Instituto Mazatlán de Bellas Artes (IMBA)
The school of dance and performing arts, Instituto Mazatlán de Bellas Artes (IMBA) was founded in 1994, in Sacramento, California, by Yolanda Ramos-Colosio. IMBA became a means for Sacramento’s youth to learn about Mexican heritage and develop their kinetic and artistic abilities. As talented students emerged, IMBA incorporated a professional Mexican folk dance company, known as Compañía Mazatlán de Bellas Artes. Soon after, IMBA?s dance company became one of Northern California’s foremost Mexican folklore ensembles in the region. As the dance company evolved and created unique works of dance, the company became renowned as Ballet Folklorico de Sacramento, as it is known today.
On a world stage, IMBA’s dance company was invited to represent Mexico in the International Cultural Tourism Festival in Beijing and Jinzhou City, China.
Statewide, the company was the 2005 winner of an international folkloric dance competition, Esencia de Mexico in Los Angeles, California. This competition was co-hosted by the world famous Academy of Dance Amalia Hernández from Mexico City. In 2006, the company headlined at the folklore dance festival, Gran Competencia, in Dallas, Texas. Furthermore, in 2006-2007 and 2009-2011, the company was invited to perform at the San Francisco’s prestigious Ethnic Dance Festival at the Palace of Fine Arts and Yerba Buena Center.
IMBA’s dance company has performed at many of California’s fairs and festivals including California State Fair in Sacramento, El Dorado County Fair, Glenne County Fair, Galt Fair, Dixon May Fair, Santa Rosa County Fair, and Festival de la Familia, and has performed for major artists such as Mariachi Vargas, Pablo Montero, Nydia Rojas, and Geraldo Fernandez.
From 2006 to 2012, the company has annually presented its two original productions, Posada Navideña and Corazón de México throughout California. These performances have occurred at: Mondavi Center in U.C. Davis; Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto; U.C. Santa Barbara Arts and Lecture Series; Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa; Warnors Center for the Arts in Fresno; Laxson Auditorium in California State University, Chico; Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater; Harris Center & Three Stages at Folsom Lake College; and the Crest Theater in Sacramento.
In 2013, the company continued its presentations with the new Artistic Director Dr. Zenón Barrón, a dedicated researcher of Mexican and Latin American folklore, costume and scenic design who earned his Doctorate, in 2009, from the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Dr. Barrn was the recipient of the prestigious Malonga Casquelourd Lifetime Achievement Award and Corazón del Barrio Award of Excellence in 2012. He also introduced the bilingual (Spanish and English) educational program, El Pájaro Azul (The Blue Bird) which is specifically designed for a K-12 audience. El Pájaro Azul was presented for the first time, at the Mondavi Center, in U.C. Davis.
To date, the company continues to do statewide presentations of its original and new productions; El Pájaro Azul, México y Sus Alrededores (Mexico and Its Surroundings), Costumbres Latinoamericanas (Latin American Customs), which highlights the musical and dancing diversity in Latin American, and its Christmas production Diciembre Navideño.
The Musical Program was inaugurated in 2013, with the intention of providing music theory and instrument training in classical and popular music to students. This program came about as a way to fill the vacancy of music education that many of the public schools have had in recent years.
IMBA school of dance has programs at all levels of instruction in Mexican Folkloric Ballet, Traditional Classic Ballet, and in Music, both instruments and voice. IMBA has grown into an Arts Center in the heart of Oak Park where its newly renovated 6000 square foot studio, purchased in 2011, hosts over 100 students in eight ballet folkloric classes.
IMBA collaborates with other local organizations, like Estadio Azteca Indoor Soccer Arena to make performing arts available to all Sacramento youth.