Brief Chronological History and Special Events
BRIEF CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY and PRESTIGIOUS EVENTS
1982 MFDC is founded by Jose L. Ovalle. It rehearses at The Gads Hill Center, 1919 W. Cullerton Ave. in the Mexican Pilsen community.
Starting with 20 dancers it grows to 80 and outgrows the small facility.
1983 Incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in Illinois by Henry A. Roa, Carmela Baeza and Matilda Martinez.
1984 Moves to a larger facility at Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Van Buren Street. This creates proximity problems for some dancers and
membership drops by 50%. But the economic gain is tremendous as bookings and income increase.
1984 Listed in the Illinois Arts Council Arts Tour Catalog. This further increases public visibility and leads to more notable presentations.
1985 Performs for President Ronald Reagan’s visit to Chicago Heights, IL
1987 Performs for Vice president Bush at the Pan Am games.
1987 Performs for Governor James Thompson and Mayor Harold Washington.
1987 Performs at The Chicago Theater as an opening for Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. MC was Irv Kupcinet.
1988 TOURS MEXICO and receives rave reviews from the Mexican media and a TV interview.
1988 Performs for the Tribute to Katherine Dunham. At The New Regal Theater.
1990 Performs for Mayor Richard M. Daley at The Washington Library.
1992 Performs for Chicago Bulls halftime.
1992 MFDC receives 501(C)(3) status.
1992 MFDC celebrates its Decennial with a dinner/performance at The South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr.
1994 Performs for President Bill Clinton at The World Cup in Soldier Field before 45,000 people including many world leaders.
1994 Jose L. Ovalle is selected to emcee Amalia Hernandez’s appearance at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum
1994 MFDC has to leave Malcolm X College but at the same time a new community center in Pilsen, Instituto Cultural Guadalupano, is
planned by The Resurrection Project and MFDC is solicited to be the resident dance company.
1995 Returns to its birth community of Pilsen in the Instituto Cultural Guadalupano and begins to grow again.
1996 Expands to Brighton Park community, that is now predominantly Mexican, with residency at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 2751 W. 38th Pl.
1997 Included in Heartland Arts Fund Catalog that provides grants in the 15 state heartland area of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,
Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.
1997 Celebrates its Quindecennial with a dinner/performance at The South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr.
1999 Receives a Four Star review from The Green Bay Press Gazette for performances in Green Bay WI.
“Dazzles” “Wow” “Most Spectacular” “Bursts of Flame” read the review.
2000 A fire at the Guadalupano Center causes MFDC to seek alternate space. It was acquired at Notre Dame Church, 1336 W. Flournoy,
St.. Ann School, 2211 W. 18th Place, St. Pius Church, Ashland and 19th Street and the Harrison Park Field House, 1824 S. Wood Street.
2001 Chosen to represent Chicago in the 1st Mexican Folkloric Dances International Competition of the Midwest sponsored by The Back of The
Yards Neighborhood Council. Eleven professional groups from Mexico and the U.S.A. participate; MFDC places fifth.
2001 FEATURED on IAC "CENTER STAGE ARTS ACROSS ILLINOIS" program by WTTW TV CH-11 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyZqBhoYPDo
2001 Chosen to perform, in Harrison Park, for Mexican president Fox’s visit to Chicago.
2002 Celebrates its Vigintennial with a performance on The Skyline Stage at Navy Pier.
2003 Granted residency in the new Zacatecano Cultural Center, 4145 S. Kedzie Ave. in Brighton Park. The center is run by the Federacion de Clubes Unidos Zacatecanos en Illinois. The center is the newest Mexican community center in the southwest side.
2003 Selected to participate in the opening of the new Concordia Theater in Cicero Illinois.
2003 Selected to participate in the opening of the Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago Millennium Park.
“Rollicking” and “Colorful” said the Chicago Tribune. “Spirited” said the Chicago Sun-Times.
2003 Performs with Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, Mariachi Cobre, Mariachi Los Camperos and Ana Barbara at Disney World for UNIVISION's first and
second Mariachi Festival. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2slcka9ac4
2004 Celebrates 22 years with a performance at The Concordia Theater accompanied by 3 bands and using the “Mojigangas” (giant puppets).
2004 Selected to participate in the official grand opening of Chicago Millennium Park.
2004 Selected to be part of the "Faces" that appear on the Millennium Park Crown Fountain.
2004 Performs with Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán at Disneyworld for UNIVISION second Mariachi Festival.
2005 Celebrates 23 years with a performance at The Concordia Theater, accompanied by two bands. Introduces new “Matachines” costumes.
“Extraordinary Dancers”,“Beautiful” said ABC WLS CH-7 TV broadcasters on May 08.
2005 Featured on WTTW CH-11 PBS Chicago Tonight program Arts Across Illinois sponsored by Illinois Arts Council Oct. 10.
“CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED” STATED Bob Sirott https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG_Ie1XCjTQ
2005 INCLUDED IN NEW REGIONAL ARTS ORGANIZATIONS SITE FOR TOURING GRANTS IN THE 50 USA STATES
2006 Featured again on WTTW CH-11 in The Illinois Arts Council’s “Arts Across Illinois” series (February 10,14, 19 and 20)
2006 Celebrate 24 years with a Performance at The Harris Theater accompanied by 3 bands.
2006 Participates in Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C. as representative for Chicago Mexican music & dance exhibit archived in
Smithsonian Library for posterity.
