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Riverview Farmers Market Extends Hispanic Heritage Month with dance inspired by Frida Kahlo

The free performance is November 4 at Grace Church Van Vorst, 39 Erie Street

Christine Dakin with the Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble, performing "Frida," choreographed by Anna Sokolow. Photo by Jeff Somers

The annual Riverview Farmers Market Dias de Los Muertos / Days of the Dead celebration will be back–with its notable puppet parade–this October 30th. Special for this year, the Market extends its Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations to include performance of the dance “Frida” on November 4th.

“This year, we’re extremely excited to be partnering with the Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble to offer a passionate dance inspired by and dedicated to Frida Kahlo,” said Beverly Brown, Market Board Member.

“Frida Kahlo and Anna Sokolow were colleagues and friends, starting in the 1940’s. This dance is a celebration of international collaboration and cultural appreciation.”

The role of Frida Kahlo will be danced by guest artist Christine Dakin, a soloist and former director of the Martha Graham Dance Company. The role of Diego Rivera will be danced by Luis Gabriel Zaragoza. The evening will also include traditional Mexican dances performed by young dancers from across Hudson County who are members of El Grupo Sueño Americano.

The performance is on November 4th. It is free and takes place at Grace Church Van Vorst, 39 Erie Street. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. The performance will begin at 8pm.

Supporting local artists, celebrating the diverse cultures of Jersey City, and bringing a variety of foods to the Market is central to the mission of the nonprofit Farms in the Heights, which operates the Farmers Market, Brown explained.

In the early years of the Dias de Los Muertos celebration, an all-women Mariachi Band was featured. Starting in 2014, artist Santiago Cohen brought his vision of a large puppet parade to the celebration. He led community workshops in which the original huge puppets, which require several people to operate them, were made.

Since then, smaller puppets, which can be operated by a single person, have become part of the annual parade. This year, new skeleton puppets will be made and join the parade, as usual. The dance “Frida” extends the Market’s mission of lifting up local artists, according to Brown, as Samantha Geracht, Artistic Director for the Sokolow Ensemble, is a long-time Heights resident.

The Dias de Los Muertos celebration at the farmer’s market will continue offering space for a community altar, or “ofrenda”, which is the most traditional aspect of the celebration. Music will be provided by Mariachi Oro de Mexico and Sueño Americano will perform traditional Mexican dances.

This and the November 4th free performance of “Frida” at Grace Church Van Vorst are supported by The Jersey City Arts and Culture Trust Fund, The Hudson County Local Arts Program (LAP), M&T Bank, and The Mexican Consulate.

The details

Dia de Los Muertos / Days of the Dead Celebration
DATE: Sunday, October 30th
TIME: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
PLACE: Riverview Farmers Market, 498 Palisade Ave

Dance Concert In Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month
DATE: Friday, November 4
Time: 8 p.m. (doors open 7:30)
PLACE: Grace Church Van Vorst 39 Erie St

“Frida” will be performed by Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble &
Traditional Mexican dances performed by El Grupo Sueño Americano

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