Por Vida 2018 showcases the company's cool, smooth take on original Austin Eastside movement storytelling. From metal rock induced mariachi to the electrifying sounds of boogaloo, Aztlan merges tradition and modernity into new theatrical dance compositions that give sight and sound to the moves and grooves that inspires original East Austin culture. “Por Vida is feel good dance in a time we all need to feel good!”
AZTLAN PorVida: c/s
The AZTLAN Dance Company presents “The AZTLAN Project: Body Rituals,” an experimental performance exploration that highlights the labor of love that dancers engage. Set in the scene of the dance studio, the work tells the story of individuals as they transition from the everyday body to the performance body. The AZTLAN Project offers audiences a rare backstory glimpse of the rehearsal process and the difficult contemplations each dancer engages as they temper their mind and body for the extraordinary realm of theatrical dance performance.
Loterialandia: Por Siempre
The AZTLAN Dance Company presents “Loterialandia 2017,” an original full-length dance performance that takes viewers into the mythic and magical space(s) of the centuries-old Mexican card game of “La Loteria.” The choreo-drama unfolds as a lonely traveler begins his treacherous journey of crossings between spaces known and unknown. Through the guidance of his shaman-seer, he questions what is real and fantasy as his fateful premonitions blur the lines between the material and imagined. From the Loteria characters of El Valiente to La Dama and from El Diablo to El Apache, all audience members witness a game of chance that contributes to our understandings of the world we live in. It's Loteria!
AZTLAN Enchilada Western: ReFried!
Set in a time of yesteryear, AZTLAN dancers enter the Borderlands/Frontera in order to cross the mystery world(s) of both familiar and unfamiliar characters, settings, and experiences. From the carnival tonic salesman to the moonlight sorcerer (la hechisera), or from the lone lost vaquera to the lost vertigo posse looking for new horizons, the Enchilada Western: ReFried is a place you will want to know, but fear entering. Travel with the AZTLAN dancers as they take on all risk, so that you don't have to. Prepare yourself for the whole Enchilada!
ITZPAPALOTL: Obsidian Butterfly
AZTLAN presents the story of a young girl, Ixchel, as she looks into the dark night sky to wonder what her life has in store and what she will grow up to be like. Mesmerized by the mystery of the moon and star's everlasting glow, Ixchel is visited by the ancient and divine night-sprit Itzpapalotl who seizes the opportunity to whisper the secrets of earthly mestiza life. Set in modern time, ITZPAPALOTL: Obsidian Butterfly narrates the cyclical nature of life and death, and the ephemerality of time in which memory is based. As our elders convey stories of their life journey, in them we hear the traces of culture that have been nurtured throughout the centuries.
Xicano Dreams: Earth, Life and Labors of Love
Traveling between the existential planes of our cosmological multiverse - a lonely solitary star-traveller scribes his epic tales of journey and imaginations. His trans-lucid codex predates life on Earth and collapses space, time, and thought as dynamic intersecting vortices from which all things evolve. In the process of thinking and writing his epic tale he inadvertently summons the Aztlan Cumbia Cruisers from their cosmic explorations in the Rasquatl Incohinixtli constellation.
The AZTLAN Dance Company recreates the land of Loteria by giving the iconic card characters life and placing them in a dance of modernity where, like the card game, they ally and undermine each other to determine future fates in the present. As the game caller (la bruja) announces each card, the company imagines the dance. From El Valiente, to La Dama, from El Diablo to El Apache, Aztlan rolls the dice so that all audiences walk away a winner.
Sexto Sol: A Cumbia Cruiser’s Guide to the Galaxy
In Sexto Sol, Aztlan converges ancient Mayan 2012 prophecy, recent PlanetX discoveries and Austin barrio culture in an evening-length dance performance about life's origins. Set to Cumbia dance harmonies, Aztlan travels cosmological time and distance to deconstruct myth that has defined our earthly existence. Juxtaposing the indigenous, contemporary, and future, Aztlan re-narrates origins by offering a dance story that reveals deep slippages in time and space.
