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Fiesta del Dia de los Muertos

Halloween may reign supreme, but in much of South America, Central America and Mexico, Oct. 31 is the run-up to Nov. 1, which is observed as Di’a de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). A day to demonstrate respect and remembrance, families traditionally visit tombs of their loved ones, clean the gravestones and bring the departed’s favorite food, drink and flowers. Artistic director Gema Sandoval and her Danza Floricanto/USA inject a California sensibility into the occasion with their Fiesta del Dia de los Muertos. Now marking its 10th year, this Chicano-style approach to the Day of the Dead has become its own tradition, starting with the transformation of the venue into a cemetery. On arrival, audience members encounter a community altar where they can add the names of their own departed loved ones. A skeleton acts as a guide to the stories and dance segments reflecting on an array of social issues, including love, death and immigration. Perhaps as part of the California sensibility, the Fiesta del Dia de los Muertos is not actually on Nov. 1 but set for the weekend, another important tradition. ARC Pasadena, 11158 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Fri.-Sat., Nov. 2-3, 8 p.m.; $20. (800) 838-3006, brownpapertickets.com/event/282185.
Fri., Nov. 2, 8 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 3, 8 p.m., 2012

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