+ Add An Event


Your support helps us cover dance in New York City and beyond! Donate now.

Mark DeGarmo Dance presents "Las Fridas: An Offering for the Days of the Dead"

Mark DeGarmo Dance presents "Las Fridas: An Offering for the Days of the Dead"


Mark DeGarmo Dance


The Clemente Center
107 Suffolk St, Studio Theater 310
New York, NY 10002


Wednesday, November 1, 2023 - 8:00pm daily through November 4, 2023
Sunday, November 5, 2023 - 3:00pm daily through November 4, 2023



Mark DeGarmo Dance

Dancer/Performer Mexican American Marie Baker-Lee’s Final Performances after 38 Years with Mark DeGarmo Dance in Las Fridas: An Offering for the Days of the Dead this Wednesday to Saturday November 1-4, 2023 at  8:00 PM and Sunday November 5 at 3:00 PM at the Lower East Side MDD Studio Theater 310 at The Clemente Center 

Dancer/performer Mexican American Marie Baker-Lee will perform her final 5 performances with Mark DeGarmo Dance after a 38-year career with the company November 1-5 in Las Fridas: An Offering for the Days of the Dead. Ms. Baker-Lee will perform the Dark Frida role that she originated with choreographer, director, and dancer/performer Mark DeGarmo performing Light Frida. The work explores an original and innovative transcultural transdisciplinary art, theater and performance space. The sum of its two parts and its 16 sections creates a nonlinear, surrealistic mandala of Frida's life and traumas. Kahlo’s artworks are embedded within it, as is DeGarmo's biography of losing 4 fathers and father figures to death when he was ages 4 to 18. 

The Mexico City Contemporary Dance Festival noted the exceptional artistic and choreographic quality of Las Fridas. The Cultural Director of the Municipality of Coyoacan, Mexico City and the former director for 18 years of the Frida Kahlo Museum/Blue House said that she had never heard a story, such as DeGarmo’s, that resulted in the creation of this work: “It is a spiritual proposition.” Mexican actress and social activist Ofelia Medina told DeGarmo that she accepts his artistic and choreographic proposal embodied by his original and innovative work. Pulitzer Prize-winning Mexican-American journalist Maria Hinojosa told Mark that she saw him as Frida. Argentine playwright Fernando Ferrer observed that Las Fridas is a play, and that the dancers are actors who are not speaking verbally, but rather, nonverbally.

Audience members of past seasons remarked the work is not only “genius” and “brilliant in composition and execution” but “in a way, frightening... the way great art always should be.” The piece is “not scared to push the audience right up to the edge that the performers are living on” and “wonderfully in your face, both literally and metaphorically.” “This is not your grandmother’s Modern Dance,” observed acclaimed New York-based postmodern choreographer, a Chevalier of the French Order of Arts and Letters, Douglas Dunn.

Las Fridas is a 60-minute duet DeGarmo developed over 13 years inspired by the life and work of Mexican painter and revolutionary, Frida Kahlo. This season the audience has the opportunity to experience the full evening work in an intimate setting with limited seating: Mark DeGarmo Dance Studio Theater 310. This space is where Mark DeGarmo and MDD have been artist- and company-in-residence since 2001 on New York’s Lower East Side at the Clemente Center. It is also where DeGarmo created the work and intended for the public to experience it, in his words, “up close and intimate to feel part of the heartbeat of Las Fridas.” The timing coincides with DeGarmo’s November 2, All Souls Day of the Dead birthday.

DeGarmo recalls that "due to the sudden illness of one of the women over age 60 performing one week before the December 2015 New York City previews, I assumed the role, adding gender fluidity, and exploding my previous assumptions... In Fridas' work there are often two figures, sometimes two Fridas. What if all the different sides of herself, including the masculine and feminine, were made visible? My guiding question choreographing the work was, ‘What if Kahlo's lived beyond age 47?’” NYC previews were in 2015 and 2016 and premieres in 2019-20.

In making an offering of this work on Mexico’s Days of the Dead to the world of the living and the dead, Mark DeGarmo pays homage to his mothers, grandmothers, mentors and friends, including renowned choreographers and dance educators Anna Sokolow and Hanya Holm, educational theorist Maxine Greene, and Living Theatre Co-Founder Judith Malina. Greene’s hands and Malina’s feet are images embedded in the windows of the Blue House. Within this intimate arena without a 4th wall, Las Fridas portrays an eternal struggle of the forces of duality, nature, violence, love, hatred, fear, anguish, and healing. 

