro Family Collection

Dolores Galvez

Identified by her sister, Carole Salazar:


 “My sister, Dolores Galvez, was one of [the paduanos], and forged long friendships with the others. She is now 76 years old [in January 2010] and still sings. I was a teenager then [c. 1952-54], and can still remember our family trips to Claremont to see her perform. We were very proud of her, especially when her picture would appear in the L. A. newspapers.”

Bailadores Image #7

 

 

Couple Dancing

Bailadores Image #7


Historical photograph by Irene Welch Garner


Alfaro Family Collection

Bailadores Image #8

 

 

A Dance of Jalisco

Bailadores Image #8


Historical photograph by Irene Welch Garner


Alfaro Family Collection

Jacinta Chavez and Rogelio Alfaro

Bailadores Image #9

 

 

A Dance of Jalisco

Bailadores Image #9


Historical photograph by Irene Welch Garner


Alfaro Family Collection

Rogelio Alfaro

  Musicians & dancers on stage

Bailadores Image #10
              Musicians & dancers on stage


Bailadores Image #10


Historical photograph by Irene Welch Garner


Alfaro Family Collection


Bailadores Image #11

 

 

Bailadores Image #11


Historical photograph by Irene Welch Garner


Alfaro Family Collection

Rogelio Alfaro and Celia García

Thanks to Linda Cervon for identification.

Bailadores Image #12

 

 

Los viejitos

Bailadores Image #12


Historical photograph by Irene Welch Garner


Alfaro Family Collection

 Los viejitos is a comedic dance requiring great stamina and skill which has long been popular in Mexico.

 

 


 

Conchita Gallardo, October 2, 1947

Bailadores Image #13


Historical photograph by Irene Welch Garner


Alfaro Family Collection

 


 

Dancers at Padua Hills Theatre

Bailadores Image #14


Photo attributed to Irene Welch Garner


Historic Postcard — Los californios® Collection

Miguel Vera and Hilda Ramírez

Thanks to Joe Vera for identification.

 


 

 

Miguel Vera and Hilda Ramírez, May 8, 1941

Bailadores Image #15


Historical photograph by Irene Welch Garner


Vera Family Collection
Scan contributed by Joe Vera

If your family has recollections or images of Padua Hills Theatre that you would like to share on this web site, please contact Los californios® at info@loscalifornios.com.

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