LECTURES  

MEXICAN ART
DIEGO RIVERA

DIEGO RIVERA (1886-1957) painted murals in the United States and in México.  His art helped redefine modern Mexican culture and the way Mexicans look at themselves.  Diego Rivera was married to Frida Kahlo.  His intellectual circle included personalities such as Henry and Edsel Ford, Leon Trotsky, André Breton and Pablo Picasso among many others.Beautifully illustrated with hundreds of slides, this lecture shows Diego’s early work, his cubist experiments, as well as his mature period, including his murals and easel paintings. Diego’s murals will be projected life size.  This is of primary interest to the viewer as he will be able to feel as if he/she is in the presence of the murals in their original settings.

 

DURATION

90 minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Screen of at least 8 x 24 feet.  

    A white wall can also be used to project the murals.

  • 10,000 lumen projector

  • Podium with light.

  • Microphone and sound system

DAVID ALFARO SIQUEIROS

DAVID ALFARO SIQUEIROS (1896-1974) was a founder of the Mexican Mural Movement. He created monumental art in the midst of social action and turmoil.  His art was linked to his politics, and he alternated artistic creativity with political action. Siqueiros was imprisoned 22 times, exiled or deported from México, Spain, Argentina, and the United States.  He was a soldier of the Mexican Revolution and again in the Civil War of Spain. He created murals and painting of great originality and power and championed the use of new materials and techniques.  He was also a brilliant polemicist and art theoretician and was profoundly influential in the evolution of art in this century.

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Screen of at least 8 x 24 feet.  

    A white wall can also be used to project the murals.

  • 10,000 lumen projector

  • Podium with light.

  • Microphone and sound system

JOSE CLEMENTE OROZCO

JOSE CLEMENTE OROZCO (1883-1946) started his career as a cartoonist and learned to observe society. From the very beginning he saw art as a vehicle to denounce injustice, oppression and demagoguery. He is the author of masterpieces such as the Man in Flames in the Hospicio Cabañas in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Catharsis in México City and The Dive Bomber in New York's Museum of Modern Art. His art is rooted in an expressionist realist style but linked to the old Mexican artistic tradition. His works, are full of violent dynamism.

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Screen of at least 8 x 24 feet.  

    A white wall can also be used to project the murals.

  • 10,000 lumen projector

  • Podium with light.

  • Microphone and sound system

FRIDA KAHLO

FRIDA KAHLO (1907- 1954) has become one of the most recognizable artists in the world and a feminist icon. As a girl, polio caused her right leg to wither, resulting in a partial amputation many years later.  Further aggravating her health was a gruesome bus accident that led to numerous operations and a life of constant pain. Frida Kahlo, who would marry famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, was able to create some of the most original and powerful paintings of the 20th century.

 

This fully illustrated lecture presents a kaleidoscopic portrait of Frida Kahlo.  Using over 300 slides of her paintings, and documentary photographs as well as rare film footage, this panoramic lecture reveals a multi-faceted Kahlo whose persona was deeply rooted in Mexican culture and popular art traditions.

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

RUFINO TAMAYO

RUFINO TAMAYO (1899-1991) resisted the pressure of fellow artists Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros to follow the politically based nationalistic themes that dominated México’s art after the revolution.  Over the course of his lengthy and productive career, Tamayo came to be regarded not only as one of México’s greatest painters, but as one of modern art’s major international masters. Tamayo remained fiercely committed to painting as a spiritual activity.  He also defended his pursuit of what he called the Mexican Tradition, which he felt was rooted in Pre-Hispanic art.  

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Screen of at least 8 x 24 feet.  

    A white wall can also be used to project the murals.

  • 10,000 lumen projector

  • Podium with light.

  • Microphone and sound system

MIGUEL COVARRUBIAS

MIGUEL COVARRUBIAS (1904-1957) is México’s most versatile artist: a painter, muralist, cartoonist, filmmaker, anthropologist, author, dance promoter, and curator. In addition to projecting Covarrubias’ murals, paintings, cartoons and short films, this presentation includes the participation of live artists that evoke the cultures that impacted Covarrubias’ work, including jazz and blues musicians, a re-creation of Josephine Baker’s "Banana Dance" Balinese dancers, as well as modern dancers interpreting "Zapata" the masterpiece of México's modern dance, for which Covarrubias designed the costumes and scenery. 


