On Saturday, July 14th, 2012, Andrea and I presented a collection of dances at the East Village Arts Party. The collection featured dances from three different regions of Mexico: Michoacan, Huasteca, and Jalisco. Our piece was titled “From Adversity, We Rise: A Celebration of Triumph”, which not only represents our overcoming personal struggles as dancers and obstacles we encountered preparing for the Arts Party, it also represents the trials and triumphs of our Mexican ancestors.
Andrea and I could have easily given up, especially after we discovered that some lowlife had infiltrated the Arts Party and stole my laptop and some cash from our changing area. The organizers had put measures in place to ensure a safe environment, but this person took advantage of the mutual trust between the artists. We protected ourselves as best we could, but someone chose to violate our trust.
My immediate concern was our music. I brought the laptop for our performance (since I don’t own an iPod), and suddenly it was gone. By the grace of God, I realized that all our music files were stored on my phone. My phone is temperamental when it comes to playing songs, so I transferred the files to a friend’s phone via Bluetooth. He set up a playlist and we were good to go. The Arts Party organizers were very upset by the theft and told us we didn’t have to perform. But Andrea and I insisted that we go on as planned. From adversity, we rise. We chose to celebrate rather than wallow.
There is something about folklorico dance that resonates with an audience. There is a sincere exchange between the dancer and the crowd, an exchange of excitement, pride, inspiration, and beauty. Our celebration on Saturday transcended generations as we performed dances that have passed through time and yet still managed to convey our personal interpretations; dances that were energetic and vivacious, joyful and strong. Our celebration also transcended cultural differences, as it brought people of different backgrounds, ideas, and walks of life, together in one appreciation for the beauty and vitality of Mexico, her history, and her people.
From adversity, we rise. We will continue to rise, and we will continue to celebrate.