Volume 11 Issue 16, October 4, 2012
Following the flurry of the festival
What a whirlwind the last couple of weeks have been as our annual La Luna Nueva festival brought night after night of the best music, dance, drama and art to El Centro Milagro! From flamenco to tango, from visual art to open mic poetry nights, we had a ball and hope that you did, too. Check out this video from Oregon Public Broadcasting, which visited Milagro to interview some of the incredible artists of the flamenco show “De mi barrio”. An amazing performance and an amazing interview!
Whether you attended that flamenco performance or any other festival event, we want to hear what you thought about this year’s performances! If you attended the festival, please take a moment now to take part in our super easy online audience survey. It will take only a minute to complete, but your feedback will give us an immense amount of useful information as we begin to plan next year’s extravaganza! (You know it’s our 30th anniversary next season, don’t you? Surprises are sure to be in store …)
We’re gonna make this a national holiday
With the new moon now just a fond memory, we’re now setting the stage for another celebration of Día de los muertos (Day of the Dead). This year, we’ve titled the show Raíz, which means “root” in Spanish, and from what we hear from rehearsal, it’s going to be very different than recent years — very physical, for one thing, and intertwining different worlds and times. For example, in his program notes, guest director Arturo Martinini writes …
“The Aztecs viewed death as an act that brought us to a different stage of existence. Tonight builds on this traditional premise: that life is a dream, and death is a passage to an awakening consciousness of reality. We invite you to enter our ritual as more than mere spectator. In recognition of Día de los muertos, we strive to convey the experience of death as transformation. Our mission is to involve you in the story conveying the passage from life to death in the same way performers segue from one act to another in a play. We emphasize that this is not an end, rather a transition of the soul’s journey toward peace, a peace equal to the fullest enjoyment of the spirit state; the opportunity to exist in the full expression of one’s individuality. When you enter the theatre, both as an actor and spectator, you leave the daily form of yourself with your coat at the entrance, to don again when it’s time to go home. You do transform. The ritual of the theatre brings you to a higher state, because in the spectacle of theatre, we can drop everyday language, we can speak in symbols and gesture. Theatre is expression in space, a space where you are invited to take part in a ritual both ancient and very much alive.”
Want to know more about this year’s original, bilingual celebration? Then check out these other stories on our blog (and watch out for interviews with Arturo, choreographer Kelly, and others):
• Meet the cast and the production team (bilingual)
• Read an interview with actor Alberto Romero, one of the cast members (bilingual)
• Check out press photos from the photoshoot with Russell J. Young
• Read excerpts from our study guide: Introduction and Creation of the World (and check back for more each week)
• Take a peek inside dance rehearsals with this blog post from cast member Sara Fay Goldman
Get tickets now: Call 503-236-7253 or stop by the theatre offices at 425 SE Sixth Ave., weekdays 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., or go online anytime: www.milagro.org (see link in right-hand sidebar). Tips to save money: Tickets are less expensive the earlier you buy and the earlier you attend; plus we offer discounts for Thursdays and Sundays; students, seniors and groups of 15 or more. And … If you purchase in advance with cash or check, we can waive the handling fee!
With all due respect
From Oct. 18 through Nov. 11, Miracle is pleased to display in our Zócalo community space adjacent to the lobby an exhibit of ofrendas (altars) created by FusionArte Collective of local Latino artists in celebration of Día de los muertos (Day of the Dead). The exhibit, curated by Pepe Moscoso, is free and open to the public one hour prior to and during the intermission of each performance of Miracle Theatre Group’s original, bilingual production Raíz, plus weekdays by appointment for student groups (for more details about bringing your school group, contact Stefanus at email@example.com or 503-236-7253, ext. 121).
“The Day of the Dead reaches into the ancient history of Mexico, when the spirits of dead relatives are allowed to return to the mortal world to visit loved ones,” says Pepe. “It connects us with the cycles of life, intertwined rituals, customs, offerings that reflect the Mexican’s perception toward death in a way that’s entertaining, even joking,” says Moscoso, who is the host of a Spanish-language radio program on KBOO and a visual artist himself.
