Calpulli Mexican Dance Company “Monarcas”, a folkloric dance series celebrating the contributions and sacrifices Mexican immigrants make for the USA; premieres at the Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens; on Saturday-Sunday, May 27-28, 2023. From $27. queenstheatre.org 🇲🇽
Calpulli Mexican Dance Company “Monarcas”
This is the beginning of a folkloric dance series developed by Alberto Lopez Herrera who has been named one of Time Magazine’s great “American Voices.” The dancing is directed by Associate Artistic Director Grisel Pren who gets community dancers to dance like professionals. The Musical Director George Saenz is from Berklee College of Music. It’s a great company cofounded by Juan Castaño.
“Company E” is about soldiers of Mexican descent who served in the American army in the mid-1900s. It’s a beautiful celebration of people who give their sons and daughters to our country.
“Viñedos” is about matriarchal Mexican families who built California’s world-famous wine industry by laboring for generations in its vineyards until they became owners themselves.
Monarch Butterflies Are Iconic
Monarch butterflies are a potent symbol of the relationship between Mexico and the United States. Every year the magnificent butterflies migrate between their winter hibernation grounds in Mexico to their summer breeding grounds in the United States and Canada. These delicate creatures fly up to 2,500 miles each way. That’s almost like flying across the United States ~ twice a year.
The Monarch migration mirrors the traditional pattern of Mexican migration. Workers would spend the Christmas holidays with their families in Mexico, then travel north to work in the United States from spring through fall.
Nowadays that pattern is broken because it’s harder to cross the border. But the border itself is an artificial boundary. The western two-thirds of the United States used to be Mexico, roughly west of the Mississippi up to Oregon. There is a saying, “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed over us.”
We need workers and Mexican migrants want to work, but we meanly make it very hard for these families. Shutting off migration is bad economic policy. Migrants raise up everyone who is already here, increase economic productivity, and keep the United States from falling into the old age demographic trap which weakens countries.
These are hard-working conservative religious families who make good Americans. The Mexican Diaspora works harder than anyone in the world. Politicians use immigration to whip up division and get donations, but it’s wrong-headed, kind of like shooting yourself in the foot.
The other side of the coin is hope. The American Dream is a long, hard journey, but with hope and hard work, you can succeed beyond your wildest dreams.