Tell a story around a deceased love one and they live again. That is the central idea behind a collaborative celebration the Día de los Muertos in ~ Arts Mission Oak Cliff in Dallas from Oct. 31 come Nov. 2.

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Verdigris Ensemble, Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, Arttitude and social worker and also writer Ofelia Faz-Garza that Cascabel group join forces to commemorate the Mexican holiday that days to the Aztecs.

Día de los Muertos, or job of the Dead, source in old Mesoamerica - now Mexico and also northern main America - through Aztecs, Maya, Toltec and other indigenous teams celebrating ancestors. The vacation is colorful and also vibrant, blurring the line in between sacred and secular, the living and the dead. "It"s a celebratory holiday," Sam Brukhman, Verdigris Ensemble"s creative director, said. "It"s a beautiful holiday of remembrance and celebration."


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Dickie Hill
Verdigris Ensemble performs Anthracite Fields, gift by SOLUNA Festival.

Verdigris Ensemble will certainly sing music reflective of the holiday"s cultural roots. "It presents methods both for scared and also secular music because it has actually been linked with the church in current history, however it stems from a secular culture. It"s exciting to see how it has developed over time," Brukhman said. "It"s sacred, it"s secular, it"s ritualistic, it"s celebratory."


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Brukhman selected piece by Latinx/Hispanic composers consisting of Diana Syrse, Ariel Ramirez and Vicente Chavarria. The music functions foot percussion and indigenous instruments consisting of a death whistle, one instrument the Aztec warriors lugged into battle.

The choir to represent the human being of the living while dancers indigenous Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico represent the soul realm. "We"re feather at exactly how to try to reflect that thin veil between the living and also those who have actually passed on," Alexandra Hernandez, Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico"s program manager and choreographer the this celebration. "When girlfriend tell a story about someone who is no longer there and you acquire really affiliated in the story, it feels favor they are still there. So, what we"re trying to play with in the dance aspect is what that is as soon as somebody"s heart is there, to gain lost in the movement, to get lost in the music that you forget what the reality is."


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Serkan Zanagar
Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico Dancers represent the soul realm in this Dia De Los Muertos celebration.

Faz-Garza and Jerome Larez, co-founder and board chair that Arttitude, are working with artists to develop ofrendas. Ofrendas space three-tiered altars created to respect a deceased love one. The ofrenda traditionally includes facets of earth, wind, water and also fire. Water and also salt are inserted on the ofrenda to quench the thirsty of the dead. Food, representing earth, is nourishment because that the spirit"s journey. Candle illuminate the spirit"s way. Marigolds develop path to the spirit"s altar. "It"s to provide a welcome and also a location for lock so the there"s tho a location for castle in her home," Faz-Garza said.

Photos, personal belongings and favorite foods individualize the ofrenda. At the celebration, audience members space invited to respect a loved one by purchase a commemorative marigold. Proceeds indigenous the marigolds sponsor ticket for local families and also students to to visit Día de los Muertos performances. Patrons may also share a personal item at a communal ofrenda. "You"ll be able to see so plenty of different ethnicities and backgrounds that make-up this community. It will be a unique piece of art that changes from night come night," Brukhman said.

Family history is shared throughout Día de los Muertos. "There"s a belief that friend don"t ever before really die till you space forgotten and also that"s why it is so vital to remember," Hernandez said.

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Larez learned about his grandmother"s brother, a loved one he never met, during Dia De Los Muertos. "I"ve heard so many stories of family members members," Larez said. "There"s tho so lot of our history we don"t know. That"s part of the heritage of passing down our history."

Hernandez recognizes traits of her loved persons in herself. Her family members shared stories about her great-grandfather"s stubbornness. "Oh, that"s wherein I gain it from," Hernandez said with a laugh.

When Faz-Garza"s grand died, her family made celebrate Día de los Muertos a priority. "I"m passing that on to mine children, sharing the stories and it"s comforting to them to give them a opportunity to understand the world around them."


Celebrating ancestors" contributions to family and community is a distinctive element of Día de los Muertos, a stark contrast with America"s individualist culture. "We would certainly be nothing without them. Us walk in ours ancestors" footsteps," Faz-Garza said. "I"m an extremely conscious of who I come from and also I"m here because of them."

"That"s component of our identification as Latinx people," Larez adds. "Our culture, ours tradition, how we celebrate and how we watch life and also death is really much just how we identify."

Larez emphasizes this celebration event is because that the whole community. "It"s about presenting other authentic. If you"re no Latinx, you deserve to come in, you have the right to understand and you have the right to experience it v the music, through the dancing and also with the art of the ofrendas. There"s multiple ways of suffering where the legacies come from and also why we carry out it," he said. "It"s a cultural experience for everyone."