AUDIENCE REVIEW: Virtual International Festival for Social Change Presented by Mark DeGarmo Dance
El Grupo Folklorico Purhepecha
October 28, 2020
Photo from El Grupo Folklorico Purhepecha's Facebook page.
Photos aken during an event held behind closed doors dedicated to Father Rodolfo of Santa Rosa, Lima, California. During his visit in our town San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutiro.
Photo Credit: Salvador Ruiz Campos
Mark DeGarmo Dance produced the Virtual International Arts Festival for Social Change in late October 2020 via Zoom. I watched El Grupo Folklorico Purhepecha directed by Professor Jose Alberto Velazquez Campoverde, the dances taking place in and around Nuevo San Juan Parangaricutiro, Mexico.
The Dance of The Old Carpenters started in the interior of a lumber shop with workers cutting, sanding and stacking 2 x 4s. Then dancers appeared by them, masked as old carpenters, with straw hats and over the shoulder tools. Wholeheartedly and humorously they began helping the workers and slowly picked up parts of chairs, tables and stools making their way outside to an open space where they danced their wooden pieces into actual chairs, tables and stools.
Dance of the Water Women, a dance of ceremonial beauty, took place in and alongside a stepped waterway, with many women descending the stairs carrying "ollas", or round ceramic pots which they held out to the women standing in the waterway, filling the ollas and walking on.
The soloist in the penultimate dance appeared on a small platform in the middle of a lava field. In the background was a ruined church surrounded by miles of lava from the 1940s eruption of the Paricutin volcano. Earth. Sky. Lava. The Dancer. All one in harmony.
Folkloric dance, music, costume and culture are an essential part of any country and especially Mexico. I experienced an extremely rich evening of dance and cannot wait to repeat it, hopefully in person.
Salvador Ruiz Campos