While Halloween might be over, Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) still gives you a reason to celebrate. The Mexican holiday is a three-day event (which began yesterday) of gathering with friends and family to honor the dead with offerings. Though it originated in Mexico, the holiday has spread throughout Latin America and to Hispanic communities worldwide, with a variety of celebrations incorporating music, dance, candlelight processions, kite-flying, and more.
Ballet Hispanico is excited to present a world premiere by Mexican choreographer Edgar Zendejas, Umbral, inspired by Día de los Muertos and showing at the Apollo Theater on November 23rd. The dance is a seductive reimagining of the holiday and the atmosphere it evokes. A key figure of the holiday is the character of Catrina, the traditionally feminine representation of death who wears a distinctive face, which has become increasingly popular around Halloween–even trending as the “Mexican Skull Candy” look amongst celebrities and fans. For Umbral, Zendejas chose to cast dancer Mario Ismael Espinoza as Catrina, adding an intriguing spin to what is sure to be an exceptional piece.
“It is a mythical being that inspires fear, but also joy and celebration of people’s lives.”
Mario worked with Zendejas to perfect the makeup for Catrina, which the dancer will be sporting on stage. Here’s how they put it together, with commentary from Mario about the process:
We can’t wait to see this on stage–be sure to join us at the Apollo to see it live!
Photos by company dancer Johan Rivera.