After its highly successful debut last season, Graham Lustig's Luna Mexicana, a family-friendly celebration of the Mexican Day of the Dead, returns to the Paramount Theatre on Friday, November 3 at 7pm. The program features a cast of five female and five male dancers, with festive choreography, vivid costumes, striking makeup and a mix of folkloric and modern Mexican music. Based on traditional Mexican Dia de los Muertos celebrations, where the living honor the spirits of the dead with offerings of food, music and dance, Luna Mexicana tells the story of a young woman whose departed loved ones joyously dance back to life in the form of teetering skeletons, skirt-swishing girls, a high flying "deer dancer" and a rickety bride and groom duet.
The program will be presented in two acts with an intermission. Preceding the Luna Mexicana performance, the first half of the evening will feature a selection of Mexican contemporary and folkloric dance and music curated by Lustig. Planned performers include San Francisco's Mariachi Mexicanisimo, a 10-member ensemble whose musicians hail from Jalisco, Mexico; as well as other local dance and music groups to be announced. The company also pays tribute to an iconic Mexican-born figure in contemporary dance: a member of the company will perform a new restaging of Jose Limon's 13-minute solo, Chaconne, set to Bach's solo violin work. The music will be performed live. Festivities begin in the lobby of the Paramount at 6pm, with face painting and vendors selling Day of the Dead refreshments such as the sweet pan de muerto, tamales and horchata. Audience members of all ages are encouraged to attend in Day of the Dead costume.