In addition to the altar created by Milagro staff in the lobby, this exhibit will feature four themed altars:
- Las Deidades – remembering the pre-Hispanic gods of Mesoamerica
- Cosmovisión Indígena – honoring the indigenous people’s beliefs about the universe
- Pueblos Indígenas – honoring the traditions and rituals of the indigenous communities
- El circo – The altar of the santos inocentes (those who have passed as children) is dedicated to the magic of the world of the circus
The altar exhibit is curated and produced by Pepe Mosoco with the help of Rodolfo Valentín, William Hernández, Alejandra Schimpfoessl, Armando Olveda and the Consulate of Mexico in Portland. Also on display will be Day of the Dead-themed paintings by Jaime Nava & Alejandro Ceballos.
Dining with the dead
Preparations for “¡Viva Milagro!” — our big Day of the Dead fundraising dinner — are underway! First of all, we have Cha Taquería, one of Portland's most delectable Mexican restaurants, catering the event, bringing to the table (pun intended) style, tradition, and exquisite flavor (specifics on the menu to come). On top of that, we couldn't be more excited about the silent auction items that are accumulating. Yesterday, a new friend to the theatre dropped off two boxes full of artwork by Susana Shelton, a Mexican artist based in California whose work is nothing short of jaw-dropping. Additionally we have custom made Día de los Muertos artwork coming to us from Gene Flores and Steven Lopez, two seriously impressive artists with eye-catching styles. To top it all off, the night will be made all the more special by live music by one of Milagro's most talented and charming artists... Rumors are floating around the theatre about who will be performing, and as soon as we are at liberty to spill the beans, we promise we will. So, please stay tuned for more details, and until then, don't lose your seat (only 75 seats and they go quickly)!
“¡Viva Miagro!” — our Día de los muertos fundraising dinner is Tuesday, Oct. 30 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. in El Centro Milagro's Zocálo, our community space adjacent to the lobby that will be filled with those creative and festive Day of the Dead altars (see details in story above). Tickets are only $75 and must be purchased in advance. The deadline to RSVP is Oct. 24! Purchase your tickets with a credit card online or by calling 503-236-7253; if you wish to pay with cash or check, stop by our offices weekdays 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. If you are unable to attend but wish to contribute to the Miracle, please make a tax-deductible donation online.
Tales from the tour
One month closer to the "end" of the Mayan calendar folks! Due to imminent fear that has accumulated, experts met in Merida, Mexico last Friday to discuss the implications of the Mayan long count calendar. These experts, among them internationally recognized archaeologists and anthropologists, stressed that ancient Mayans were extremely interested in events beyond December 21, 2012. Meanwhile, back in Gregorian time, in the past week the Milagro touring troupe took B'aktun 13 from the farthest edge of Washington down to a small rural farming community in Oregon. Senior citizens, immigrants and religious community leaders all weighed in about what they thought about the play and the topics presented in four very different performances. Here are just a few of the comments gathered from our feedback forms:
- Intensity was amazing, I didn't want it to end.
- It was so realistic, it made me visualize where they were – I would watch it again!
- I enjoyed the energy of the actors! Great storyline.
- I liked the magical way in which the characters transformed.
- I loved the great mix of themes and issues addressed.
On Wednesday, Oct. 3 we travel to Appleton, Wisconsin. On Thursday we are in Milwaukee and then next week back in Oregon for a performance in Bend. Visit our blog for a complete tour schedule and stay tuned for Mayan calendar updates! (To find out more about how to bring B’aktun 13, Aventuras de Don Quixote or next year’s touring show Frida, un retablo to your campus, contact Dañel Malán at 503-236-7253 ext. 116 or Malan@milagro.org.)
“You can totally make that!”
Join us this October for three creative Día de los muertos-themed workshops at Milagro! This series is an offering to your crafty side as instructors Samuel Becerra and Estela Robinson each lead classes in making art traditionally found on the altars during the Day of the Dead. You can sculpt your own flauta de calavera (skull-shaped flute) with Samuel and then learn how to play traditional flutes and melodies. Delicate papel picado can decorate your home after a class with Estela, while an evening decorating sugar skulls can satisfy any need for sweets. Here’s the schedule:
- Flautas de calavera with Samuel Becerra— Saturday Oct. 20, 1-3 p.m., $10 (or $25 for both the class and one admission to see Raíz)
- Papel picado with Estela Robinson — Wednesday Oct. 24, 6-8 p.m., $5 (or $20 for the class and one admission to see Raíz)
- Sugar skull decorating with Estela Robinson — Wednesday Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m., $5 (or $20 for the class and one admission to see Raíz)
But wait – we have an awesome package deal, too: Register for all three classes and one admission to Raíz all for only $35! Advance registration required: Sign up now by calling 503-236-7253 or visiting our offices at 425 SE Sixth Ave., Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Prepayment or credit card guarantee required at time of registration.
