Fiesta del D?¡a de los Muertos

Floricanto hosts its 11th annual Day of the Dead Celebration in ARC Pasadena. A great family celebration, Nov. 2 & 3

By Gema Sandoval
Published on LatinoLA: October 12, 2012

Fiesta del D?¡a de los Muertos

ARC Pasadena will be transformed into a local cemetery by Danza Floricanto/USA to commemorate their Annual "Fiesta del D?¡a de los Muertos" on Friday and Saturday November 2nd and 3rd at 8:00 p.m.

Through a series of vignettes that celebrate and honor this very traditional Day of the DeadÔÇô Chicano style-the company, under the direction of Gema Sandoval, will tackle a series of social issues (love, death, pregnancy, and immigration among others) with humor and respect. Now in its tenth year, "D?¡a De Los Muertos" has become an annual Floricanto tradition.

The Day of the Dead, celebrated in communities throughout South America on November 1 and 2, when families and loved ones traditionally visit their santos difuntos (blessed dead ones), praying for them while they clean their tombs and bring them what would have been their favorite foods, drinks, and flowers. It is a demonstration of respect; a way to let the deceased know they are remembered, celebrate them and ask them to intercede with particularly worrisome earthly problems.

In the foyer of ARC Pasadena on November 2nd and 3rd, the audience will find a traditional ofrenda (community altar), created by Floricanto member Christie Rios to commemorate the dead. There will be pictures of loved ones, along with their favorite foods, flowers and messages of love. Audiences in attendance also will be invited to write the names of their own departed loved ones and place these names on the altar, to join in the remembrance.

Early arrivals will also be able to have their faces painted. As the audience moves into the theatre/"cemetery," a series of characters who live there will tell their stories and share their concerns. The evening's guide will be the famous skeleton known as "La Catrina," first conceived by early 20th-century Mexican graphic artist Jos?® Guadalupe Posada, and made famous in the murals of Diego Rivera.

Floricanto Dance Theatre's Fiesta del Dia de Los Muertos takes its inspiration from the very traditional Day of the Dead activities in Mexico-altar offerings of favorite foods and flowers honoring our dead, processions to the grave sites, songs and candles. sugar skulls, skeleton dioramas, and paper cuttings-and gives it a contemporary flavor. designed to entertain and delight the whole family.

The 2012 Floricanto's Dia de los Muertos is partially funded by the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and by the ART WORKS Program of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Danza Floricanto/USA-Founded in 1975 by Gema Sandoval, Danza Floricanto/USA is the oldest existing professional Mexican folk dance troupe in Los Angeles. As professional dancers, their purpose is to preserve Mexican culture, validate it as a cultural and artistic expression of the Latino people in the American Southwest, and create awareness and appreciation for it through live performance. From an Aztec ritual to the vibrant fiestas of today's Jalisco, from the Spanish-influenced tropics of Veracruz to the conflictive realities of the Chicano experience, Danza Floricanto/USA presents the bold, colorful panorama of its Mexican heritage as it interacts with its American reality. This award-winning, 38 year old company has been enthusiastically received on tour throughout California and the American Southwest. Danza Floricanto/USA, has recreated the movement, costume, and song of 17 different regions of Mexico, and over half a dozen works on the Chicano experience which celebrate cultural identity for the Mexican American community and the immigrant experience for the rest of America.

Gema Sandoval, founder, artistic director and choreographer of Danza Floricanto/USA is devoted to illuminating her Mexican-American heritage through dance. Over the past fourteen years, Sandoval has staged theme works in addition to traditional regional dances of Mexico. Among these are: a commissioned work for the opening of the 1999 Kaleidoscope Festival, titled "Fandango Angeleno;" Si Se Puede/Yes You Can," a work inspired by labor activist and United Farm Workers founder, Cesar Chavez, and co-choreographed with Loretta Livingston; her "Dia de los Muertos-Day of the Dead Celebration" which, since 2001, has become an annual community tradition performed somewhere in the Southland; her 2004 collaboration with Whittier College's Shannon Center, "Navidad en Whittier." now on its seventh year. Along with her company, Sandoval is the winner of the 1994 and 1995 Horton Award for the Staging of Traditional Dance, a year 2000 fellow of the California Arts Council's Fellowship in Dance Program, winner of the Irvine Foundation's California Dancemaker awards for 2001. and the proud recipients of a New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project production grant for 2003-04, which allowed them to create "Fandango Without Borders," and followed up in 2007 by "Un Zapateado Chicano," funded by the Irvine Foundation's From Creation to Performance Project and the National Association of Latino Arts and. Culture. Her latest production, Alma Llanera-Spirit of the Plains, inspired by Rudolfo Anaya's novel Bless Me Ultima, will have its Sacramento premiere on October 5, 6, and 7 and The Three Stages in Folsom College.

Contact: Gema Sandoval 626-796-2403 or floricanto@att.net
October 10th, 2012
Photo available for download at: HYPERLINK "http/www.danzafloricantousa.com/main.html (in Repertory-Dia De Los Muertos) "11th Annual "FIESTA DEL D?ìA DE LOS MUERTOS" for Danza Floricanto/USA at ARC Pasadena
WHO: Danza Floricanto/USA, Director, Gema Sandoval
WHAT: "Fiesta del Dia de los Muertos~Day of the Dead Celebration"
WHEN: Friday and Saturday, November 2 & 3rd, 2012, 8:00p.m.
WHERE: ARC Pasadena
11158 East Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106158

TICKETS: $20 General Admission
For Ticket Information
please visit: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/282185
Or call: 1-800-838-3006

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