Mexican American Marie Baker-Lee began her career with Mark DeGarmo Dance in 1985. She and DeGarmo share a deep appreciation for Mexican culture; 3 of 4 of her maternal great-grandparents were Indigenous Mexican. Her performances with the New York-based dance company included choreographer DeGarmo’s Little Red (1985), Quadratic Ballet (1987), Danceplay of the Red Skirts (1988), The Colors of Wisdom (1989), Urashima Taro (1990), Attachments (1991), My Father is A Tree (1993), La Noche de las Noches (1994), Pachamama (Snake Song) (1995), Longing Found (1996), America’s Beautiful (1997), Excavations (1998), Bitter Grounds: A Portrait of El Salvador (1999), Dear Children: Awake and Rise (2000), Relative Tranquility (2000), Under the Radar (2009), Visionary Dance from The Vine of the Soul: An Opera in One Act (2010), and Las Fridas: A Movement Installation and Offering (2019). 

Baker-Lee’s international tours with MDD included Café de la Danse (Paris, 1989); The National Theater of El Salvador (San Salvador, 1991 & 1998); Derngate Theatre (Northampton, England, 1991); State of Mexico Autumn Dance Festival (Mexico, 1995); Peru (Lima, Arequipa, & Ilo, 1995); Cankarev Dom cultural center, (Ljubljana, Slovenia, 1997); and Los Talleres Cultural Center, Coyoacán, Mexico City and the University of Veracruz, Xalapa, Mexico (1998).


About Mark DeGarmo Dance

Mark DeGarmo Dance, began operations in 1982, was incorporated in 1987, and in 2023 celebrates its 36th anniversary as a leading New York City nonprofit dance organization located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side at NYC-owned The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center (The Clemente). President Barack Obama commended DeGarmo and MDD for your service to your community and the nation. MDD’s NYC dance education program for under-resourced public elementary children of Color was called a national model by the National Endowment for the Arts. https://markdegarmodance.org


About Mark DeGarmo

Mark DeGarmo is an award-winning, internationally-recognized dancer, choreographer, writer, researcher, and Founder, Executive & Artistic Director of Mark DeGarmo Dance. New York press and audiences have characterized his dance performance work as mesmerizing and fearless; and DeGarmo as a gladiator in various arenas. https://markdegarmodance.org/performance/


About Marie Baker-Lee

Marie Baker-Lee has danced in the companies of Mark DeGarmo, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane, Judith Ren-Lay, Shelley Shepherd H/Bala Saraswati, Gus Solomons, Jr, Douglas Dunn, Charles Moulton, Nancy Zendora, and Muna Tseng. Mark DeGarmo Dance awarded her a Lifetime Achievement Award in Dance in 2012.



Mark DeGarmo, Choreographer, Director, and Dancer/Performer with Marie Baker-Lee, Dancer/Performer.


Wednesday, November 1, 2023, 8pm (MDD Studio Theater 310) SOLD OUT

Thursday, November 2, 2023, 8pm (MDD Studio Theater 310)

Friday, November 3, 2023, 8pm (MDD Studio Theater 310)

Saturday, November 4, 2023, 8pm (MDD Studio Theater 310)

Sunday, November 5, 2023, 3pm (MDD Studio Theater 310)


Mark DeGarmo Dance Studio Theater 310, 3rd floor walk-up, no elevator

The Clemente Center, 107 Suffolk Street, New York, NY 10002

Subway: F/M/J/Z to Delancey/Essex



$35. Ticket fees apply


This program is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.


Share Your Audience Review. Your Words Are Valuable to Dance.
Are you going to see this show, or have you seen it? Share "your" review here on The Dance Enthusiast. Your words are valuable. They help artists, educate audiences, and support the dance field in general. There is no need to be a professional critic. Just click through to our Audience Review Section and you will have the option to write free-form, or answer our helpful Enthusiast Review Questionnaire, or if you feel creative, even write a haiku review. So join the conversation.

Share Your Audience Review.

+ Add An Event