Las Cuadrillas: Five-Part Suite
The interpretation and choreography of the five part Las Cuadrillas is by Dr. Lorenzo A. Trujillo based on the teaching of Marie Oralia Duran Trujillo, Damian Archuleta, with additional notes by Helen Mareau. The music was compiled by Aurora Lucero-White and Eunice Hauskins (1940). The music is available on a CD, "The Golden Age of the Southwest: From 1840 to Hollywood." The music on the video is performed by The Soda Rock Ramblers.
We hope to locate other moving images that illustrate the influences on American squares coming from Mexico.
Lorenzo Trujillo: "I based it on the teaching of my mom and others who informed themselves based on some writings identified in the following text, as well: Hispano Folk Music of the Rio Grande Del Norte by Jack Loeffler, Katherine Loeffler, and Enrique R. Lamadrid.
"The version my mom used was the one that was typically danced in Arroyo Seco, New Mexico. To get a feel for the area, you can go to my website and see the 4th of July parade. My family was the land grantees that held the land from Arroyo Seco through the mountain range that you will see in the background. We would typically mow down an alfalfa field and the family would come from all around and bring food in big pots. Then, after a feast, we would all do the traditional dances accompanied by violin and guitar. Larry Edelman transferred an old video of one of these gatherings to DVD. I grew up with this music and dances. Damian Archuleta - who I refer to in my notes - was my great cousin and the uncle of Billy and Johnny Archuleta, who play on the Golden Age CD with me. Damian was one of my resources while he was alive. You may have seen him in the movie, Milagro Bean Field War - he was the old guy who played at the end of the movie in the field.
"As you will see from the text of the book that includes the cuadrillas, there has not be a prior recording of the Spanish Cuadrillas that the author knew of but he does refer to my great cousin and the references I cited in my work. Our dance was just a bit different than is noted and was always a five-part suite. For more understanding of the background of my family tradition in keeping the music and dances alive from the 1840's you can read my article that appears on the website. It is also available in published form in the book Enduring Legacies. My family, and mostly now me, has kept alive a full repertoire of dances from this period. I have taught them at the Stockton Folk Dance Camp in California in years past and in other venues - but not so much in recent years."