Covarrubias was an artist who traveled and united many worlds. His caricatures first brought him fame in New York, and later his paintings and drawings brought him worldwide recognition. He was among the first to paint the Harlem Renaissance; the world of Jazz and Blues. Later, while living in Bali, he would create beautiful images of that culture and continue similarly documenting cultures in China, throughout Latin América, and most spectacularly in Oaxaca and southern México. His pioneering spirit led him to archaeology, anthropology, and even in initiating the Golden Age of Mexican Modern Dance, becoming its most ardent promoter.

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

 

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

  • In the case of doing the show with live performers we would require a stage, lighting and microphones for musicians and dancers

 

OPTION WITH LIVE PERFORMERS

This option features dancers and musicians that illustrate Covarrubias experience:

  • Jazz musicians

  • Josephine Baker inspired dance routine with Banana skirt

  • Balinese dancer

  • Two Modern dancers interpreting ballet ZAPATA 

 

A special budget would have to be prepared considering travel expenses, hotel and meals and honorariums of artists.   

RAUL ANGUIANO

RAUL ANGUIANO (1915-2006) belongs to the second generation of Mexican muralists. The turning point in his career came as a consequence of a trip to the Mayan archeological site on Bonampak in 1949. During this trip he became acquainted with contemporary Mayas and painted them in masterpieces such as La Espina. He also was one of the first to denounce the destruction of the jungle.

 

Anguiano’s greatest achievement is maintaining México’s mural movement alive. Almost single handedly, Anguiano painted murals in México and the United States in colleges, museums and public spaces. The most eloquent tribute to his art is that when he died in 2006 at the age of ninety, he had finished two murals in the past year and had five mural commissions ahead of him. 

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Screen of at least 8 x 24 feet.  

    A white wall can also be used to project the murals.

  • 10,000 lumen projector

  • Podium with light.

  • Microphone and sound system

JOSE SACAL

José Sacal's sculptures are displayed in places as diverse as China, Israel, Germany and México City. Sacal studied with master sculptor Francisco Zúñiga, but his education is much broader and has to do with his own life experience. When he was a child, his father often left him in charge of the family store, where he focused in re-designing the store’s windows displays. From this experience, Sacal learned how objects relate in space and how to control the way the public looks at things. 

 

As a young adult he studied medicine. As every medical student in México at the time, he received a cadaver during an entire semester.  He painted the different muscle groups and understood exactly how the body was built. He would later visit psychiatric hospitals, where he would explore the human mind and study how it is reflected in body posture. 

 

While other established artists tend to repeat themselves, Sacal is always experimenting. He creates torsos, portraits, and sculptures of real and imagined animals, monumental hands and feet and a very interesting series of sculptures inspired by paintings.

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

HISTORY OF MEXICAN ART

This audiovisual presentation is a journey through Mexican art and culture. We begin by discussing pre-Hispanic monumental art such as the OLMEC heads, the ATLANTES and the CHAC MOLS. We will also present stunning images of México’s most impressive pyramids such as TEOTIHUACAN and CHI CHEN ITZA.

During México’s 300 Colonial period the indigenous populations survived in large part because of the protection of the Catholic Church that after the Protestant Reformation was eager to replenish its numbers by converting the vast indigenous populations of the Américas. Gradually the, European, Indian and African populations mixed and as a result, México’s culture becames a blend of many influences, a process scholars call MESTIZAJE.  We will discuss CASTAS paintings, as well as the most impressive creations of Mexico’s colonial period such as TEPOTZOTLAN and OCOTLAN.

