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Posts Tagged ‘pineapple dancers’

Saturday was a beautiful day for this year’s second Guelaguetza Desfile de Delegaciones. Nothing but sun and blue sky greeted the dancers as they arrived in buses, their large props arrived in trucks, and spectators arrived on foot — as Calzada Porfirio Díaz, north of Niños Heroes was blocked to traffic, except for the aforementioned mentioned official vehicles.

Did I mention, mezcal flowed freely, as dancers fortified themselves and the gathered onlookers? It’s all part of the prep and, by the time the parade began at 6:00 PM sharp, everyone was feeling good and more than ready!

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Last Monday, L and I had a leisurely hike up the hill from my apartment to the Guelaguetza Auditorium, sat in stadium seats almost 20 rows up, looking down on the enormous circular concrete stage with the city and mountains providing a picturesque backdrop.

Yesterday, I hopped on a bus, heading for another Guelaguetza performance, this time in Villa de Etla.  However, a bloqueo (blockade) by Sección 22 of the teachers’ union had the bus turning around, doubling back, and taking a circuitous route that eventually wound its way through the narrow streets of Santa Rosa.  Once we got back on the main road, I transferred to a colectivo and arrived in Etla just as the dancing was about to begin — this time on a small temporary wood-plank stage, that seemed to shake with every dance step.  The setting wasn’t quite as spectacular, but, there I was, within an arm’s reach of the dancers!

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Danza de la Pluma

Danza de la Pluma

 

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Flor de Piña

With the exception of the Danza de la Pluma, these dancers are from a folkloric group that performs each of the traditional regional dances.   As you can see from their faces, they dance with as much joy and pride as the delegations from the villages at the big Guelaguetza.

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Returning home was its own adventure.  Last week, L and I only had to navigate sidewalks, pathways, and stairs along with the other 11,000 attendees.  Yesterday, Chris (see his Guelaguetza in Etla – 2014 post) gave me a ride to a bus stop where, after about 10 minutes, I caught the bus that would deposit me a half block from Casita Colibrí.  Alas, the best laid plans…  Just before the intersection up to Cerro Fortín, masked maestros (teachers) surrounded the bus, our driver shrugged, opened the doors, and off we passengers got.  It was hot, I was tired, but what else was there to do?  I hoofed it to halfway between the Museo del Ferrocarril (Railroad Museum) and Morelos Park, when another bus materialized, I climbed aboard, giving my feet a much-needed rest, and let the driver navigate the clogged streets that took me back to home sweet home.

It was a fun and frustrating AND exhilarating and exhausting kind of day.

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I’ve got to admit that up until yesterday, I was suffering from Guelaguetza burn-out.  In fact, I still have 1000+ photos that need to be weeded down to a more manageable number.

However, then yesterday happened — “Una Guelaguetza muy especial” presented by the very special people of Los Angeles de Luzy.   Sixteen young people with Down’s Syndrome, from the Yucatan, Campeche, and Oaxaca danced the traditional dances of the eight regions of Oaxaca in the Plaza de la Danza.

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Part of Oaxaca’s first Down’s Syndrome festival, it was an inspiring, moving, and incredibly joyful experience — and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.  ¡Muchisimas gracias a Los Angeles de Luzy!

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Oh those beautiful braids of many of the dancers in Guelaguetza!  How do they do it?  In Reyes Etla, trapped between a yellow caution tape barrier and the folding chairs of the Tuxtepec delegation (the pineapple dancers), the answer was revealed…

Number 1:  You can’t do it yourself!

Woman standing braiding a hair extension into a seated woman's hair.

Number 2:  Hair extensions!  (Who knew???)

Close-up of hands braiding ribbons into hair

Number 3:  Practiced hands.

Hands braiding ribbons into hair.

Number 4:  Patience.

Hands braiding ribbons into hair.

But, it’s well worth the effort!

Hands finishing long braid, with red and blue ribbons, that extends beyond top of chair.

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