Calpulli Mexican Dance Company offers classes through Basie Performing Arts Academy; Dia de los Muertos celebration set for Oct. 26


(RED BANK – SEPT. 27) The Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, a Queens-based troupe whose mission celebrates the rich diversity of Mexican and Mexican-American cultural heritage through dance-based programming and live music, will team with the nonprofit Count Basie Theatre for a series of Mexican dance classes and a celebration of Mexico’s Day of the Dead holiday, or Dia de los Muertos.

Calpulli, now in its third year partnering with the Basie academy, will offer its Mexican dance classes on Sept. 30; Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28; Nov. 4, 11, 18 and Dec. 2, 9, 16. Classes are held at the theater’s Studio 99 classroom, with a suggested donation of $10 per student, per class.

A scene from Calpulli’s Dia de los Muertos (Photo by Stefanie Delgado)

On October 26, the Calpulli troupe will take the Basie stage to recognize Mexico’s sacred “Day Of The Dead.” Dia de los Muertos, a universal love story inspired by the colors and sentiment of the native Mexican tradition, tells the story of two young lovers torn apart by a twist of fate and struggle to reunite. With Mexican folk dances, classical ballet, and live music, Calpulli’s story explores the boundary between the world of living and those dearly departed who live in Mictlán – the underworld of Aztec mythology – where the mesmerizing Catrina reigns as queen. Tickets for this presentation, priced at just $20, are on sale now.

The company of 20 dancers, guest performers, and core of musicians will take audiences on a voyage from a festive town in Mexico to the beautiful world of the afterlife. Performers will include dancers trained by Calpulli through its partnership with the Basie.

As part of the celebration, the Basie will host a community ofrenda in its lobby from Wednesday, Oct. 25 through Saturday, Oct. 28. Literally translated as an “offering,” an ofrenda is a collection of objects placed on a ritual altar during the Day of the Dead celebration. The Basie invites members of the community to honor a loved one by providing a photograph, symbolic item or token to be placed on the communal altar. Candles are prohibited, and monetary or personal items are discouraged as items may not be returnable.

For more information on the Basie’s partnership with Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, dance classes or the Day Of The Dead celebration, visit or call 732.224.8778 x 125.