 

 During the XIX the Century México becomes independent from Spain. It is a period of great political instability, but also of artistic fecundity as is evident in the works of masters such as JOSE MARIA VELASCO, HERMENEGILDO BUSTOS and popular engraver JOSE GUADALUPE POSADA. As a consequence of the MEXICAN REVOLUTION of 1910 a new generation of artists is given unprecedented opportunity to paint murals. The most famous of these artists would be DIEGO RIVERA, JOSE CLEMENTE OROZCO and DAVID ALFARO SIQUIEROS.  This art gains international attention and provides México with a contemporary artistic identity. Of great importance also is the emergence of talented female artists such as FRIDA KAHLO, REMEDIOS VARO and MARIA IZQUIERDO as well as RUFINO TAMAYO, who pursued an aesthetic closely linked to Mexico’s pre-Hispanic artistic traditions. 

 

During the sixties a rebellious generation called LA RUPTURA led by artists such as JOSE LUIS CUEVAS challenged México; nationalism in search of an international form of expression. We conclude with a panoramic vision of México’s art today.

  

 

DURATION:

120 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Screen of at least 8 x 24 feet.  

    A white wall can also be used to project the murals.

  • 10,000 lumen projector

  • Podium with light.

  • Microphone and sound system

UNIVERSAL ART
MICHELANGELO

MICHELANGELO (1475-1564) stands alone as a master of painting, sculpture and architecture. He was not only the greatest artist of his age, but a man who reinvented the practice of art itself transforming the humble craftsman into a shaman who trafficked eternal truths and plumbed the deepest secrets of the soul. Throughout his long career he clashed with patrons -dukes kings and popes- by insisting that he had no master but his own demanding muse. In this presentation we will offer a panoramic view of Michelangelo's career, and discuss his most important works such as Pieta, David, Moses and the Sistine Chapel. 

 

DURATION:

120 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Screen of at least 8 x 24 feet.  

    A white wall can also be used to project the murals.

  • 10,000 lumen projector

  • Podium with light.

  • Microphone and sound system

VINCENT VAN GOGH

VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853-1890) is perhaps the most beloved and recognizable modern artist. Based on an exhaustive examination of Van Gogh’s letters, Luke explores Van Gogh’s early life as a missionary and art dealer; his artistic formation, as well as his mastery of draftsmanship and use of color. Luke will discuss the most controversial episodes of Van Gogh’s life: the mutilation of his ear, the conflicts with Gauguin and his internment in mental institutions, the relationship with his brother Theo as well as unexplained aspects of his suicide.  

 

Gregorio Luke first heard about Van Gogh when his mother, choreographer Gloria Contreras, read him Van Gogh’s letters as a boy. “No true artist –says Luke- is ‘normal’ and it’s difficult for somebody who has never lived with an artist to understand their intensity. I have always taken issue with the sensationalist attempt to explain Van Gogh’s genius as a product of mental illness. The onset of madness is marked by a dramatic alteration of behavior and in Van Gogh’s case, what we find is remarkable consistency. There is congruency in every one of his acts; from his selflessness as a missionary in the Borinage and his desire to live like the peasants he painted, to his taking in and protecting a pregnant prostitute. His paintings are the visual equivalent to his life.  It was this uncompromising honesty that bothered people because it held a mirror to society’s hypocrisy and selfishness.”  

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

PABLO PICASSO

PABLO PICASSO (1881-1873) redefined the role of the artist in society. He was constantly searching and inventing new ways of expression. He displayed an early vocation and by the time he was a teenager he was already a technical virtuoso. Soon after he would move to France where his study of African and primitive art would lead to the cubist revolution of modern art. He would also be a ceramist, printmaker, stage designer and sculptor, areas that he would influence profoundly. 

 

A special emphasis will be placed on GUERNICA the antiwar mural he created in 1937 as a protest to the Nazi bombing. Picasso's Guernica is timeless; it is not an illustration of a time or a place. It’s a cry against the horror and barbarity of war, any war, all wars.  The lecture concludes with Picasso's final years, his rendition of the masters and his graphic work that became part of the  youth culture of the sixties. 

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Screen of at least 8 x 24 feet.  

    A white wall can also be used to project he murals.

