Migration — Singing and Dancing with Frida and Diego

Thursday, July 24, 2008

We’ve got another day of major T-storms. Four inches of rain between last night and today, so this entry may be a bit choppy.
Before I get to the show-stopper I saw last night, I have to add the biggest casino fashion “don’t” of all: A v. large young woman with equally large tattoo on one shoulder, spaghetti strap top (red I think) with a clear plastic bra strap on display next to said tattoo. I was glad we had finished eating before the big don’t appeared.
Viva Mexico! Through the Eyes of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo deserved wider play and a longer run. The series of vignettes, presented through song and dance by a troupe of children and their teachers, was produced as a collaboration between St. Joseph College and the National Dance Institute. The St. Joe’s part of the project calls itself the Arts Integration and Multiple Intelligences Project – an unwieldy name for spectacular results, especially considering the troupe had less than three weeks to rehearse.
All the performers obviously enjoyed themselves and the professional, high-energy production had top-notch values all around – costumes, music, singing, especially the dancing. The Mexican theme presented an abbreviated history of the country as depicted in the paintings of its two most famous artists, played by fifth graders whose talent seems boundless. They were nearly upstaged, however, by the skeleton-clad zombie types celebrating the Day of the Dead.
The only drawback? There were only two shows, and each lasted less than an hour. The limits were understandable since some of the performers were barely out of diapers and had undoubtedly stayed up past their bedtime for the 7 p.m. show. And the non-stop, high-speed routines had to leave everyone exhausted.
Themes in previous years featured the life of Eugene O’Neill and West Africa stories. Next year will serve up the Fab Four – can’t wait to see their interpretation of John, Paul, George and Ringo as those happy little feet move to “Can’t Buy Me Love” or maybe “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”


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