Photos by Julieta Cervantes

BY TAMMY SCILEPPI

There are swirling skirts and black sombreros, life-size nutcrackers, amazing dancers and traditional holiday music spiked with spicy Mexican sounds.

Get a taste of the color, warmth and vibrancy of Mexico when the electrifying Calpulli Mexican Dance Company debuts their spectacular holiday show “Navidad: A Mexican-American Christmas,” at Queens Theatre (Flushing Meadows Corona Park) on Saturday, Dec. 14, and Sunday, Dec. 15. 

“Calpulli’s shows are always gorgeous, vibrant and joyous. I am looking forward to seeing families – grandparents, parents, kids – come to experience this special show together. They’re going to absolutely love it,” said Queens Theatre’s Executive Director Taryn Sacramone.

Celebrating the holiday traditions of Mexico and the United States, this multicultural production touches on the uniqueness of the immigrant experience through the story of a young New Yorker of Mexican immigrant parents, who is caught between two worlds and cultures: the family’s roots and their present-day lives here in Nueva York.

Mexican-American Broadway star Gabriela Garcia joins the production as Dramaturg, thanks to Artistic Director Alberto Lopez Herrera, bringing her experience in storytelling and love of her culture, to the production.

The young protagonist and her parents in the story are all Queens-based artists.

“Audiences will see how someone born in the USA may experience their parent’s seemingly foreign culture and can be torn about their own cultural identity. That is, until they discover that these qualities make them stronger,” said Herrera.

“We are so excited to show the traditions of Mexico, like posadas and villancicos, as well as popular holiday music from the USA and dances inspired by the famous ‘Nutcracker,’” he continued. “We love seeing audiences’ reactions when they see the way we blend these influences together in our world of fantasy.”

Enjoy eye-catching costumes, Aztec-inspired dances set to Christmas carols, and Mariachi music fused with “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” as the youngster tries to bridge both cultures in her special dream. 

“Calpulli’s stories are told through dance and music and have always dealt with love,” shared Co-Founder & Executive Director Juan Castaño. “‘Navidad’ is no different, but it tells of love for family, for the multi-faceted influences around us, and for oneself.”  

“It is so inspiring to have the background of our home in Queens as the backdrop to the story,” he added. “The fusion of classic Christmas traditions and Aztec-inspired movement truly make this not only a New York story but a Queens story reflecting the immigrant experience.”

Performances are Saturday, Dec. 14, at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 15, at 1 and 5 p.m.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 718-760-0064 or visit www.queenstheatre.org/navidad-mexican-american-christmas.

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