• Upcoming trips

    May 2 to May 14 London vacation. We will be staying in the President Hotel, 56 - 60 Guildford Street, Russell Square, London, WC1N 1DB. Telephone : 020 7388 4443. Hope to see you all then.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    February 20. At Christine’s prompting, and, offer to go to the box office for Family Circle tickets, we went to see the Met’s production of Parsifal–from 6.00 to 11.30! It is a modern production for the new generation of opera-goers (the ones that hoot and holler at slightest excuse to the detriment of all others’ listening concentration). Modern dress  clashes horribly with the ancient myth of the story line, and state-of-the art lighting and staging effects  enlighten and intrigue the semi gloom in which the action(?) of  all three acts take  place. I was pleasantly impressed with the singing cast and  thought that it compared favorably with the greats of my younger days.

    The new conductor was enthusiastically welcomed (The Levine era is now forgotten completely) but I thought the sound he produced from the orchestra did not quite evoke the agonizing pathos that I remembered.

    February 21.  Saw “Amy and the Orphans” at The Roundabout Theatre. It is a story of parents’  tussle with the agony of caring for a child with Down syndrome and the adult siblings’ efforts to atone for their parents’ weakness. Wonderfully convincing acting all round and written with great humour to counter the guilt dialalogue of the characters.

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NYDay — The Dead have their Day

El Barrio Museum held its annual Dia de los Muetos (Day of the Dead) last Saturday. It is a celebration of the return of beloved ancestors to be honoured and to participate in the ritual feasting and gift-giving of the living. It is a custom which is thought to be more than 3,000 years old and, certainly, the Incas practiced their own form of it. The Mexican version includes ritual dancing and this was dramatically demonstrated by the folk group from El Barrio at the Dana Discovery Center in Central Park. I caught up with them there before the parade got under way. I wish I had had more time to learn more about the rituals beforehand.

Postscript: After putting up this post, I felt remiss in not even being able to mention the name of the very dedicated Dance group. So I went back to the museum and spoke to Ms Aurora Cerda who managed the Celebration of  the Day of the Dead. She, very kindly, gave me the name of the group.  It is called The Cetiliztli Dance Group. I did not find too much information about it except that it was founded in 1999 and its members come from all over the continent.  

Mother and Child

Chrysanthemums are a part of the ritual

The Dead cavort

Dead serious

Technology has improved communications with the other-world immensely!

The container this participant is holding is a rattle which imitates the sound of a moving skeleton

Happy dead

The Dancers arrive

The Dance begins

Serious offering

Skulls are a major part of the symbolism

. . . . and so are the nut shells which are used in the costumes as decoration

MC prepares the potions

Let the Dance commence

The beat picks up . . . .

. . . . . and reaches an exciting crescendo

After all these scenes of activity, here is a quiet moment: a view of Harlem Meer looking south:


2 Responses

  1. What great pictures of “Day of the Dead” showing the happy side of death in the celebration of past lives.

  2. John and Ann. I had such fun taking those pictures. Everybody was openly friendly and was out to enjoy themselves to the utmost at the event. Next year, I will be better prepared.

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