  • 10,000 lumen projector

  • Podium with light.

  • Microphone and sound system

LITERATURE
DON QUIJOTE

Don Quijote is a middle-age man who goes mad reading books on chivalry andbecomes an errant knight to confront the ills of this world. His madness makes him invulnerable and allows him to turn dreams into reality. Don Quijote is a book of wisdom but also one of the funniest ever written. What fascinates me -says Gregorio Luke- is Don Quijote's self-invention. This is a lesson I take and would like to share." 

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

SOR JUANA INES DE LA CRUZ

SOR JUANA INES DE LA CRUZ (1651-1695) is one of the major poets of the Spanish language and the first in our hemisphere to defend women’s right to knowledge.  She has been called “the first feminist of the America’s." Gifted with intelligence, grace and beauty, she so passionately sought knowledge that she asked her mother to dress her up as a man so that she could attend the university, which at the time was closed to women.

 

Protected by the Vicereine, she went to live in the Royal Court of the New Spain and shortly thereafter became a nun to pursue a literary vocation.  Sor Juana went on to write numerous plays and exceptionally beautiful love poems. Towards the end of her life, she was silenced by the ecclesiastical hierarchy and forced to relinquish her library. The great poetess died during “the great plague” in México City.

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

OCTAVIO PAZ

OCTAVIO PAZ (1914-1998), winner of Nobel Prize for literature in 1990, was a poet, an insightful essayist, and a defender of liberty. He will be forever part of the consciousness of our era.  Paz wrote profound analysis of México's history, art and culture but he was also a universal thinker. 

 

At the end of the cold war, Octavio Paz saw, the emergence of a new world order with two forces at play: a tendency towards globalization (free markets, internet) but, at the same time an explosive fragmentation, based on race and religion. In society, as in physics: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Paz analyzed feminism, the drug culture, the future of art, and the nature of love. He was also a tireless defender of democracy and intellectual independence. Both his prose and his poetry enable us to see ourselves and the world with clarity. His, is the beauty of intelligence. 

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

ERNEST HEMINGWAY

ERNEST HEMINGWAY (1899-1961) is a universal American: a war correspondent, world traveller, deep sea fisherman, big game hunter, a man of action as much as a man of letters. His crisp direct style transformed the way the English language is written. In this multi-media presentation, illustrated with over 200 slides, we will discuss Hemingway's early years in Paris; his involvement in the Spanish Civil War as well as World Wars I and II and his final years in Cuba. We will study Hemingway's novels and short stories and his non-fiction works. Of special interest we will be the analysis of Hemingway's writing techniques and narrative strategies.  

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

PABLO NERUDA

PABLO NERUDA (1904- 1973) is considered Latin América's greatest poet. His life reads like an adventure novel. He lived in the Far East, Europe and the Américas, fought fascism, was persecuted for his leftist politics and crossed the Andes Mountains by foot escaping political persecution. In 1973 he won the Nobel Prize for literature. He died a few weeks after the military coup in Chile that deposed and murdered his close friend President Salvador Allende. 

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

HISTORY
CINCO DE MAYO

It all began at dawn on the 5th of May 1862, on the outskirts of Puebla.  The 32-year-old General Ignacio Zaragoza led 4,895 (mostly teenage) Mexican soldiers in battle against 6,000 invading French soldiers and 2,000 of their allies.  Fourteen hours later, México had triumphed against all odds.  

 

DURATION:

 

60 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

LINCOLN AND JUAREZ

ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1809-1865) and BENITO JUAREZ (1806-1872) were presidents of the USA and México in the same time. They both led their nations in crucial historical periods; Lincoln through the Civil War and Juárez through the French Intervention. But the similarities do not end there; both had humble origins, both were lawyers known for their personal integrity and historical vision. In this audiovisual lecture we will discuss in detail the historic relationship between them and describe how their vision sealed the future of América. With the defeat of the Confederacy in the US and the expulsion of the French in México, the continent would forever liberate itself of the twin evils of slavery and colonialism.

