Dancers, audience to mingle March 30, 31 for 'Clandestino'

Couple dancing.The line between dancers and audience will blur March 30 and 31 at SUNY Oswego’s Waterman Theatre when Mexican-American choreographer Alex Escalante presents his “Clandestino,” which explores the struggle to maintain one’s culture despite borders, boundaries, passports and green cards.

Audience members will enter a festive dance hall constructed on the stage, said Mary Avrakotos, coordinator of Artswego. Throughout the evening, the cast will engage theatergoers in conversation and even invite the willing to join a lively Mexican social dance, to the tunes of authentic Norteno musicians. Norteno, which means “northern,” is a style of rural Mexico, popular there and in the American Southwest.

In addition to the 7:30 p.m. performances March 30 and 31, Escalante will speak and answer questions at 12:40 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, at a free College Hour program in Waterman Theatre.

The Spanish word “clandestino” describes the anonymous lives of the undocumented. With insight and humor, Escalante shares family stories as he challenges perceptions—interspersing dance elements with video clips projected on the walls of the set.

“‘Clandestino’ gives a face and voice to the undocumented workers who play a significant role in our economy but are seldom acknowledged,” said Mary McCune, who teaches a course on American immigration and ethnic history at Oswego. “Artists like Escalante sharpen our perception of those who are more often talked about than listened to.”

Escalante’s dance presentations are the fourth and final installment in Artswego’s “Arts, Identity and Diaspora” series, a theme on campus this month that has focused attention on immigration and diaspora, the often-forced migration of peoples and cultures.

Tickets to the evening shows, available by calling 312-2141 or visiting, cost $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and children and $5 for SUNY Oswego students. Parking is free in campus lots in the evenings and on weekends.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Interactive dance—The wall between performers and audience members will dissolve during Alex Escalante’s “Clandestino,” a dance-and-music presentation at 7:30 p.m. March 30 and 31 at Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre on the SUNY Oswego campus. Audience members sit on the stage and, if interested, are invited to join the Mexican social dance at times.

(Posted: Mar 18, 2010)

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