Together For Chile: Rebuilding Chile One Dance at a Time

chilean dancers

Chilean dancers show off folkloric tales of Chile - Photo courtesy of Together for Chile

Together For Chile, a community organization, aimed at raising funds for rebuilding a school in a region worst-hit by the 2010 Chile earthquake brings the acclaimed Chilean ballet (BAFONA) to Vancouver as part of the company’s first-ever Canadian tour.

In 2010, an earthquake hit Chile. It was the sixth largest earthquake to ever be recorded by a seismograph.

According to a New York Times map, 370,000 houses and buildings were damaged by the 8.8 magnitude earthquake. The damage was estimated at $4–7 billion. The earthquake’s devastating aftermath sparked a number of international initiatives to help re-build the affected communities.

Together For Chile is an Alberta-based community network of individual volunteers and organizations such as The Calgary Foundation and Habitat for Humanity to construct a school and a community centre in one of Chile’s worst-hit areas.

Together For Chile aims to achieve its fundraising goals through organizing cultural events across Canada that would (in addition to raising funds for the honourable cause) help introduce the public to Chilean arts and culture.

The first cultural event presented by Together For Chile is the Canadian debut tour of the National Folkloric Ballet of Chile (BAFONA) which was founded in 1965.

The renowned ballet company under the patronage of the Chilean Council of Culture and the Arts has dazzled more than 13 million spectators in more than 600 cities in Chile, South America, the United States, Europe, Russia, Malaysia, China, and Japan.

However, the company has yet to perform before a Canadian audience. The extraordinary Canadian debut tour will feature 19 Chilean dancers in 45 choreographic pieces and will travel through Edmonton, Calgary, Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver.

All of the proceeds from the tour will go toward the rebuilding of the Nobeles de Chile School, in the Southern region of Marchigue, Chile.

The school is known to be one of the best in academic performance despite being one of the worst-hit by the earthquake.

“BAFONA ballet is one of the most colourful and vivid ballet performances I have ever seen,” says Katya Popova, a ballet student from Russia, who watched one of the company’s performances on-line and is looking forward to the live show in Vancouver.

Popova says the show is unique in many aspects, including the fusion of choreography of classical ballet with elements of folklore.

“In ballet, we tell a story with our choreography, our costumes, and our body movement,” explains Popova.

“From what I have seen, I feel that BAFONA manages to tell several stories all at once; it is not a single story but a story book in one performance, and it truly introduces one to the whole nation of Chile.”

The video preview on the BAFONA website promises audiences an entry to the world of Chile by showcasing the traditions of the Northern religious worshipers, huasos or peasants from the central valley, the Native Mapuche people, and the Pascua miners, just to name a few.

This extraordinary show will undoubtedly be a cultural highlight of Vancouver’s fall season and is absolutely not to be missed.

The National Folkloric Ballet of Chile performs in Vancouver on Thursday, October 6th at 7pm at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. For tickets please visit For more information about the tour visit