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

MOCTEZUMA AND CORTES

MOCTEZUMA II (1466-1520) is a tragic figure; the Aztec emperor presided over a vast and complex empire extending from the Gulf Coast to the Pacific Ocean. He was treated as a semi divine creature and his army over of over 100,000 Aztec warriors was feared throughout the land. In 1519 Moctezuma came face to face with another aggressive society the Spanish led by HERNAN CORTES (1485-1547).  

 

Moctezuma's army, even considering the superiority of the European weapons, could have easily destroyed the 400 men of Cortés, but Moctezuma hesitated; he didn't know if these foreigners were other men or the descendants of God Quetzalcoatl. Instead of fighting them he sent gifts, only increasing the greed of the Conquistadors.  A decisive role in this battle of civilizations is played by La Malinche can indigenous princess, who became Cortes' interpreter an enabled him to establish alliances with the enemies of the Aztecs and form and even larger army.

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

CHE GUEVARA

ERNESTO CHE GUEVARA, (1928-1967) travelled extensively as a young man, first in his native Argentina and then throughout Latin América.  During his travels he noticed the impoverished conditions in which people lived. In México he met Fidel Castro and other Cuban rebels and joined them in their revolution to defeat Cuba's dictator Fulgencio Batista. He became one of the most important leaders of the Cuban Revolution, but eventually decided to continue his armed struggle in Congo and eventually Bolivia, where he would be assassinated. After his death, CHE's image became a universal icon and an inspiration to revolutionaries everywhere. 

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

THE PLIGHT OF THE IMMIGRANT

This presentation is inspired by JOHN KENNEDY's (1917-1963) book "A Nation of Immigrants. Kennedy argues that immigrants, by their very presence, confirm the basic impulses of American life, demanding more political liberty and more economic opportunity. Immigrants keep the spirit of equality alive and strong. 

 

DURATION:

60 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

PANCHO VILLA

PANCHO VILLA (1878-1923) had been a fugitive and bandit when in 1910 he joined the uprising against dictator Porfirio Díaz and went on to become a legendary revolutionary and warrior. For many Villa is a hero, a modern Robin Hood who protected the poor. With equal passion there are those who hate him. These passions, either positive or negative, are augmented by myth. What is not in doubt is Villa's military genius. From a guerrilla group of nine, he created a fully equipped army of 30,000 (La División del Norte) that defeated México's federal army. 

 

In 1916, disappointed by U.S. policies, he led a raid on Columbus, New México. In retaliation, the US Army pursued Villa through México. But Villa was never found. This fully illustrated presentation will bring to life this fascinating character 100 years after his daring invasion to the US. 

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

MUSIC
MARIACHI MUSIC

In México MARIACHIS are present in the most important moments in life. Mariachi music is a reservoir of strength in difficult times and the extra joy in celebrations. In this presentation we will discuss the history and origins of Mariachi music. We will enjoy Mariachi's different rhythms; study the use of instruments and Mariachi legends, such as Lucha Reyes, Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete, Javier Solís and composer José Alfredo Jiménez, as well as contemporary figures such as Vicente Fernandez and Juan Gabriel.  A live MARIACHI band we will perform the best examples of the Mariachi repertoire. 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

MEXICAN CLASSSICAL MUSIC

Mexican classical music has indigenous, Spanish and African roots that has generated and enormous variety of styles. This lecture with a symphonic orchestra begins with colonial music of masters such as Manuel Zumaya. From the romantic period: Juventino Rosas and Manuel M. Ponce. Of the nationalist period we will present and analyze composers such as Silvestre Revueltas, Carlos Chavez and Pablo Moncayo, leading to contemporary masters such as Manuel Enríquez and Mario Lavista. 

 

DURATION:

120 Minutes

 

TECHINICAL REQUIREMENTS

This presentation is presented with a symphonic orchestra

AGUSTIN LARA

AGUSTIN LARA (1897-1970) is México's greatest popular composer, author of classics such as GRANADA, SOLAMENTE UNA VEZ and MARIA BONITA.  He started his career in brothels, but went on to reach millions in his radio shows. He mastered all rhythms: bolero, tango, ranchera and conquered the world. Agustín Lara had so much personality and charm, that even though he was very skinny and had a scar across his face, he seduced the most beautiful women and married superstar MARIA FELIX.  GREGORIO LUKE will share his life and anecdotes.

