San Francisco Chronicle
‘People of the Corn’ provides look into past
All five senses will come into play when La Peña Cultural Center artists in residence Dance Monks present “Tlaoli: People of the Corn” (“Tlaoli” is Nahuatl for “corn”). The grain is the subject of this interdisciplinary performance that examines the role of corn in Mexican identity and widens the scope to include explorations of the rituals surrounding food and working the land, and mythical connections between plants and people.
Not merely a dance performance, “Tlaoli” is a site-specific, experiential installation that offers a lyrical response to current xenophobic, anti-immigrant U.S. politics and the intrusion of corporations and GMOs into traditional farming. “Tlaoli” also explores issues of cultural amnesia and displacement and the effects of migration on traditions and stories that are tied up in the land, while posing the question of what can artists and cultural centers do to keep ancient customs and wisdom alive.
Tlaoli: People of the Corn: 8 p.m. Friday, June 24. Through Sunday, June 26. $15-$20. La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. (510) 849-2568. http://lapena.org