On Screen and Stage @ La Biblioteca

By Josué Tacoronte

This season “Mexico Flamenco” brings us a musical presentation which lets us enjoy a combination of flamenco-inspired dance and the words of Mexican writers.

Dance: México Flamenco. Sat, Feb 25, 5pm. Teatro Santa Ana, La Biblioteca, Reloj 50a. Donations 150 pesos

The dancer Ana Cecilia Ochoa, together with Rosa Salgado and Mitzi Villegas, will present a choreography enriched by Andalusian dance, with musical backup from Francisco Ramos on bass, Josue Tacoronte on flamenco guitar and Dagoberto Quintana on percussion. Paulina A. Izquierdo will be an invited artist.

Popular songs such as “La llorona,” “Cielita Linda,” “La Cigarra,” and “Maria Bonita” will be presented alongside bulerias, farruca, alegrias and rumbas from Andalusia, creating a cultural dynamic that offers another good reason to record the words of  great Mexican authors.

We hope to see you at the inauguration of this flamenco season. More information can be found on our web page www.academiaensamble.com.mx, by telephone at 442-215-1069 or directly from the Santa Ana theater.

Film: The War We Don’t See. Tue, Feb 21, 3pm. Teatro Santa Ana, La Biblioteca, Reloj 50A. 60 pesos

Panel: Nonviolent social change w/Vic Bremson, Patricia Scott and Cliff DuRand. Wed, Feb 22, 11am. Sala Quetzal, La Biblioteca, Reloj 50A. 60 pesos

War, peace and nonviolence

By Cliff DuRand

War, peace and nonviolence is the theme for this week’s programs from the Center for Global Justice.  British journalist and filmmaker John Pilger gives us his latest documentary The War You Don’t See.  This is a powerful and timely investigation into the media’s role in war.  It traces the history of embedded and independent reporting from the carnage of World War I to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan.  An incisive and rare critic of Western economic and military power, Pilger’s humane eyewitness reporting has been described as a unique presence on British television that explores where others dare not go.

Film: War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. Thu, Feb 23, 3:15pm. Teatro Santa Ana, La Biblioteca, Reloj 50A. 60 pesos

The documentary film War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq. Narrated by actor and activist Sean Penn, War Made Easy exhumes remarkable archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W. Bush, revealing in stunning detail how the American news media have uncritically disseminated the pro-war messages of successive presidential administrations.  Is it now happening to us again?

There are alternatives to the violence of war.  The Center for Global Justice will present a panel discussion of “Nonviolent Social Change” featuring Vic Bremson, Patricia Scott and Cliff DuRand.  There are many historical examples from the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s to the present Occupy Wall Street movement where nonviolent protest has contributed to significant social change.  While the powers that be often respond with violence, this has not always been able to repress peaceful protest.  The panel will explore the theory and practice of nonviolence as a method for social change.


Ancient Cultures Part I By Robyn Halliday

“Aztec, Toltec, Mixtec, Zapotec” –we know they were some of the great cultures of ancient Mexico, but “how the heck can you tell one ‘tec’ from another?” If this question has been on your mind lately you may be interested in a lecture to be given this week at the Santa Ana Theater of the Biblioteca. Retired Professor of Humanities Guillermo Méndez will examine four major pre-Hispanic Mexican cultures described by one Mesoamerican scholar as the four “unifying forces” in ancient Mexico. They are the Olmec, Teotihuacán, Toltec, and Aztec civilizations. The lecture will be illustrated with over 200 digital images of the art, artifacts, and architecture of the four cultures.

Lecture: Ancient Cultures Part I, The Four Major Pre-Hispanic Mexican Cultures. Mon, Feb 20, 4pm. Teatro Santa Ana, La Biblioteca, Reloj 50A. donations 60 pesos

For each culture a distinguishing concept will be given and discussed. The concepts are defining concepts, which help to differentiate one group from another.

For example, the concept for the Olmecs is “The Mother Culture,” for that is the role they played in Mesoamerican history. Most of the salient characteristics of later cultures were present in the Olmec several centuries before the year zero in our Gregorian calendar.

The ancient cultures of Mexico shared a unique calendar that combined a 365-day solar calendar and a 260 day ritual calendar. This combination of calendars did not repeat until 52 years had passed. Thus 52-year “centuries” acquired considerable importance in the cosmic expectations of the Aztecs, for example, demanding vital rituals like the “new fire ceremony.” Every 52 years all the fires in the Aztec capital city, Tenochtitlan, were extinguished. On a hilltop outside of the city a “new fire” was started on the chest of a soon-to-be-sacrificed person. From the new fire all the extinguished fires of the city would be reignited.

Each of the four cultures had its own style in art and architecture. Again, distinguishing visual images will be presented that characterize each culture. In the case of the Olmecs, the colossal heads carved of basalt will be discussed and the unique were-jaguar images, many carved from jadeite, will be examined and interpreted.

A second lecture next week utilizing the same format will present the Zapotec, Maya, Classic Veracruz, and Mixtec cultures.


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