The Devil’s Nightmare

By Jesús Aguado

Dance, music, acting, and humor will fill the atmosphere where the devil lives an eternal nightmare: the arrival of the Messiah.

The Devil’s Nightmare
Christmas Play
Thu, Dec 9 and Fri, Dec 10
Teatro Ángela Peralta
Tickets at the box office
30 pesos

December has arrived and it will be full of pastorelas (Christmas plays); one of them is La Pesadilla del Diablo, which will be presented by members of the Folkloric and Representative Ballet of San Miguel and other special guests. Teacher Gloria Navarrete will direct the farce written by the late María Luisa Moreno.

In this pastorela, the devil wants to stop, at all costs, the shepherds’ arrival to the manger where baby Jesus was born. In this attempt, Lucifer will have to face not just an old lady on her way to Bethlehem but also his own internal and external demons in order to accomplish his plan. What Lucifer does not know is that St. Michael the Archangel is always ready for the battle in order to protect the savior.

According to Navarrete, this is a different play (Jalisco style) because it includes music and dance after every act. The play will feature the Rondalla from Casa de la Cultura and Chilo singing Christmas carols, and Danza Viral will perform modern dances with the demons, among other surprises. The revenue will go to benefit the Association of Traditions and Culture.

Origin of the pastorelas

In Mexico the plays date from 1530, when the first bishop of New Spain, Juan de Zumárraga, issued an order to continue with the farces of the Nativity. Those plays helped also as an instrument for instilling the Catholic religion among the natives. Since then most of the plays written are very local, and evil is represented as a bad politician (but that depends on the writer). The plays always have the same structure: the angel announces to the shepherd that baby Jesus was born, and when they are on their way to adore him, Luzbel (Lucifer) appears and tries to change their mind. Evil is always defeated by St. Michael the Archangel.

At the end of the play, baby Jesus is lulled and Christmas carols are sung again. Aguinaldos (bags with candies) are handed over to the attendees, as will happen at this play.

 

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