The vibrant culture and style of Frida Kahlo’s Mexico come to life at the Garden, highlighting the influences behind the artist’s famed work through dance, music, food, and film. Delight in the spirit of the exhibition during festivities and events that recall the inspired life lived by this beloved artist.
Thanks to all who visited during our FRIDA KAHLO exhibition in 2015! While the show has concluded, you can still enjoy it through our FRIDA KAHLO Mobile Guide.
As Artists in Residence, the Villalobos Brothers use their musical talents and curatorial vision to support two overarching themes: the connection of Mother Nature to art and music, and the artist's role as catalyst for social change. Their musical showcases include the exhibition’s Opening and Closing Weekend Celebrations, two concerts during Frida al Fresco evenings, and the highly-anticipated Canciones de mi Padre (Songs of My Father) Concert on June 20. A trio of virtuoso violinists, The Villalobos Brothers and Humberto Flores are renowned for blending the indigenous rhythms and melodies of their native Veracruz with the intricate harmonies of jazz and classical music. Winners of WNYC’s Battle of the Boroughs 2013, they have performed at the Apollo Theater, the Latin Grammys, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, BAM, and The Kennedy Center. villalobosbrothers.com
Fresh, edgy, and versatile, New York’s “first and only established female mariachi band” is a melting pot of musical styles and cultural roots—with members hailing from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Germany, Cuba, and the U.S. Featured on NBC, Univision, NPR, The New York Times, and The New Yorker, the ensemble has performed everywhere from the NYC subways to the Blue Note and The Kennedy Center, and on cultural tours of Spain and India. Their vibrant music has bite and sweetness, befitting the name Toloache, a poisonous night flower long used in Mexican love potions. mariachinyc.com
Mexico Beyond Mariachi's performances form a bridge that connects audiences to the living traditions of Mexico through a musical journey that begins with the conquest and leads to the present day. The New York group has been seen by more than one million people over the last 10 years. mexicobeyondmariachi.com
Jarana Beat is a world music band that incorporates dance and activism. With Afro-Amerindian Mexican sounds, it offers a new interpretation that blends the origins of Mexican music with contemporary elements and draws from other cultures in the New York scene that share the same roots. Since 2007, Jarana Beat has aimed to share the unknown sounds of Mexico, present a new interpretation that melds the traditional with the contemporary, roots, and how these bear fruit within a collective of artists in New York. The percussive footwork of dancers dressed in representative costumes, the rhythms of world music blending with the regional sounds of son jarocho from the Gulf Coast, son guerrerense from the Southern Pacific Coast, son huasteco from the Central & North-Eastern region, mexika from the Central, and norteña from the North, all converge into the point of departure for his musical creativity, opening an environment for expressing the unique music of the band members’ homelands.
Sones en Tres is a requinto, jarana, and zapateado ensemble that brings the sounds of the seas and rivers of Veracruz to the Botanical Garden. This three member group sweetens the ears and fills hearts with joy by singing, dancing, and playing the traditional son jarocho repertoire.
Performances by New York City’s premier traditional Mexican dance company are always colorful, passionate, and inviting, featuring glorious costumes, contagious rhythms, and talented performers. Calpulli expands its audience’s knowledge and appreciation of Mexican dance and culture. calpullidance.org
This Bridgeport-based group of Mexican stilt-dancers carries on the century-old tradition of their native Zaachila, Oaxaca. Their performance at the Garden is presented by Mexican-born Laura Anderson Barbata, a multidisciplinary New York artist who has spent 15 years working with stilt-walking communities in Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, and Brooklyn, using this storied art form as a platform for contemporary social performance, group participation, and activism. lauraandersonbarbata.com
Internationally-known Bronx artist Lucrecia Novoa uses masks, costumes, storytelling, and dance to interpret cultural folk traditions, specializing in giant papier-mâché masks for special events. Since 2004, the Chilean-born New York resident has been the Artist Director and Designer for Earth Celebrations and in 2010 joined Superior Concept Monsters—the principal troupe in NYC’s Village Halloween Parade. Her creations have appeared in countless pageants, including Boston’s annual First Night New Year’s Eve Festival, Earth Celebrations' The Rites of Spring: Procession to Save Our Gardens, and Hudson River Pageant. She is the face behind all the giant faces! mascaraviva.com
Chinelos are a kind of traditional costumed dancer which is popular in many parts of Mexico. The tradition arose from the blending of indigenous and Catholic traditions, most notably Carnival, with its permission to be masked and to mock others. They perform during special holidays and celebrations, and will be performing at the Garden with the Villalobos Brothers.
New York artist Bradley Theodore makes work that bridges street art, fashion, music, and technology. He's worked on murals in the streets of New York and Hong Kong; done live painting for brands; designed high-profile album covers; and deployed his painting skills on people, plates, and many other media. His street creations feature skeletal portraits of fashion icons like Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour, Coco Chanel, Frida Kahlo, and many more. bradleytheodore.com
Rachel Eliza Griffiths is a poet and photographer. She received an MA in English Literature from the University of Delaware and an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. She is the recipient of fellowships including Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, New York State Summer Writers Institute, and others. Her literary and visual work has been widely published in journals, magazines, anthologies, and periodicals including Callaloo, The New York Times, Poets & Writers, The Writer’s Chronicle, Black Arts Quarterly, African American Review, American Poetry Review, and many others. Her recent full-length collection, Mule & Pear (New Issues Poetry & Prose/2011), was selected for the 2012 Inaugural Poetry Award by the Black Caucus American Library Association. rachelelizagriffiths.com