“Luna Mexicana” Honors Tradition with Innovative Performances

On November 3, Oakland Ballet Company held its finale performance of Luna Mexicana to a sold out audience at the Paramount Theatre – many adorned in Dia de los Muertos attire. The festive evening celebrated the iconic Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos, and included performances from several renowned, East Bay-based Latin dance and music groups.

Luna Mexicana – an original work by Oakland Ballet Company’s Artistic Director Graham Lustig – tells of young woman who dreams that the spirits of her relatives and friends return and perform vivid dances in colorful costumes. The story unfolds against a soundtrack comprised of traditional folk favorites and electronic compositions by Mexico City’s Mexican Institute of Sound.

In addition to performances by Oakland Ballet Company, the festivities included offerings from Nahui-Ehekatl, Ballet Folklórico México Danza, and Mariachi Mexicanisimo. Traditional ofrendas were provided by the Oakland Museum of California. Guests were invited to enjoy tamales, pan de muerto, and Mexican hot chocolate provided by Pena’s Bakery and Tamales La Oaxaquena.

Nearly 3,000 attended the sold out performance at the Paramount Theatre on November 3 and in the weeks leading up to the finale show, OBC dancers, along with Ballet Folklórico México Danza, treated the East Bay communities of Union City, San Leandro, Dublin and Pleasanton to performances. Shorter, educational versions of the program were offered in eight East Bay school districts – providing dance arts education for nearly 10,500 students! All in all, the ballet was performed 21 times for 14,000 delighted Bay Area residents and students.

We would love to hear your experience of Luna Mexicana! Please share your photos and comments on our Facebook page and be entered into a contest to win two tickets to Graham Lustig’s The Nutcracker.

Tickets for Graham Lustig’s The Nutcracker are now! December 23 and 24, 2017 at Oakland’s Paramount Theatre with the Oakland Symphony and Piedmont East Bay Children’s Chorus.

Photos of Luna Mexicana 2017. Photography by Stephen Texeira.

Emily Kerr and Richard Link as the Bride and Groom
Maxwell Simoes, Emily Kerr, Sharon Kung, Leilani Neal, and Coral Martin as Skeletons
Ramona Kelley as Luna
Coral Martin and Matthew Ebert

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