Monday, November 30, 2009

La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin

La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin

I had the pleasure of seeing this wonderful play at the LATC last year and I can't wait to see it again. The performances are powerful, spoken and sung in Nahuatl and Spanish, it is the tale of Juan Diego and the Virgen de Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico. The play is directed by Jose Luis Valenzuela and the amazing cast includes mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzmán, Sal Lopez, and dear friend and singer Gabriel Gonzalez.

La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin, the simple story of an indian peasant’s vision of the Virgin Mary that has become a theatrical c...ornerstone at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral for years. This profoundly moving show taps into our universal foundation of faith, love, and perseverance. Join the tens of thousands who have become transfixed by the story of Juan Diego-a simple peasant from Tepeyac.

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
General Admission Free! (Suggested Donation $5/person)
VIP Seating $35/person
More info:
Read the LA Times review here:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving, the dilemma

It's that time of year again when we stuff our bellies with tons of triptophan-laced turkey, stuffing, cranberry, rolls, papas and gravy. We get two days off of work and school to spend time with our friends and family and have few drinks, kick-back and relax. Yet, for those of us that know the history of this holiday, it is difficult to embrace the spirit of it with images of happy pilgrims and Indians permeating the grocery stores, office workspaces, and schools. During my hard-core activist days, we were angry at the Hollywood and Disney images of perfection that made anyone that didn't look that way feel like 2nd class citizens. Yet, now that we are parents, we're not so uptight about things. Even though my curly-haired, caramel, sun-kissed skin-toned daughter loves to watch the blonde, stick-thin Disney princesses I know that she can still enjoy watching those films and still have confidence in her own looks because, well, I'm her mom, and I won't let her think she's anything but beautiful. And now that she is in pre-school, the halls are filled with happy pilgrims in their puritan hats and muskets. The scary part for me is the day she tells me the story of Thanksgiving according to school doctrine. How or when do I tell her the complicated history? At what age do you open kids' eyes to the reality? It's the Libra (scales, balance, justice) and historian in me that can't turn a blind eye. I don't even know if I can bite my tongue at Christmas and tell her Santa is just pretend. I know she's only 3 but I just might and I know she'll be alright because I'm her mom and I won't let her think Santa is so necessary to her happiness. Her favorite question is "who buy this for me?". I don't think I can keep saying Santa without being annoyed. I did have a good laugh today at an episode of Dexter where the family was gathering around for Thanksgiving dinner and the daughter mentioned the slaughter of the Indians by the pilgrims after the supposed first Thanksgiving dinner. I'm glad to see the story is becoming a bit more mainstream, albeit in a Showtime series about a serial killer. It's something.
The question for me was to celebrate or not. I think it was an easy decision to celebrate Thanksgiving for the sentiments of giving thanks and spending time with loved ones. When I moved to LA from Texas for college, I had no family or friends here. The holiday wasn't long enough to fly home so I was stuck in my dorm hoping someone would invite me over. I honestly can't remember what I did each year if anything but I do remember going to San Diego freshman year to spend the day at my roommmate's aunt's house. We took Amtrack down and watched Nightmare Before Christmas in the theater. Another year, my friend from East LA invited me to spend the holiday with her family. Those invitations meant a whole lot to me and that's probably why I still remember them. I know what it's like to be lonely on these holidays and to pretend that you don't want to celebrate is not worth it. Who doesn't want to get together, eat, drink, watch the game, spend some time with others? I may never allow my daughter to dawn on a pilgrims hat or an Indian feather for Thanksgiving or place those images on my dinner table but I will eat a turkey and stuff my belly full of all the fixings and I will give thanks for all the good things in my life.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Northeast LA Winter Solstice Celebration

Northeast LA’s Winter Solstice Festival is an inclusive celebration bringing together unifying and cultivating the awareness and power of all people through art, music, peace and social action. This celebration is a catalyst for creating and supporting a world in which all individuals, families, and communities are valued and can live in a society where freedom, justice, respect, dignity, peace and sustainable ways of living are its guiding principles.

Northeast LA’s Winter Solstice  Celebration
Saturday, December 19, 2009, Noon
Tierra de la Culebra Park
240 S. Avenue 57, Highland Park, CA 90042

Featuring Mexica, Aztlan Underground, Rudo Movimiento, Andrew Serra (Flamenco), Soul Conference, Guerrilla Queenz, Cihuatl-Ce, The Hashishans, and Wolfrobe.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Boyle Heights Block Party and Mariachi Festival

Boyle Heights Block Party and Mariachi Festival
Sunday, November 15, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
First Street (between Boyle Ave. and State St.)

Celebrate the opening of the $898 million Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension. 

Tierra, Quinto Sol, Domingo Siete, UmoVerde, Dirty Hands, Jahny Wallz, Mariachi Sol del Mexico, Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, Mariachi Mexicapan, Mariachi Voz de America, Mariachi Santa Cecelia and Mariachi Conservatory.

Enjoy free giveaways, live entertainment, and informational resource booths.Bring your children and participate in a free kids corner with oversized bouncers, arts and crafts, Chivas USA soccer kick, and a rock climbing wall.

Also featured will be a photo exhibit about the now-defunct Bracero Program and the men and women who participated in it.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

An expression of gratitude for all our moments.

Music, dance of Brazil, India, Hawaii

Featuring 45 musicians & dancers from:
Halau Keali'i O Nalani Artistic Director-Keali'i Ceballos
Shakti Dance Company Artistic Director-Viji Prakash
Viver BrasilArtistic Director-Linda Yudin & Luiz Badaro

Concert Info:

On the islands of Hawaii, in the temples of India, and on the sacred shores of Brazil, music and dance are offerings of gratitude. Whether offered to Gods or Ancestral creators - they are an integral part of everyday life. Join us as 45 artists from 3 of LA's most creative dance companies share the stage for the first time. The results are a dramatic journey representing different lives, memories and legends from the sacred traditions of BRAZIL, INDIA and HAWAII through an exquisite synthesis of music, dance and chant.

See Postcard
Saturday, November 28, 2009 at 8pm
Aratani/Japan America Theatre
244 S. San Pedro St. Los Angeles CA 90012
Tickets: $25 Reserved seats; $20 JACCC members; UCLA faculty/staff;
$12 Students/Children/Seniors
Box Office: 213-680-3700 BUY TICKETS
Info: 310-206-1335 CIP contact information

A project of the WORLD FESTIVAL OF SACRED MUSIC-LOS ANGELES. Presented by Foundation for World Arts and co presented by the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center and UCLA Center for Intercultural Performance.

GIVING THANKS concert travels to the 2009 Guadalajara International Book Fair with support from the Department of Cultural Affairs City of Los Angeles .