The Genius of Miguel Covarrubias on the Big Screen

Gregorio Luke presents the Da Vinci of Mexico with dancers, music and ballet at the Ford Amphitheatre, 8.16.09

Published on LatinoLA: August 13, 2009

The Genius of Miguel Covarrubias on the Big Screen

Gregorio Luke crowns his three-part live-the-art series at the Ford Amphitheater with his most ambitious project so far: THE GENIUS OF MIGUEL COVARRUBIAS WITH LIFE SIZE MURALS on Sunday, August 16th at 8:00 p.m.

Miguel Covarrubias was Mexico's most versatile artist - a painter, muralist, cartoonist, filmmaker, anthropologist, author, dance promoter, and curator ‘«™ in fact, he has been called "The Leonardo Da Vinci of Mexico. Gregorio will show more than 300 of Covarrubias' murals, paintings and cartoons as well as his short films in spectacular IMAX-like fashion ‘«Ű plus the presentation will include artists bursting with the sounds and cultures that impacted Covarrubias' masterpieces.

Covarrubias was so important and versatile during his time in America that his art graced the cover of Vanity Fair and his political cartoons could be found inside. His depictions of Harlem clubs have had a profound on African American art. More than an artist, he was a creative force: He spoke Chinese, wrote books on Bali and the Indians of the Americas, was a cartographer, a costume designer and a curator.

Curiously, it was his caricatures first brought him fame in New York; later his paintings and drawings brought him worldwide recognition. He was among the first to paint the world of the Harlem Renaissance; the world of Jazz and Blues. His illustrations for Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Pearl S. Buck and many others became internationally renowned. Later, while living in Bali, he would create beautiful images of that culture and continue similarly documenting cultures in China, throughout Latin America, and most spectacularly in Oaxaca and southern Mexico. His pioneering spirit led him to venture into archaeology, anthropology, and even had a hand in initiating the Golden Age of Mexican Dance, becoming its most ardent promoter.

All of this plays a part in this dramatic and fun presentation. Luke's show comes to life with his spectacular IMAX-like screens plus accompaniments from cultural leaders around the world:

Three soloists from Mexico's leading dance troupe, the Taller Coreografico De La Unam, will perform:
‘«ů Zapata Mexico's modern dance masterpiece
‘«ů Running Wild (a jazz ballet)
‘«ů Strange Fruit (set to the Billie Holiday song of the same title);
‘«ů Nereidas (the famous danz??n)

Harlem's R&B effect on Covarrubias will come to life with distinguished Washington DC sax player Marshall Keys performing jazz and blues classics and Taylour Paige will recreate Josephine Baker's famous Banana Dance.

The wonder and fun continue with Wuri Wimboprasetyo interpreting classic Balinese dances, and Ballet Folcl??rico Nueva Antequera and Maqueos Symphonic Band will perform tehuana dances and waltzes from Oaxaca.

For tickets, log on to www.fordtheatres.org or call the Ford Box Office at 323 461-3673 (or 323 GO 1-FORD for non-visual media).

About Gregorio Luke - Gregorio Luke is an expert on Mexican and Latin American culture. Mr. Luke has given multimedia presentations of the art and culture of M?ģxico for more than twenty years. He has performed in the Florence Biennale, The Smithsonian Institution, The Library of Congress and museums such as San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Detroit Institute of Art among many others. Mr. Luke has held distinguished positions such as Director of the Museum of Latin American Art, First Secretary of Mexican Embassy in Washington and Cultural attach?ģ for Mexico in Los Angeles. He is the recipient of the 2008 Local Heroes Award by KCET.

Taller Coreogr?Ūfico de la UNAM - Mexico's leading contemporary ballet company, fuses universal ballet with historical Mexican dances for a new definition of modern Mexico. Taller Coreogr?Ūfico de la UNAM was founded by Gloria Contreras in 1970. Comprised of 25 classically trained dancers, the Taller has an original repertoire of over 200 ballets, with musical scores ranging from the 12th century to contemporary works. The company performs regularly in a theatre named after Miguel Covarrubias. The Taller will be represented at Gregorio Luke's event by three of its soloists: Julius Brewster-Cotton, Claudia Hernandez and Alfredo Garcia.

Marshall Keys - Recently returned from a tour in Japan and the UK with Jimmy Scott and the Jazz Expressions, Marshall has worked with many of the world's greatest jazz and blues musicians including: Jimmy McGriff Lionel Hampton, Jimmy Heath, Clark Terry, Jimmy Witherspoon, Groove Holmes, Big Joe Turner and Hank Jones. He has worked with Branford Marsalis and Steve Allen, swung with Keter Betts and Al Grey, recorded with Cyrus Chestnut and Vinny Valentino, and jammed with Sonny Stitt and Stevie Wonder.

Ballet Folklorico Nueva Antequera - The Nueva Antequera Ballet Folkl??rico, Founded and directed by Miriam Lopez and Raul Cortes in 1999, includes 45 members that are dominantly Oaxacan.

Maqueos Symphonic Band - The mission of the Maqueos Music Academy is to create a safe haven for children and young people, and to preserve the Oaxaca cultural heritage through music. Estanislao Maqueos is a native of Oaxaca and has trained hundreds of musicians of all ages at the Maqueos Music Academy, which he established in 2007.

Taylour Paige - Taylour Paige studied in the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and the Kirov Universal Ballet Academy. She also studied African dance with Titus Fotso, Flamenco with Elza Prado, Hip Hop with Chuck Maldonado and salsa with Alex de Silva. Among others, she has participated in the film High School Musical 3, TV shows such as That's So Raven, "Undercover Superstar" with Paula Abdul and stage plays such as the Bayou Legend.

Wuri Wimboprasetyo - Wuri Wimboprasetyo has performed widely, including the California Institute of the Arts Spring Music Festival, the World Music Festival at UCLA, the Lotus Festival, in Mexico City and Lima, Peru. Currently Wuri is a member of the Javanese gamelan Kyai Dorodasih and the Balinese gamelan Burat Wangi.

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