Navidad: A Mexican-American Christmas

Navidad: A Mexican-American Christmas by Calpulli Mexican Dance Company is New York City’s Mexican-American Christmas show.

Queens Theatre

Saturday-Sunday, December 14-15, 2019  ~ It’s Navidad at the Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Saturday at 2pm & 8pm. Sunday at 1pm & 5pm.

Get $30 tickets at

Apollo Theater

Sunday, December 1, 2019 ~ It’s Navidad at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, NYC at 3pm. From $33

Get $33 tickets at
Use code “calweb” for a $5 discount on premium tickets.

Doors open at 2pm. The Apollo Theater has a bar inside and the people watching and networking is great. The Apollo is a sacred ground. You will feel it when you enter. Go early and enjoy.

Navidad: A Mexican-American Christmas

"Navidad: A Mexican-American Christmas" Calpulli Mexican Dance Company (Julieta Cervantes/Calpulli)

“Navidad: A Mexican-American Christmas” Calpulli Mexican Dance Company (Julieta Cervantes/Calpulli)

Navidad: A Mexican-American Christmas explores the beautiful holiday traditions of Mexico and the United States through music and dance.

The traditions are experienced by a young person of Mexican immigrant parents growing up in New York City. From Aztec-inspired dance to Christmas carols, the youngster tries to bring their two worlds together.

In a dream, they imagine the fusion of mariachi music with Tchaikovsky, folk dance with ballet, and the wonderment of their two cultures. But a tempting character preaches the separation of these customs, and the youngster must choose.

The company of 16 dancers and core of musicians led by Calpulli’s Music Director George Saenz bring to life timeless traditions and a world of holiday fantasy.

The entirely new program tells a story with commissioned works by Mexican and Mexican-American guest choreographers with new musical arrangements and original works by:

  • Juan Castaño, Calpulli Co-Founder
  • Javier Dzul, Dzul Dance Company Artistic Director
  • Francisco Graciano, formerly Paul Taylor Dance Company
  • Grisel Pren Monje, Calpulli Rehearsals Director



Carbin Palafox as Clara in Calpulli's "Navidad: A Mexican-American Christmas"

Carbin Palafox as Clara in Calpulli’s “Navidad: A Mexican-American Christmas”

The Aztecs were the last great civilization of Mexico before Spanish colonization. The Aztecs celebrated their national god Huitzilopochtli in December leading up to the winter solstice which is December 22 in 2019. Huitzilopochtli is the sun god and the Aztecs prayed for the return of the sun (like everybody else did once upon a time).

Spanish priests blended Christmas into the existing Aztec winter celebration. So this blending of cultures is very Mexican in Mexico. Remembering our roots is part of the identity of every diaspora including the Mexican diaspora.

Every New Yorker who moves to New York City from somewhere else goes through the same experience of “Am I me from where I’m from” or “Am I me from where I am now.”

Maybe it depends on who you are talking to, but the correct answer is certainly “I am both.” Calpulli expresses this in the most beautiful way.

Thalia Theatre World Premiere

Friday-Sunday, November 30 – December 16, 2018 ~ Calpulli premieres its new holiday show at the Thalia Theatre in Sunnyside, Queens. Friday-Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 4pm

Tickets from $37 (Best rates Fridays) at

Calpulli should be on Broadway

“Navidad: A Mexican-American Christmas” Calpulli Mexican Dance Company (Julieta Cervantes/Calpulli)

This is not your typical folkloric dance company. Honestly Calpulli should be on Broadway. The storytelling, dancing and production are that good.

It’s a dance company of teaching artists that has built a large community around itself. The productions use combinations of professionals and amateurs. Calpulli deserves a lot of credit  for getting everyone to perform so well.

Artistic Director Alberto Lopez has been recognized in Time Magazine’s “American Voices” series.

New York is a city of immigrants. The stories that Calpulli tells resonate with anyone who is on the journey of becoming a New Yorker.

It doesn’t matter whether you are Mexican or even Latin. Dance is a universal language, and Calpulli is expert at touching our common humanity.

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