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

 

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

  • In the case of doing the show with live performers we would require a stage, lighting and microphones for musicians and dancers

 

OPTION WITH LIVE PERFORMERS

CRI CRI

FRANCISCO GABILONDO SOLER CRI CRI (1907-1990) is México's greatest children composer universally known as CRI CRI. For generations Mexican children have enjoyed and learned from CRI CRI, he is considered México’s' Walt Disney. CRI CRI's songs are about life, family, education and fantasy. Many children have learned the alphabet in songs such as LA MARCHA DE LAS VOCALES (The march of the vowels) Songs such as EL ROPERO (the Wardrobe); speak about nostalgia and the magical things Grandmothers keep. Other songs deal with family issues such as LA MERIENDA (the Dinner) or far away lands and fantasy.  From a musical point of view CRI CRI used a great variety of rhythms: tangos, polkas, rumbas foxtrots etc. The meaning of all songs shall be explained in English and Spanish and we will use beautiful illustrations to stimulate the student's imagination. We will seek the involvement to the students and their participation. 

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

DANCE
GLORIA CONTRERAS

GLORIA CONTRERAS (1934-2015) fused universal ballet with historical Mexican dances for a new definition of modern México. A disciple of Nelsy D'Ambre and George Balanchine she created over 250 ballets, which were presented in the U.S., Russia, Europe and Latin América by companies such as the New York City Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, the Ballet Nacional de Cuba and The Royal Winnipeg Ballet among others. In 1970 Contreras founded the Taller Coreográfico de la UNAM, one of México' most vibrant contemporary ballet companies which she directed 45 years. In this presentation will discuss Gloria's career and share video clips of her most important ballets. Gregorio Luke is the son of Gloria Contreras. 

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

OPTION WITH LIVE PERFORMERS

MEXICAN DANCE

In Pre Hispanic México dancing was an important part of life. People danced in religious and secular ceremonies and in massive and collective dances called Mitotes. The arrival of the Spanish conquistadors contacted Mexico with the flamenco and La Jota. This lecture, illustrated with slides and videos, shows how these two traditions mixed.

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

  • In the live option we would require a stage with lighting

 

LIVE OPTION

Presentation can be done with a live Mexican folkloric dance group

THE TANGO

This presentation is about the dramatic history of the Tango and its iconic figures such as Carlos Gardel and Astor Piazzolla. We will discuss the origins of Tango in the slums of Buenos Aires, its introduction in Europe and its triumphant return to the Américas. We will see the greatest scenes of Tango: from Valentino to the present, understand the meaning of its poetry as well as its greatest stars.

  

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

  • In the live option we would require a stage with lighting

 

LIVE OPTION

Presentation can be done with live tango performers.

THE BELLY BUTTON 

The word México in Náhuatl means “the belly Button of the Moon”. The belly button has been a sign of beauty in goddesses as different as Astarte, Venus or Aphrodite. Newsweek magazine affirms that we live in an age of “navel gazing.” In this presentation we ask which is more beautiful the perfectly round belly button of Jane Fonda or Raquel Welch’s grain of coffee navel? Every star from Madonna to Shakira proudly displays their belly button.  The belly button is also a powerful inspiration for dance and during this presentation belly dancers will demonstrate Middle Eastern, Polynesian styles. 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

  • In the live option we would require a stage with lighting

 

LIVE OPTION

Presentation can be done with a live belly dancer

CINEMA
THE GOLDEN AGE OF MEXICAN CINEMA

A journey to the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, from the early classic films of Fernando de Fuentes to directors such as Emilio “El Indio” Fernández, Alejandro Galindo, Ismaél Rodríguez and Luis Buñuel. We will also discuss the careers of stars such as Cantinflas, María Felix, Dolores del Río, Pedro Infante and Jorge Negrete.  The presentation is illustrated with hundreds of slides and film clips.  

