The Center for Traditional Music and Dance (CTMD) and FolkColombia Música y Danza will present “FolkCOLOMBIA en el Parque2014”, a Celebration of Colombian Independence Day! a stellar program showcasing the diverse music and dance traditions of Colombia. The annual event will take place on Sunday, July 20th, the day Colombia celebrates its official Independence Day, and will take place at the Queens Museum, starting at Noon and will continue until 5:00pm in Flushing Meadows Corona Park (located in front of the Unisphere).
This years’ event, under the brilliant Artistic Direction of Ramiro Antonio Sandoval (Tabula RaSa NYC Theater), offers a cultural experience like no other to New York audiences, one that pays tribute to one of the most significant carnivals in Colombia: the Carnival de Riosucio! Recreated in Queens, the cultural and symbolic significance of carnival themes are highlighted, bringing together Colombians (and audiences from outside the community) in a festive and collective expression of unity and celebration.
Designed to delight the entire family, the playful spirit of a benevolent “little devil” (diablito) invites everyone to participate in the traditions of Carnival de Riosucio, with traditional music, dancing, and parading cuadrillas (groups) in colorful theme costumes. FolkCOLOMBIA’s dramatic representation of Riosucio reproduces the two “Plazas” (or town squares) of Risosucio, invoking a public space where disparate communities come together to celebrate their unbridled joy of Colombian Independence through the spirit of the Carnival—satire, parody, and caricature abounds, as the large and humorous burla (burlesque) displays the deeply Colombian sensibilities of humor, irony, and love for Carnivals!
Special guest artists Las Alegres Ambulancias will appear in NYC for the first time, representing the Afro-Colombian cuadrilla (or “team”) from Palenque de San Basilio. Speakers of the rare Palenque language, Las Alegres Ambulancias will perform a set of unique, life-affirming Lumbalu/cabildo music, with antecedents in African musical and linguistic forms.
In addition, special guest Hugo Carlos Granados, El Rey de Reyes (“King of Kings”) of vallenato accordion, will duel with the diablo in a mock piqueria (or contest of skills), enacting the myth, Francisco el Hombre, while also invoking the annual competition at the Festival de la Leyenda Vallenata ( held in Valledupar). FolkCOLOMBIA Musica y Danza will also hold talleres (workshops) with both Las Alegres Ambulancias and El Rey de Reyes that are free and open to the public, at El Taller Latinoamericano (July 22) and Queens Museum (July 24).
And not to be missed will be the set of “Carnival Hits” performed by the FolkCOLOMBIA ALL STARS, the supergroup made up of the most talented Colombian musicians, bandleaders, composers, arrangers, dancers and choreographers in New York City, including Alejandro Zuleta (Vallenato Collective), Ronald Polo and Moris Cañate (Grupo Rebolu), Martín Vejarano (La Cumbiamba Eneyé), Pablo and Anna Mayor (Folklore Urbano), Daniel Fetecua (Pajarillo P’intao) and Rubén Dario (Los Viajeros de la Danza), along with invited guest musicians and dancers.
The Center for Traditional Music and Dance (CTMD) is a non-profit organization dedicated to building cross-cultural awareness by nurturing and preserving the performing arts traditions of New York City’s immigrant and ethnic communities. Celebrating its 46th anniversary this season, CTMD continues to be a vital resource for introducing audiences to vibrant ethnic music and dance traditions from around the globe.
FolkColombia Música y Danza is a Community Cultural Initiative (CCI) of CTMD. CTMD’s cornerstone program, collaborative programs designed to identify, document and present performers of the highest artistic quality; to cultivate partnerships with individual artists and arts and cultural organizations within immigrant and ethnic communities; and to foster self-sustaining community interest in and financial support for the traditional performing arts. Ultimately, the Center’s Community Cultural Initiatives assist immigrant and ethnic communities to carry out independent activities, which help to preserve their cultural heritage and artistic traditions. For more information, please visit www.ctmd.org.
FolkColombia Música y Danza is dedicated to introducing the rich variety of traditional Colombian music and dance forms to Colombians, Colombian-Americans and the wider general public; and to exposing and education all New Yorkers on the diversity, value and beauty of Colombian traditional arts while supporting creativity in the development of these artistic forms.
The Center for Traditional Music and Dance gratefully acknowledges support for this event from Council Member Julissa Ferreras, Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America - a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Con Edison, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Gilder Foundation, Mertz-Gilmore Foundation, and the Scherman Foundation.