The last weekend in April was a celebration of the arts and children. With the combination of the International Day of Dance and Children’s Day, events took place all over the Riviera Maya. Tulum kicked off the festivities on Friday night with the International Day of Dance 2017 event, created and directed by Caty Dominguez, director of El Hada Azul Dance School in Tulum. Playa del Carmen was represented by a special young talent, siblings Dreyken and Akashana Hinojosa Mitchell, who presented a unique contemporary dance and aerial dance.
Traditional flamenco dance was performed by instructor Maria Diaz from Tulum, along with Caribbean-flavor dances from Chetumal, by Ballet Folklorica Ka’a Sijil, with instructor Noe Angel Tun Tuk from Tulum. Susana Sarre also presented an aerial dance performance that was dramatic and awe-inspiring. The breakdance group The Shadow Walkers turned up the energy with a breathtaking performance.
On Saturday, Xuuxnë dominated Playa del Carmen with not just one, but two shows for Children’s Day. Starting off at Casa Sofia, the youth music group helped to kick off the kid’s pizza-making workshop. Later, at the Carmen Beer Co., they performed a full show to celebrate children and Mexican roots. The Xuuxnë group, directed by Marcz Reyna from Oaxaca, is spreading its mission to rescue indigenous languages that are dying throughout Mexico. They are healing through music, which is what xuuxnë means.
Saturday night was the second part of Primer Encuentro de Danza del Caribe 2017. Ramona Faraola, a nine-year-old aerial artist on silks, stole the show with a remarkable performance called “The Warrior”. Other performances included amorali flamenco, by instructor Susana Esquinca, and hip hop.
Le Lotus Rouge closed out the weekend with their very colorful ode to dance on Sunday evening. This unique hot spot for art shows of all types honored the art of dance with a show from Aerofobia on the silks, directed by Alejandra Hernandez, and free belly-dancing lessons by local dance instructor and show artist, Carolina Palavecino.
It is a beautiful thing when children are honored and inspired to develop their talents, especially in the arts. It helps them develop their creativity and emotions in those challenging years, and meet other like-minded and talented people their age. Playa del Carmen and Tulum proved that all weekend long, and I would like to give a big thank you to all of the instructors and people who came out to support those shows.