On what would have been her 100th birthday, Google Doodle celebrates Amalia Hernandez (1917-2000), a Mexican ballet choreographer and founder of the world-renowned Ballet Folklórico de México.

In a statement, Google explains:

Born in 1917, Hernandez developed a passion for performing and dance early in life. She became a choreographer at the Fine Arts National Institute, where she taught modern dance. She then turned her focus to traditional Mexican folk dances. She combined these dances with more choreographed movements from her formal training, helping to create an entirely new style of dance known as baile folklorico.

In 1952, Hernandez founded the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. Beginning with just eight dancers, the troupe grew to over three hundred in the years to follow. The company performed on television for the first time in 1954, after which they were featured in a weekly broadcast. This success allowed Amalia’s group to tour North America and even represent Mexico in the Pan American Games in 1959.

The Ballet Folklorico de Mexico still performs to this day. Since its inception, the group has danced for more than 22 million people. Hernandez remained involved with the company until her death in 2000, working alongside her daughters and grandson.

Happy 100th birthday to Amalia Hernandez, remembered as an ambassador of Mexican culture whose legacy lives on through the Ballet Folklorico.

amalia hernandez

Image of Amalia Hernandez by Rob Mieremet / Anefo (Nationaal Archief) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons