Danc­ing for the dead

Día de los Muer­tos, the mas­sive Mex­i­can fes­ti­val on Nov. 2, hon­ours the beloved de­ceased with fab­u­lous food and dance. A T.O. Aztec dancer and a Mex­i­can folk dancer show us how to party.

Midtown Post - - News -

How will you be spend­ing Day of the Dead on Nov. 2?

The Mex­i­can way! Hon­our­ing my de­ceased loved ones, greet­ing them at the al­tar with of­fer­ings of spe­cial food and things that they en­joyed when they were alive. I will be tend­ing to my al­tar at home, as taught by my grand­mother. Also, I will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in a num­ber of events as an Aztec dancer.

Who are you re­mem­ber­ing this Day of the Dead?

My mother and grand­mother. My grand­par­ents, my grand-aun­ties, grand­uncles, friends, some el­ders who were my teach­ers, peo­ple who are no longer here but left a spe­cial place in my heart.

Do you pre­fer Tequila or Mez­cal?

Tequila! Mez­cal!

What’s the defin­ing fea­ture of your dance?

Our shows in­volve a mix of dance, singing, mu­sic and theatre, so au­di­ences can ap­pre­ci­ate the rich Mex­i­can tra­di­tion and cul­ture. It is an Indige­nous Mex­i­can dance passed down for gen­er­a­tions. Through the dances we give thanks to Mother Earth, and our out­fits con­tain dif­fer­ent mean­ings and sym­bols.

What does Canada get wrong about Day of the Dead?

They have the mis­taken idea of con­fus­ing the Day of the Dead with Hal­loween. They are com­pletely dif­fer­ent things. That Day of the Dead is just a party or that it is like Hal­loween!

When can read­ers catch your act?

Nov. 5 at Ever­green Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave. Nov. 3 at Ixiim Toronto, 4917 Dun­das St. W.

GUADALUPE VELASCO The Mex­i­cans Folk Bal­let, gen­eral co-or­di­na­tor ASALIA ORELLANO To­nantzin Aztec Dance Col­lec­tive, artis­tic di­rec­tor

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