The event begins in East Dallas’ Exall Park with a performance that incorporates characters in masks, dance, music and large puppets called mojigangas. Master choreographer and dancer Michelle Gibson and the New Orleans Original BuckShop will guide participants from the park in a procession to the Latino Cultural Center where performers will bring carnival masks and puppets to life for a performance and ceremony.
Patrons are encouraged to participate in the procession and dress in the spirit of carnival with costumes, hats, masks and/or vibrant colors.
The original, conceptual project is the first ever co-production between Cara Mía Theatre and Teatro Dallas.
The groups say the interaction with the audience is what sets ¡Soltar!, apart from other productions. Instead of sitting in a theater and watching passively, the performance emphasizes communal gathering and generating energy collectively. This energy dispels the collective malaise and helps restore social balance as well as healing as a community.
“It’s grounded in research on ancient modes of theater presented during other historical moments of crisis or upheaval; political, pandemic and natural catastrophes.” says Sara Cardona, Teatro Dallas Executive Artistic Director (and Creative Director for ¡Soltar!). “We learn from past moments of turmoil that the need for healing and joy often took the form of carnivals or pageants.
“We’ll gather at Exall Park in East Dallas and then as a group parade to the plaza at the Latino Cultural Center where we will celebrate our resilience.”
Cardona says ¡Soltar! marks the Spring Equinox and offers hope after 12 months of the pandemic.
“The word “soltar” means to “let go” and our wish for this performance is to transition from the isolation of the last year to new period of hope.”
Performances of ¡Soltar! happen April 17 and 24 at 2 p.m. at Exall Park. Tickets can be purchased on both the Teatro Dallas and Cara Mia Theatre’s Facebook pages. To ensure social distancing and safety measures are kept, tickets will not be sold at the door and must be purchased in advance.
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