BALLET FOLKLÓRICO DEL RIO GRANDE
Ballet Folklórico del Rio Grande (BFRG), under the direction of Miguel Peña, is a thirty-member organization comprised of alumni of the internationally recognized collegiate folklórico program offered at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. UTRGV offers the only folklórico dance major in the United States and produces the wellspring of highly skilled professional dancers that comprise BFRG. With numerous state, national, and international concerts under their belt, they have been showcased at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performance Arts in Washington, D.C. for four consecutive years. BFRG has toured the world visiting countries such as Canada, France, Italy, Argentina, and Mexico. Their recent international work includes performances in Santiago, Argentina and Tamaulipas, Mexico. BFRG has also performed nationwide for important artists such as Los Tigres del Norte and Aida Cuevas. They now partner with Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar for joint shows celebrating all aspects of Mexican culture, including the Día de Los Muertos and Christmas holidays.
Miguel Peña, Artistic Director
Miguel Peña, originally from Reynosa Mexico, is the first tenure-track Professor of Folklórico Dance in the United States, running the only Ballet Folklórico dance major at a U.S. University (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley-UTRGV). In addition to his elite ensemble of student dancers at UTRGV, he runs Ballet Folklórico del Rio Grande (BFRG), a professional ensemble featuring the best graduates of the UTRGV program. With BFRG, Miguel currently partners with Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar creating joint shows for worldwide touring. Miguel is a 2023 Othli Award recipient, a coveted recognition presented by the Instituto de Los Mexicano en el Exterior.
Miguel also has worked as a dancer with “Espectaculo Jarocho” under the direction of Richard O’Neal (former Assistant Director of Riverdance), where he was part of the ensemble for more than 5 years. He has worked nationally and internationally setting choreographic works for different dance companies such as the BYU Folk Dance Ensemble, Ballet Folklórico Nacional de Milwaukee, Ballet Folklórico de Austin, and several Rio Grande Valley folklórico groups. He has choreographed special performances throughout the nation for important artists such as Tigres del Norte, Paquita la del Barrio, Vikki Carr, Aida Cuevas, and renowned mariachi ensembles such as Vargas de Tecalitlán and Sol de Mexico. In 2016 and 2018, the UTRGV Ballet Folklórico received national recognition at the National conference of the American Dance College Association under his artistic direction presenting their work at the John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. He is currently working at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley where he directs the Ballet Folklórico program, presenting his work all over the United States and other countries such as Mexico and Argentina. Miguel holds a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Also a graduate of the University of Texas-Pan American (B.S. and M.S. and in Electrical Engineering), Miguel was the first recipient of a full scholarship awarded by the UT-Pan American Dance Department.