Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What do a Sokol and a Bailador have in common?

While living in Madison for the month of September, I looked for a church. I found one at Sherman Avenue United Methodist Church. Sunday mornings, they have an early service in English and a later service in Hmong. The second week I attended there was a unified service for Multicultural Sunday. We sang and prayed in English, Spanish, and Hmong. Congregants were encouraged to dress up like their backgrounds. Afterward there was a potluck lunch with Mandarin, Vietnamese, German, Dominican, English, Norwegian, and Jamaican dishes. Needless to say, no one went hungry. After we had served ourselves, we were treated to a performance by the Ballet Folklorico Mexico Azteca dance troupe from Milwaukee. Easily a dozen groupings with as many costume changes danced a variety of "traditional" dances: a supposedly 1000-year-old Aztec ritual, Mexican polka and flamenco, and the Mexican hat dance. The dancers ranged from about 5 years old to 60? They reminded me of when we were kids, representing Sokol Baltimore and/or Czechoslovakia doing tumbling and pyramids at street fairs, malls, and cultural festivals.

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