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

MARIA FELIX 

MARIA FELIX (1914- 2002) is México’s greatest female star, beautiful, aggressive, and infinitely seductive. She was cast so often as a notorious or strong-minded woman that these characteristics became indistinguishable from her own. She never accepted work in Hollywood because she found the roles offered to her as a Latin Spitfire demeaning.  Octavio Paz, México’s Nobel laureate affirms: “…the myth of María Félix is different. She is a woman with the audacity to defy the ideas machos have constructed of what a woman should be. She’s free like the wind.” This presentation illustrated with beautiful images and the best scenes of her movies, will provide an in depth portrait of this legendary star.

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

ARCHITECTURE
LUIS BARRAGAN

LUIS BARRAGAN (1902-1988) has long been recognized as the spiritual father of modern Architecture in México. During his 62-year career as an architect, city planner and landscape designer, Barragán was instrumental in developing and reformulating the ideology and formal language of Modern Mexican Architecture.  The spiritual power and originality of his works have influenced three generations of Mexican architects.

 

The true legacy of Barragán, lies in his masterful creation of an architecture of poetry and mystery.  He once said, "I have devoted myself to architecture as a sublime act of poetic imagination.  Consequently, I am only a symbol for all those who have been touched by beauty." This audiovisual lecture illustrated with over two hundred slides, will present not only Luis Barragán's work but also the many influences that shaped his creations.

 

DURATION:

 

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system.

PHOTOGRAPHY
TINA MODOTTI

TINA MODOTTI (1896-1942) immigrated with her family to the United States at age seventeen.  As an artist’s model she met great photographer Edward Weston and became the subject of many of his photographic studies.  She was also his lover and student, when they moved to México to live together, Modotti soon earned a reputation for her own highly personal and distinct images.

 

Modotti’s work as a photographer was eventually superseded by a total involvement with the social and political issues of her time.  Expelled from México for political reasons. She traveled to Germany, the Soviet Union and Spain, where she participated actively in the Civil War. Exhausted and morally destroyed after the defeat of the loyalists in Spain, she returned to México and suffered an untimely death at the age of 47.

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMNETS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

MISCELLANEOUS
THE ART OF LOVE

This presentation was conceived as a celebration of Valentine's Day in the Museum of Latin American Art MoLAA. We explore the intimate connection between sex, eroticism, and love.  It includes works of art about love and examples of eroticism in literature, from ancient texts like the Kama Sutra to contemporary authors.  We will also discuss mythic lovers like Casanova and Don Juan, present clips great love scenes in film and read the best love poetry.  

 

DURATION:

 

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

DAYS OF THE DEAD

In México the Days of the Dead are holidays where our diseased loved ones are remembered and honored with altars, sugar skulls and their favorite foods.  With its rare mix of pre-Hispanic and Roman Catholic rituals, it is also a perfect illustration of the synthesis of pre-Hispanic and Spanish cultures that has come to define México and its people. In addition of discussing how the Days of the Dead are celebrated in México we compare and contrast these beliefs to other cultures.  

 

Perhaps the most unique characteristic of the Mexican celebration of the Día de los Muertos (Days of the Dead) is the presence of joy - a feeling rarely associated with death.- This is because during this celebration, death is symbolically abolished. Using digital illustrations as well as rare film footage, Gregorio Luke will transport his audience to México and recreate the Day of the Dead tradition. 

 

The celebration of the Day of the Dead involves all of the senses. The first is visual; decorations of papel picado (cut paper) are placed in houses and streets. The windows of bakeries are illustrated by skeletons announcing the sale of the pan de muertos (Day of the Dead bread). The preferred flowers are the orange marigolds, zempatzuchitl. These brilliant orange flowers are placed at the entrance of homes and used to create paths; it is believed their color guides souls in their return home. More flowers are sold in Mexico during this celebration than in any other time, including Valentines and Mother’s Day.  

