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    November 30. Susan, Christine and I saw two of three new Italian plays at the Cherry Lane theatre. I actually thought I had booked the third offer which was a Pirandello revival but we were all glad that we did not miss “The Journey I Never made” and “Story of Love and Soccer”. Both excellently translated and powerfully acted. The first is a thought provoking and somewhat unsettling portrayal of the current social turmoil and the second is modern thriller about corrupt sport and the triumph of evil over good. We were able to chat with one of the actors about the plays after the show. Before the show we ate lobster and oysters at the  “Fish” restaurant which was only two blocks from the theatre!

     

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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:

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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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