2006 JOSE L. OVALLE IS SELECTED BY THE AUDITORIUM THEATRE TO MODERATE THE “FIRESIDE CHAT” WITH SALVADOR LOPEZ,
DIRECTOR, OF BALLET FOLKLORICO DE MEXICO DE AMALIA HERNANDEZ.
2007 PERFORMS with PEPE AGUILAR at THE PREMIO LO NUESTRO AWARDS in MIAMI, FL. https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=A0LEVjMiiGhXoOUALXAPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTByMjB0aG5zBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw--?p=Premio+Lo+Nuestro+XIX+Pepe+Aguilar&fr=yhs-att-att_001&hspart=att&hsimp=yhs-att_001#id=11&vid=2f6933aca016dc03e0f0782ae78a89d2&action=view
2007 Celebrate 25 years with a Performance at The Harris Theater; accompanied by two bands.
2007 DANCES at the FESTIVAL OF WORLD CULTURES in DUN LAOGHAIRE, IRELAND (selected over groups from Mexico)
2008 Performs 2nd time with PEPE AGUILAR at THE PREMIO LO NUESTRO AWARDS in MIAMI, FL. http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Pepe+Aguilar+2008&&view=detail&mid=50D5C1236E32E3363FC950D5C1236E32E3363FC9&rvsmid=50D5C1236E32E3363FC950D5C1236E32E3363FC9&fsscr=0&FORM=VDFSRV Slide to the 2:15 minute mark
2008 Celebrates 26 years with a performance at the Harris Theater; accompanied by 2 bands.
2008 CANAL ONCE from MEXICO CITY comes to Chicago to film a story on MFDC. Shown worldwide via satalite.
2009 DANCES A SECOND TIME at the FESTIVAL OF WORLD CULTURES in DUN LAOGHAIRE, IRELAND
2009 Performs with JUAN GABRIEL in Las Vegas for Latin GRAMMYS® http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Juan+Gabriel+Con+Mariachi+Latin+Grammy&&view=detail&mid=67C293B2D6FD2F7452D567C293B2D6FD2F7452D5&FORM=VRDGAR
2010 Becomes an Arts Partner with the City of Chicago Park District with residencies at Gage Park and Piotrowski Park http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/assets/1/7/Current_APR_list-4-2015.pdf
2013 30 year anniversary sell out performances at the Harris Theater, Chicago and the Olympic Theater, Cicero
2014 Performs for 20th anniversary of Sones de Mexico Ensemble at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion Millennium Park; 15,000 attended.
2015 Annual appearane on WGN TV CH 9 http://wgntv.com/2014/08/01/midday-fix-the-living-loop-performing-arts-festival/
2015 Featured in WTTW TV documentary "Chicago's South Side Neighborhoods" http://interactive.wttw.com/southside/watch
2016 Paticipates in Stomping Grounds program of the Chicago Human Rhythm Project which concluded with a gala at the
legendary Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. For details see History page herein.
2016 Featured on WLS TV CH 7 Hispanic Heritage Month http://abc7chicago.com/entertainment/mexican-folkloric-dance-company-lights-up-stage-at-south-suburban-college/1553878/http%3A%2F%2Fabc7chicago.com%2F1553878%2F
2016 With Los Tigres del Norte and Mariachi Flor de Toloache at Ravinia Park in Highland Park, IL. See PDF in Promos & Videos section
2016 At the Auditorium Theatre, Chicago with Lila Downs and Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano.
2017 Stomping Grounds series of Chicago Human Rhythm Project; concludes with gala at the Studebaker Theater. See History page herein
2017 A second time with Los Tigres del Norte and first time with Natalia Jimenez at Ravinia Park in Highland Park, IL.
2018 Stomping Grounds series of Chicago Human Rhythm Project; concludes with gala at the Pritzker Pavilion. See History page herein.
2018 With Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan & Graciela Beltran at Copernicus Center, Chicago. It is the 3rd time that MFDC has performed with Mariachi Vargas.
2018 Celebrates belated 35th anniversary with a performance at the Studebaker Theatre, Chicago. Sones de Mexico Ensemble is the band.
2018 A third time with Los Tigres del Norte; the second time with Mariachi Flor de Toloache at Ravinia Park.
2019 Stomping Grounds series of Chicago Human Rhythm Project; concludes wita h gala at the Harris Theater. See History page herein.
2019 Fourth time at Ravinia Park for the Fiesta Ravinia event.
2020 PANDEMIC CAUSED EVERYTHING TO BE CANCELLED
2021 NBC NEWSCAST INFORMS HOW PANDEMIC AFFECTED MFDC. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RpdS-9XnIU
2021 Zulema presentation at Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Chicago.
2021 Performance at Halloween Celebration in Carbondale, IL.
2022 40th Anniversary shows at National Museum of Mexican Art, May 14 &15, October 15 &16