It is only through Aztlan's Cumbia time-travel can we make sense of Xicano sub-atomic particle matter that brings us closer to understand where we came from, who we are, how things began, and why it matters. It's Aztlan Dance!
The AZTLAN Enchilada Western
In crossing borders we make great assumptions about who we are and where we are going. In entering border space(s) the comfort of knowing who you are and where you come from has no bearing in the newly formed and ever-changing state of being. The experience that you bring in the dangerous crossings affords you only the time to react and stand firm by your decisions.
Border spaces are alive with power, mystery, and magic - as they allow only for the reinvention of person and glimpses of past and future in the present. Whether the unnerving sound of the rattlesnake, the deep sounding footsteps of imagined strangers, or the piercing stark stare of eyes of the other - you walk this space alone, owned and with no remorse. You alone made the decision to enter into the crossing and there is no turning back. Armed with guitar, pistola, and tequila – your acquaintances are only as good as your worst fears.....
It's the Aztlan Enchilada Western. Vamanos!
El Gran Lucha Libre
Recreating the zany and spectacular world of Spanish TV wrestling, dancers don masks of famous (and not so famous) wrestlers in all out wrestling extravaganza that makes spectacle of the physical and theatrical superficiality of wrestling entertainment. AZTLAN celebrates the comic, satirical, and parodic aspects of wrestling action heroes, villains, and victims. It’s wrestling like you’ve never seen before, Aztlan style!
Xicano Cumbia Vertigo
The Vertigo is a dance work that evokes the images and experiences of Xicano cultural memory. The work narrates movement tales of an imagined borderland where at the exact moment you think what you see is true, in fact, it might not actually be. The Vertigo is a composition that fuses folk traditions with modern dance idioms in a collage that that will leave viewers bound and intrigued by the depth and diversity of the Latino experience in Frontera-America. It’s Aztlan, its dance - it’s Aztlan Dance. Ahorale!
The period immediately following World War II was a unique time for Latinos. Serving country and countrymen - the return to the city was met with unique negotiations for social acceptance. It was in the grand salóns, the dance halls, where people living in urban centers could congregate and enjoy shared stories of countless experiences. These larger-than-life ballrooms filled with the magical sounds of the great musical masters would leave everyone tranced by the rhythmic tempos of rumba, cha-cha, and mambo. Boogaloo was emerging as a musical style that fused Americana with Latino rhythm.
When the evening was in full swing and the boogaloo beat electrified, everyone was in the mood for over-the-top dancing, even for the Salón’s wait staff. Watch out – we’re feeling good - baby - it’s Boogaloo!
The AZTLAN Dance Company crafts dance repertoire that reflects the Mexican-American experience in the US. Xicano Blues reflects the Mexican American music and dance during the post WWII formative years. A dash of Mexicana and a splash of Americana makes Xicano Blues an upbeat and unique historical dance segment. An American salute, Aztlan style
Gitano: El Duende
Fire, passion, and intensity are the essence of el duende (the spirit) that infuses the soul of Spanish dance. The spirit of centuries descend as dancers ignite the core essence of internal emotion. Women are brazen with boldness and men with rapture, as Gitaneria evokes both new and old. Stand back and feel the pulse of desire as AZTLAN unleashes the torment and beauty that Zapateado (footwork) is built upon. Twist, turn, and hold steady as matadors meets their challenge. A brief moment between hunter and hunted, the eyes meet the soul of the other and magic transpires to emblazon all witnesses.
Reflections of Old Mexico
Folk rhythms inspire the soul and captures the spirit of heritage and the people that live within. In the Reflexiones suite, Aztlan retells folk stories of life, struggle, and community in a fully contemporary context, reflecting the values and customs that have kept traditions surviving throughout the decades.
Austin Barrio Sweets
Uniquely the Aztlan Dance Company, The Austin Barrio Sweet is a dance collage of sights and sounds of Austin's East Side barrio. Incorporating expressive dance form with folklórico dance rhythm, Aztlan creates a live panoroma that leaves will leave you tantalized and realizing that the East Side is alive with rich, vibrant and diverse culture.