 

Gregorio Luke’s presentation will provide examples of the art created for this tradition, such as the engravings of Jose Guadalupe Posada as well as literary creations called Calaveras, small poems in the form of mock epitaphs which are exchanged amongst friends.  Traditionally, newspapers and magazines publish Calaveras of politicians and famous people. The Day of the Dead is also experienced through taste with the exchange of sugar skulls, the pan de muertos and exquisite dishes. During this period, more food is prepared in Mexico than at any other time of the year, including Christmas. 

 

The highlight of the evening will be a discussion of how the Day of the Dead is celebrated inside homes, where families build ofrendas (altars) in honor of their lost ones. The building of the ofrenda is a collective act of remembrance. The ofrenda is created with objects the family member loved the most. Traditional dishes are also prepared and a place is set on the table for them. At a certain moment, the bells of the church ring, doors open, and the spirits of the dead join the living and enjoy the meals prepared in their honor. When the dinner concludes, the entire family travels to the cemetery and accompanies the soul back to its grave. Music is often heard, food is exchanged, and for a moment the cemetery - a place of mourning and sadness - becomes a collective feast where death is symbolically abolished.  

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

GAY GREATNESS

GAY GREATNESS celebrates the accomplishments of Gay, Lesbian and Transgender individuals in art, history and culture a vast range of talent; from Socrates and Sappho, to Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman; from Tchaikovsky to Elton John.

 

The idea originated after one of Mr. Luke’s MURALS UNDER THE STARS shows at MoLAA, when Gary Keener, a longtime friend and supporter, challenged Gregorio: “I wish you could do something like that for our community” The idea was quite simple: Why not celebrate Gay pride in a similar way that Latinos and African-Americans celebrate their heritage? Why not focus on the accomplishments of distinguished members of the LGBT community as a way to stimulate respect and appreciation?

 

 Gregorio continues: “The challenge was enormous. We are talking of a community that incorporates every era and nation on earth. I was familiar with great gay artists like Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol, but I was surprised to learn about figures like Alexander the Great and Isaac Newton…the list is staggering. The persecution the community has faced is unbearable; I was very moved to study those gays imprisoned in concentration camps by the Nazis, forced to wear a pink triangle. Most of them died in the gas chambers, like the Jews. The presentation will also address contemporary issues, such as the Gay Civil Rights Movement in recent decades, that has gained unprecedented victories” 

 

Though Mr. Luke is not Gay himself, this is a subject that he is connected to in a personal manner. “My mother is the famous choreographer Gloria Contreras, director of the Taller Coreográfico de la UNAM, I grew up surrounded by designers and dancers, many of them gay, and they were surrogate father figures for me. Particularly painful was the devastating loss of life during the AIDS epidemic in the eighties and nineties. I saw people l loved, in the flower of their youth, age prematurely and die. This presentation is a tribute to those who did not make it.”

 

DURATION:

60 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system

MEXICAN CUISINE

México has one of the finest cuisines in the world, the only cuisine considered  "Cultural Patrimony of Humanity." Gregorio Luke will talk about the ancient Aztecs and Mayans, who invented the tortilla and cultivated for the first time staple foods such as corn, beans, tomatoes, chilies, chocolate and vanilla. We will also discuss the exquisite dishes prepared in convents during colonial times, as well as the cuisine of the present. Learn all about tacos, tamales, barbacoa, salsas, moles, pan dulce, pipianes in this amazing culinary adventure! 

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system 

JESUS HIS LIFE IN ART

The visual representation of Jesus Christ has made him the greatest and most important, icon in Western art.  His visual image is so ubiquitous that we don’t realize its radical novelty. How unusual it is when we compare Jesus' role in art to other monotheistic religions where in some cases it is forbidden to paint divinity. This lecture is not an historical analysis of how Jesus has been painted throughout history.  Rather it is a personal selection of those paintings that tell the story better or best.  This art and this effort to paint Jesus has become both a historical testimony and a portrait of ourselves.  

 

DURATION:

90 Minutes

 

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Projector with remote control

  • Screen as large as possible

  • Podium with light

  • Microphone and sound system