After the excitement of the 12-13 season subsided, I was ready to head south to Mexico to start looking at aspects of my new life with Flor. We had planned some beautiful time putting together her parents’ home outside of Oaxaca and seeing how we could get used to that kind of life. It just might be easy. Unfortunately, the quiet of what surrounded us was broken and torn to pieces by the incredible insensitivity of the immigration process that had Flor and Sara traveling to the hell hole of Ciudad Juarez to get their entry visa. Not only was it an ordeal to arrange the meeting, which was set up over a weekend making them stay there for two unnecessary days, but the treatment they received at the consulate made me very upset to be a United State Citizen. It was a travesty and a tragedy.
Fortunately, the beauty of Oaxaca and its people made up for our bad experience. My quiet times were spent surrounded by an environment that I had lived in some 60 years ago and for company I had a chicken that had adopted our home and became my pal. We had long dissertations about life and her philosophy made sense: eat, sleep, hunt for worms, and dance about.
Speaking of dance, I did manage to look around for about a week to get an idea of what was going on. The local contemporary dance company, that amazingly was celebrating 30 years of existence, left a great deal to be desired. Their style was antiquated and though dancers were earnest with their work and one female stood out, the overall look of the evening was condecending and very boring. The theatre was packed as the performance was free to the public, but my gut feeling is that the majority felt like I did, and when the end came we were just relieved. While some stayed and applauded, I opted for a fast retreat. Also during that week I met with another young choreographer struggling to make it at a Zocalo Cafe and we spoke about possible avenues for improvement. I was thrilled to be of assistance; whether they take any of it and run with it, who knows. At least I was happy to see their genuine desire to move forward.
More important was the celebration of Guelatguetza, a festival that brings folks from all over the state of Oaxaca to perform at a large open air theatre on the hillside overlooking Oaxaca. Unfortunately, the theatre is an eyesore as half of their roof blew away during a storm and they have yet to repair it. All seats were sold out to mostly politicians at exorbitant prices that makes me wonder how the “people’ can see and enjoy this. Well, one answer was in the fact that it was televised and shown at various plazas on large screens. That is were I sat to watch and marvel at the beauty of the people, the exquisite simplicity of the dances and the majestic details given to their costumes. Matter of fact for days leading to the festival, groups of people from different communities would march up an down Oaxaca singing and dancing. Really beautiful.
Well, house clean, visa in place, hellos and goodbyes said, and we were back to reality. A week at the office and then off to the east coast to see dance and enjoy the artistry of creators we hope will grace our stages.