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Arte y Pasión Flamenco 'Mantas de Luz' Performance to Illuminate the Inhumane Confinement of Migrants 

  • Oscar Moreno
Local flamenco dance troupe Arte y Pasión is shining a spotlight on Texas migrant detention centers in its new project Mantas de Luz, or Blankets of Light.

The piece — premiering Sunday at the Equinox Gallery as a part of DreamWeek — will incorporate the thin Mylar space blankets given to record numbers of children detained at the U.S.-Mexico border this past year in inhumane conditions, including extreme cold temperatures.

Leading dancer and artistic director Tamara Adira has drawn international collaborators and national acclaim to the San Antonio-based group with a contemporary approach to traditional flamenco and Spanish dance. Performances feature not only dance and live music but often incorporate spoken word and multimedia visuals as well as other artistic disciplines, creating a unique kind of performance art.

Mantas de Luz will expand on subjects present in Arte y Pasión’s 2017 production Estrellas, performed at DreamWeek in previous years, which drew parallels between the treatment of contemporary migrants and the Jewish Holocaust; performers danced beneath hanging stars fashioned like those used to discriminate against Jews in 1940s Germany, inscribed with not only the invective “Jude” but also “Mexicano” and “Muslim.” Considering that the flamenco art form was created by often marginalized groups such as Jews, Muslims (the Moors) and gypsies (the Roma people), Adira’s innovations are in a way both traditional and progressive.

In addition to witnessing a free and enlightening performance, audiences will have the opportunity to meet the artists in receptions before and after the show, which runs at approximately an hour and a half. A donation of $10 is suggested, with proceeds benefiting the nonprofit RAICES.

Free, 3pm, Sunday, Jan. 19, The Equinox Gallery, 418 Villita St, Building 4, (210) 281-0706,
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