By Nora Quintanilla
New York City, US, Jul 17 (EFE).- The traditions, colors and joy of Mexico took over a plaza at the prestigious Lincoln Center in New York City on Sunday, where dancers and bands celebrated the culture of the country with the staging of a quinceañera party.
The center that hosts the Met Opera ceded one of its outdoor spaces to an afternoon festival based on the independent play “Quince,” which was the first to be performed live in the city after the cultural blackout of the pandemic in 2020.
“Quince” told the story of a Chicana facing the Latin American rite of passage known as the quinceañera as she addresses her queer identity, roots and religion in an immersive format in which the public viewed the work as if they were party guests.
Its creators, Camilo Quiroz Vázquez and Ellpetha Tsivicos, on Sunday organized a party of this style with a touch of magical realism in which dozens of people gathered to dance, sing and eat under colorful garlands, piñatas and handcrafted figures hanging from the trees.
A pond was filled with floating flowers and hats; a Virgin of Guadalupe was erected over one of the gardens, and tables and chairs were placed for the attendees to rest and eat.
Los Tecuanes de Quetzalcóatl, a local dance group, opened the event with about 20 dancers in masks, large hats and clothing with bells that sounded as they moved.
The founder of the group, Wvillahdo Contreras, who came to New York more than two decades ago from Acatlán de Osorio, in the state of Puebla, told EFE that the dance is part of the religious and cultural tradition of that area and that it is important preserve it, so he teaches it non-profit.
“Most of the children (dancers) are born here. The tradition is passed from generation to generation and it is very satisfying that people born here are interested,” added Contreras, known as Fer, who has previously collaborated with organizer Quiroz.
In total, some 70 people were part of this Mexican party in which four groups performed, including Mariachi Sol Azteca.
“Being able to bring this to an institution like the Lincoln Center and invite people to see parts of themselves on a big stage is very important to solidifying our identities within the US as Latinos. We are part of the country and our culture influences the culture of this country,” said Quiroz. EFE