Monday, May 17, 2010

To Guatemala We Go...

***disclaimer: i am copying this (and paraphrasing) from my journal of the it may be a little more stream of consciousness than usual***

so we are well on our way to guatemala. i am tired, but excited & also THANKFUL...PRAISE, because we almost missed our flight! it is funny how in extremely important situations...everything either works with you or against you! in this situation, it was a little of both...but no middle ground. we were running late...then the MARTA decided to act crazy, then we had to rely on our charm (and the amazing powers of persuasion from our company manager Patton White) to get our butts on that plane!

no matter how much we believe or think we are in good shape, when you have to run the entire length of an airport with luggage in makes you very winded, tired, and sweaty! so now we are on the plane...and i will probably nap :)

after much sleep...we have landed, again...PRAISE!!! i hate is frightening...

YAY...i got the very first stamp on my passport!!! i always hear horror stories about customs, etc....but that was rather quick, easy, and painless.

upon leaving the airport we get the first pleasurable experience of the Guatemalan climate...dry, breezy, sunny, blue skies...and also the immediate realization that there is a definate hustle and bustly of a city...we are in Guatemala City, Guatemala. there are lots of folks outside the airport...women breast-feeding their kids, familys sitting on the curb of the street...and we are greeted by the smiling face of our tour guide Roberto! off we go...

if you thought riding in normal traffic is scary...i suggest you go to latin america where all logical rules of transportation go out the window (literally)! luckily our hotel is close by...once we drop our stuff off...we go eat at Las, yay...yummy food! from there it is time to go to the bank to get money, then off to the museum where Roberto took us through a "brief" historical overview of the Mayans...their culture, their art, their beliefs, etc as we walk through the museum...

i had to pay to be able to take pictures...that is odd, but hey...i want to document everything.
(pictures will follow...i'm writing this blog on a time crunch...sorry) is really funny how all of a sudden we go from beautiful pottery and other handmade objects full of detail & cultural significance into the last room which is full of catholic artifacts. it was strange to see how there was just a huge shift in culture, belief, and pretty much a way of life.

it is strange...the human need to conquer and impose their way of life on others. to justify their slaughter & overthrow of the Mayan empire...the church said that if they consider the Mayans as "savages" they they could kill & conquer because they are spreading the word of God & the gift of salvation to a people who are deemed as "un-Godly," "savage," and just in need of "saving."

thus begins the beautiful and odd marriage of the pagan ways of the Mayans and the Christian beliefs of their conquerors.

roberto said, "Guatemala is a land of contrasts."

i am moved by the beauty of the landscape, the climate...the air is thick with history, i think we all notice it...we aren't in kansas anymore. we are in for a journey of a lifetime...change is palpable...i feel it in me already.

i live my life as a Latin American...with no real connection to who i am in this crazy world, when it comes to history & heritage...i have been so "American-ized." it sounds cheesy...but i am in the land of my people...same skin, same native tongue (that is still very foreign to me)...i long to have that zest for life that they have...despite their economic conditions.

i can't help but think...what would my life be like if my grandparents didn't make that tough decision to leave their home, their history, their lives (as they knew it) search for something search for the American dream!

in short...i realize...we are no longer talking about going to Guatemala...we are here...and i am is amazing & just have to open your eyes...and realize & accept that!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

and now it's time...

after a small break from blogging, we are back...kinda. we have entered the last week of this season. we dancers can now give a small sigh of relief knowing that we all put in the hours...did the work, and the fruits of our labor have paid off. we have paid the price in sweat, fatigue, and love! that being said, now we will have a little time to rest our bodies...but the end is not in sight because we still have to perform is Sweden, and we also have some other things lined up during our "time off."

tonight we will have a fundraiser to end this season with a bang, but most importantly to usher in the next chapter...our 30th season!!! fear not faithful CPC blog readers...i still have to tell you what we have been up to, and explain what we were up to during our absence. in the 2 weeks that we were gone...we travelled to my beloved hometown of Houston, Texas to work in senior centers (that was a first for me) but also to share the stage with some amazing talent for our shared bill with Becky Valls, Teresa Chapman, Leslie Scates, and our very own Blake Dalton & Sue Schroeder all presented work in Let's Dance. despite crazy weather & many dance events scheduled at the same time...our devoted fans braved all of that to support us (for that...MANY, MANY thanks)! in addition to that we also performed at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston & i celebrated my 27th year on this planet!!!! so after all that, we flew back to Atlanta for one day of rest, but there is no rest for the weary because after that one day of rest (or running errands) we were off to Guatemala!!!!

i am not going too much into detail about that life-changing excursion, because on my one day off i broke down and bought a camera that i took full advantage of during the trip. also, i made it a point to chronicle our adventures in Guatemala old-school carrying around a notebook, a pen and scribbling down any and all wonderful events that took place. so stay tuned for a day-by-day recap of everything that went down, including some photos and video!!!

so since this is the last "official" blog of the season...i want to thank everyone for their support of Core through this season and all previous 29 seasons! i am proud to be part of this organization and am thankful for all the wonderful opportunities it has blessed me with, but am also looking forward to the many opportunities that are just waiting for me in the seasons to come!

much love...alex

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

CORE travels to Guatemala and Sweden

To further the vision of Artistic Director Sue Schroeder's work Corazón Abriendo, a multimedia performance with not only dance collaborators, but co-artists involved in music, anthropology, archeaelogy, film, sculpure, writing, traditional Mayan weaving...
Sue has the desire for all the dancers working in the piece to be able to speak, create and perform from a place of real and deep experience with the ancient and living Mayan cultures.  Several trips to Chiapas, Mexico were a wealth of wonder and inspiration for the first layer of work with Corazón.
Now with new faces, minds and bodies in the company we travel to a different area within the heart of Mayan culture.  The travel to a place that is new to ALL the company members creates a unifying experience for us all.
We will visit the legendary beauty of Lake Atitlan. This also the home of the Mayan group that writer Martin Prechtel spent seveal years with as he wrote eloquent renditions ancient Mayan stories like 'The Disobendience of the Daughter of the Sun'.  We read this story aloud every night in Chiapas, a vibrant window to the intricate nuances of this complex culture and its people. 
We will visit temple sites, journey through rainforests, climb volcanoes and meet Mayan weavers who will speak 'Quiche' instead of the Chiapan Mayan languages Tzotzil and Tzeltal. And who knows what new collaborators we will meet by chance...

We have been invited to Sweden to be a part of the 'Abundance' Dance Festival in Karlstad!
An amazing opportunity to participate, develop and present work in an exciting and prestigous dance festival.  This is a chance that dance artists dream of.  We will be side by side with dancers, choreographers and artists from all over Europe and the world.  There is so much exciting work happening currently particularly in Europe that we have little exposure to in Atlanta.  This is a place where Sue's new work "The Point" can grow and where the CORE dance artists will be able to expand not only their technique but the scope of their artistic conciousness.  What connections will we make with artists from all over the world ?  Where will we travel next?  Who will we be able to invite to the Atlanta Community ?  Huzzah !