Mayan group, Pakal, amazes audience with traditional dance during Kaleidoscope


Disha Kohli

Ricardo Alarcon of the Mayan group, Pakal, performs traditional Mayan steps of the New Fire Ceremony during the event of Kaleidoscope. On Saturday, the event of Kaleidoscope was held for the second time to promote cultural diversity in Coppell.

Nishant Medicharla, Staff Writer

The bangs of the drum, the aroma of the Mexican Elotes and the sun shining down allowed the Coppell community to enjoy an evening filled with excitement and delight during the event of Kaleidoscope.


On Saturday, Coppell hosted the event, Kaleidoscope, for its second year at Andy Brown Park East.


The event is held to promote different cultures throughout the world through various types of dance, activities, crafts and foods.


Attendees at the event could stroll throughout the park to view different jewelry and art, or have a quick snack at the wide array of food trucks lined up.


There were also many performances ranging from Traditional African dance to Bollywood hip-hop.


But this year, there was a different performance that turned the attention of the audience to the main stage.


A Traditional Mayan dance performed by the group Pakal, took place in front of the main stage.


Its skillful and meaningful steps amplified the rich and historic culture of the Mayans throughout the audience. Not only was its choreography mesmerizing, but its traditional costumes were different from those that one would see in other cultures.  


Their performance also included the use of fire which had the audience clenching their teeth in awe.


Disha Kohli
The Mayan group, Pakal, performs the New Fire Ceremony to showcase their culture. The New Fire Ceremony involves elements of Earth such as wind, fire and the sun. On Saturday, the event of Kaleidoscope was held for the second time to promote cultural diversity in Coppell.


But the steps that were being performed at Kaleidoscope had a deeper meaning to the Mayan culture.


“We were performing the New Fire Ceremony which represents the new cycle of life,” Pakal performer Ricardo Alarcon said. “My partner [Coral Raygoza] portrayed Mother Earth and the four directions, my other partner [Marcos Ozuna] represented the person who keeps balance and harmony around Earth and I portrayed the Eagle who represents the sun.”


But for Ricardo Alarcon, it is more than just performing for various audiences, it is about learning from the past to build on to the future.


“The most important thing is that people need the information about our past, so that way you can go to the future,” Alarcon said. “It is like passing on knowledge from father to son. My grandfather used to do it, and now I do it. It is very important to preserve your culture, because it shows the basics of who you are as a human being. This is why Kaleidoscope is so important for that reason, because with every piece of it, you create something beautiful. As artists, it is so beautiful, because you can keep passing it on for generations, and it can go on forever.”


The Pakal Group was elated that it could showcase their culture through Kaleidoscope.


“This is the first time we are here, and it is amazing. It is a beautiful day and we are really happy that Coppell gets to see our dance,” Alacron said.


But apart from performing at Coppell, the Pakal group has been performing for more than 14 years around various museums and events in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to make people know about the culture and get a good experience from it.


Many attendees and volunteers were also very grateful that they could experience such a performance including Allies in Community coordinator Tasnim McCormick Benhalim.


“It’s important that we know about one another as Americans and that the diversity that we have brings a richness that cannot be replaced any other way,” Benhalim said. “It is the reason America is America and why we are great. Not because we are all the same, but because we are all different.”


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