"In rejecting the antique
costume spectacle that has become a cliché of folkloric performance in favor of
something more contemporary and socially aware, choreographer and company leader
Gema Sandoval has helped redefine the art... who else currently active in
folkloric dance has Sandoval's commitment to replacing ethnic vaudeville with a
vision of how people live in the real world and how their culture sustains them?
As her skills grow, the horizons of the whole field expand."
Lewis Segal, Los Angeles Times, October, 2007
Whether tracing Floricanto's changing approach to dances from Jalisco over its 30-year existence or merely letting the dancers cut loose to a remarkably fresh arrangement of La ”Bamba, the performance exemplified the high energy and higher intelligence that Los Angeles has come to expect from Sandoval's company.
Thirty years ago, many world dance pioneers trivialized the cultural identities they wanted to celebrate by adopting formats from ballet and show-dancing that turned every foreign idiom into ethnic vaudeville. Sandoval... saw deeper, worked harder and quietly, step by step, they've brought us the amazing transformation of intentions and practices so resplendent at the Ford on Friday.
Lewis Segal, Los Angeles Times, 8/21/2006
"... Latin America - The Spiritual and the Sacred Across the Centuries, the traditional music ensemble Los Folkoristas and the dance troupe Danza Floricanto/U.S.A. presented a mesmerizing collection of material, much of it from Mexico. Dancers garbed in attire such as Aztec costumes and full-skirted flamenco dress explored an extraordinarily rich body of music, beginning with a colorful Homage to the Virgin of Guadalupe and ending with the hopeful symbolism of La Paloma.
Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times, 9/19/2005
In the Fandango Without Borders program both groups Danza Floricanto and Quetzal demonstrated how the "son Jarocho" has influenced Chicano culture.
For those who attended the event it was the perfect evening. The whole audience danced to the beat of Danza Floricanto and Quetzal.
What transpired there on Saturday night only confirmed how solid they cultural ties are between the people from Veracruz and Southern California.
A great example of this phenomenon was the program which was so warmly applauded for its colorful spectacle..."
Juan Rodriguez Flores, La Opinion, 06/16/2004
What would a Los Angeles festival be without
the jubilant stylings of Danza Floricanto/USA?
Under the stellar direction of Gema Sandoval,
this beaming company brought the regional
companies of Mexico to life... Characterized
by breezy line formations, rhythmic stamping
and swirling skirts, the dancers were as frothy
as cotton candy.
Victoria Looseleaf, Los Angeles Times, 3/22/2002
The company breathed jubilant life into the
Los Angeles premiere of their nine part suite
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). At
the Local Cemetery. The occasionally
raucous treatment of the holiday rites proved
poignant, whimsical and infectiously enter
taining...the suite rang with authenticity.
Victoria Looseleaf, Los Angeles Times, 5/5/2001
earned new respect for mounting a
cavalcade of Latin dance (classic folklorico to
Tex-Mex and beyond) without ever losing sight
of the sensual torso action and
footwork that united them. Her Danza Floricanto/USA
looked comfortable in
Lewis Segal, Los Angeles Times, 7/19/1999
Sandoval and Livingston joined forces...
for a piece they created in tribute to Cesar
Chavez. They had the brilliance not to make
it biographical... The dancing, particularly in
the ensemble marching sections, astonished.
S. Anawalt, LA Weekly, The Best of Dance in 1998