Calpulli Día de los Muertos is a Broadway-style show that brings the Day of the Dead, the Mexican family festival of life, to the stage with rich storytelling, beautiful costumes, great music, and impressive dancing.
Calpulli “Día de Los Muertos” (Day of the Dead)
Calpulli “Día de los Muertos,” dance theatre about the Day of the Dead, the Mexican family celebration of life, is at Hostos Center in Mott Haven, The Bronx on Saturday-Sunday, October 29-30, 2022 (Sat 8pm, Sun 3pm). $25. Hurry, we expect a sell-out! hostos.cuny.edu 🇲🇽
We saw the original performance at The Town Hall in Midtown, Manhattan. Calpulli Mexican Dance Company is a community dance company, yet the production is Broadway-quality in every dimension. How they achieve this level of excellence with community artists and just a few professionals, is some kind of New York miracle.
Calpulli “Día de Los Muertos” Synopsis
The show is a love story that spans the boundary between the living and the departed.
A loving couple falls victim to treachery and is separated, seemingly forever. The young woman enters Mictlán – the underworld of Aztec mythology – where the mesmerizing Catrina reigns as queen.
Folkloric and classical music mix with vibrant dances, colorful costumes, makeup and beautiful set pieces to relate this story of love.
What Does it Mean?
In classical European literature, this is the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, although sort of in reverse. That makes sense partly because Aztec/Mayan and European concepts of the underworld are reversed.
Orpheus is the ancient Greek god of poetry and music. When his wife died, Orpheus missed her so much that he entered the underworld to find her. The boss of the underworld agreed to let her return, but only for half the year. When she is gone, Orpheus mourns and we face the cold sorrows of the Fall and Winter seasons. When Eurydice returns we experience the warm joys of Spring and Summer.
European tradition fears death and sees the underworld as some kind of hell. In Mexican Aztec tradition, death is reality and life is just a dream. The Aztec underworld is the equivalent of European heaven. We don’t fear death. It is the one universal experience in life.
Skull Catrina la Calavera Garbancera, the icon of the Day of the Dead, is a modern representation of Mictlancihuatl, the Aztec goddess of the underworld. She guards the bones of the dead, but there is nothing scary about her. Every morning, she swallows the stars to make the day.
About Calpulli Mexican Dance Company
Calpulli Mexican Dance Company is a full-fledged New York Mexican dance organization. They are a strong New York community of teaching artists.
Artistic Director and Co-Founder Alberto Lopez Herrera has been recognized by Time Magazine as one of the great “American Voices.” He really is a world-class storyteller.
Executive Director and Co-Founder Juan Castano has built an impressive community arts organization.
Associate Artistic Director Grisel Pren gets community dancers to perform like professionals. She mixes classical ballet and Mexican folk dance traditions. A classical ballerina told us that Calpulli performers dance like professional ballet dancers.
Musical Director George Saenz is a graduate of Berklee College of Music which produces an endless stream of Jazz and Latin music stars.