Habibi de los Amores: El Duende (Night Spirits)
For over five centuries Moroccan culture has informed the roots of Latin culture and its peoples. Once viewed as a transient culture throughout Spain and Western Europe, arabic influence has shaped much of today’s Latino cultural traditions and customs. The Aztlan Dance Company takes the viewer on a contemporary dancescape that recalls the centuries of intercultural contact.
As the nomadic gypsy looked for a place to call home, the individual found solace by focusing on his/her personal spirit. At times sweet and at times bitter, consolation is found when tone is set to establishes the present. Community becomes virtuous when harmony and interaction becomes commonplace and where fancifulness is appreciated. Nightfall dispels daily routine as the passion spirit, el “duende,” joins man and woman in a dances of love, romance and the rest.
Volares del Amor: El Circo (love, a 3 ring circus)
Aztlan has created the Volares del Amor cuadro (ballet) as a work that shares with audiences the contradictions of life and love. A cuadro set in five movements, Volares reveals the self consciousness and isolation that is found both in and out of love. Purest love is most true before it’s reality is realized. Only then does love’s truths becomes self apparent. Entangled and entwined, Love always has a way of redefining itself. To take love to task is to look for and find its permanence (or temporality, whichever the case may be). Like the pollen of a springtime morning-blossom, love flies and flies until received without condition. Is love really what it is all made out to be? Is life a charade? Is love a charade? Only the circus ringmaster can shout with the bold confidence to bring on the next act. Hurry, hurry, hurry ... step right up!
Jungle of the Jaguar
Jungle of the Jaguar is an Aztlan Dance Company new dance cuadro (ballet) that pays homage to the sacred jaguar, a north American feline that is rooted culturally in Latin American indigenous lore. The AZTLAN Company recreates the travel of the shaman as he visits the spiritual realm of the jaguar. The jaguar was once believed to dialogue with the sacred sun and moon. The spots on the jaguar's fur were thought to be the burn scars that made the evening stars. The story will unfold through dance as both shaman and jaguar come face to face in a duel of supremacy.
La Pachucada: Los Zooters
Vato, Cholo, Pachuco, Zooter, you got it!
The AZTLAN Dance Company retells stories of the 50-60’s Xicano experience in America. This era marked the emergence of the Mexican-American with a distinct style and demeanor. Tough around the edge, but deeply heartfelt, the Xicano struggled for identity and appreciation in American Society. The Zooters were pioneers in the creation of the Xicano onda (way of life). Jitterbug, Cumbia, Swing, Danzon, Boogie-Woogie, Mambo - they are all rhythms that make everyone dance. All things are great until the moment that lines are crossed and violence becomes so easy the remedy. Wisdom becomes the answer and dance becomes the solution as Vatos/Zooters work to outshine each others stylistic dance moves.
In Aztlan's Lucha Libre - novela meets the ferocity of wrestling machismo where masked villains meet the ringmaster and his lovely dames in a cumbia created sensation of over-the-top extravaganza.
The Authentic Chill
The moments when dancers have mastered all movements and stepped beyond their disciplinary confines allows for a repose that inspirits a new dance that exists within the original - this is where dancers take pleasure in an authentic chill to extend expression beyond their known bounds. The Chill is true beauty to see.
Duende: Night Spirits
With the evening pronounced everyone shares in the El Duende, the night spirit, where the dance carries us to an (re)imagined, reconfigured, suspended reality. With the rhythm of centuries inspired musica y canto (song), El Duende reveals a dance that is fantasy in the make. Portals are crossed as dancers and viewers journey into the sweet quiet spaces of the night spirit.
Salón, Salón, Maestro y Salón
The dance studio is El Maestro's domain. Students arrive at the Salón and are always eager, attentive and ready for dance instruction. When his lovely assistant enters the studio, all etiquette and behavior goes into awry in an all out lack of studio control. The frenzy of animated cha-cha, salsa, and cumbia dance can only be classified as life’s real drama.
Catch the feeling...
Experience the Culture!
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