History of the Event
On October 29, 2011 members of Ballet Folklórico Oro Lenca organized a new folkloric festival, called "El Grande de Grandes". Since then the event has grown to become the national dance competition par excellence, attracting participants from all over the country.
The competition includes several competitive levels in which elementary, secondary, graduate, and community groups compete. Each group is allowed a performance. The day starts with younger school groups and proceeds through the levels. The prizes are awarded in each category, and the group with the highest number is awarded the overall Grand Prize of the entire competition. Judges are selected from the national dance community
In both 2011 and 2012, its first and second editions, El Grande de Grandes was held in October. In 2013 the date was changed to the last Saturday in July, when La Esperanza was designated as the capital of Creole Folklore and the festival was institutionalized. By executive decree through the Secretary of Culture, Arts and Sports the festival was designated to be held the last Saturday of July of each year and was dedicated to the memory of Rafael Manzanares Aguilar, native son of La Esperanza, designated the father of Honduran folklore.
Starting in 2015, the date was moved to the last Saturday in October to accommodate the performance and training schedules of the Oro Lenca and its members. That is now the currently agreed upon date
Characteristics of the Competition
El Grande de Grandes includes various levels of competion in which primary and secondary school, graduates, and community groups compete. Each group is allowed one presentation. The day commences with the the youngest school groups and proceeds through the levels. Prizes are awarded in each level, and the group amongst all of these that is awarded the most points wins the grand prize for the entire competition. The judges are selected from among recognized authorities in the national dance community.
Ballet Folklórico de Honduras Oro Lenca does not participate as a contestant, as they are the hosts of the competition, but they do present a special dance performance. This is usually at the beginning of the day, so you should make sure to arrive on time. Other high-level groups present similar featured presentations at the end of the day, so you don't want to leave until the program is complete. Water and beverages along with traditiona foods are available from vendors during the day, so you should be able to survive well.
The special presentations typically include many dances with performing complex correographies. The festival charges a modest entry fee and attracts family members of the group along with many of all ages from the communities of the dancers. A wrist stamp allows you to leave and reenter the event as the day progresses.