Want to know more? Visit our blog to read more details about the classes and the instructors.
Triple A lights our fire
Rain is near, fall is here! Yes, that’s right, rain and cold will besiege us soon enough. However, don’t let the frigid weather bog you down; let our friends at AAA Heating and Cooling solve all of your furnace issues, heating pump failures, duct and hose testing and sealing problems. Ask for John “Pepe” Rodarte for all your heating and cooling needs—how do you think the cabal of Aztec gods from our Raíz show stay so comfortable during these fall months? Furthermore, as a trade ally contractor of Energy Trust of Oregon, they can help with cash incentives and state energy tax credits to improve the energy efficiency of your home. This is one of the many reasons why Miracle is proud to have AAA Heating and Cooling as one of our generous program advertisers. Please support them with your business, because they support the Miracle! Thanks Triple-A!
OPENING OCT. 19!
Directed by Arturo Martinini
Sponsored by The Oregonian
Every year, the dead have been commemorated in Portland’s longest-running Día de los muertos celebration. This season, a cabal of Aztec gods, having fallen out of favor in the modern world, seek to revive their relevance by reuniting a young clown with his departed partner, Augustina. Time turns backward as we unearth the interwoven roots of pre-Hispanic customs and traditions found at the juncture of life and death. Are we but dreaming and awake only when we die? Through music, dance and legend, we explore that thin veil that separates our world from the realm of our indigenous ancestors.
Raiz plays Oct. 19 through Nov. 11 at the Milagro Theatre (525 SE Stark St.). Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $30 and can be purchased from 503-236-7253 or 425 SE Sixth Ave. weekdays 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., or online anytime from www.milagro.org.
Special Day of the Dead Activities
• An exhibit of Day of the Dead altars created by local Latino artists will be on display one hour prior to each performance in El Zócalo, a community space adjacent to the theatre lobby. Free.
• A post-play discussion with the director, cast and crew immediately follows the 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Oct. 21. Free.
• ASL interpretation Sunday, Oct. 28 (contact box office for seating).
• Don’t miss our annual Día de los muertos fundraising dinner ¡Viva Milagro! on Oct. 30.
• Los Porteños writers group will present original stories and poetry written for the Day of the Dead prior to the matinee on Sunday, Nov. 4, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Free.
Hispanic Pros at Milagro Oct. 12
On Friday, Oct. 12, Milagro is pleased to open its doors once again to the Hispanic Pros and their monthly networking event in our Zócalo amid the exhibit of Day of the Dead altars. Doors are open 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and the evening includes an open mic as well as a sneak peek at a scene from Raíz. Enter at the corner door at 537 SE Stark. For more information about Hispanic Pros, visit http://hispanicpros.com/.
Milagro to co-host Portland Mayoral Candidates Forum Oct. 30
In October, Miracle Theatre Group joins Hispanic Pros, Latino Network and the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association to co-host the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber's Portland Mayoral Candidates Forum. On Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Benson Hotel (309 SW Broadway), the two most visible mayoral candidates — Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith — will join the Hispanic Chamber members and the general community. Each candidate will speak and then will be asked questions from the audience. Tickets for this luncheon are $29 for HMCC members and $34 for nonmembers. The event is sponsored by Wells Fargo. For more information and tickets, call 503-222-0280 or visit www.hmccoregon.com.
Take the Streetcar to Milagro
This past month was one of the busiest of the whole year here at Milagro. In addition to the festival events and rehearsals for Raíz, the Portland Streetcar began operations of its eastside line up and down Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Grand Avenue, with convenient stops just a block away from the theatre entrance. So next time you want to take public transportation to or from the theatre, you have this great option! Get information and check out the schedule on the Portland Streetcar's website. (And for those of you who still want to drive, there are now new parking signs in the area that now explain that the timed parking [1-hour, 2-hour] is in effect only until 6 p.m. and not on Sundays.)
29th SEASON SPONSORS
Miracle Theatre Groupís 2012-2013 season is sponsored in part by Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Regional Arts & Culture Council and Work for Art, Oregon Arts Commission, Collins Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Kinsman Foundation, Shubert Foundation, Juan Young Trust, PGE Foundation, Bloomfield Family Foundation, US Bancorp Foundation, Autzen Foundation, Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, Rose Tucker Charitable Trust, Carpenter Foundation, SE Uplift, Jackson Foundation, El Centinela, and El Hispanic News/PQ Monthly.
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