Exploring Ethnicity and Identity Through Performance

On October 3, an intimate crowd gathered in Murphy Recital Hall to view The Core Ensemble performance of “Los Valientes,” a chamber music theatre production featuring a solo actor performance, along with cello, percussion and piano music.

The CFA-sponsored event explored ethnicity and identity by illuminating the lives of three legendary Latinos. Over three acts, the piece reveals the artistic and political passions of Mexican painter Diego Rivera, the unwavering commitment to human rights of martyred Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, and the dogged pursuit of social justice by Mexican-American outlaw and Zorro inspiration Joaquin Murrieta. The music ranges from traditional Latino folk and popular songs sung in Spanish to instrumental works by Latin American composers.

The Core Ensemble was invited by CFA Dean Bryant Keith Alexander to visit the LMU campus and present the piece free of charge to the community. “This show highlights the power that performance has to provide different kinds of tools for understanding the nature of human social exchange,” said Dean Alexander. “By illuminating three lives of courage, this piece allowed us to explore meaningful ways to enjoy the work as entertainment, while also helping us deepen our sense of faith and commitment.”

Los Valientes features David Perez-Ribada in the three main roles, along with Ju-Young Lee on cello, Mikhael Darmaine on the piano, and Michael Parola on percussion. The show has been touring throughout the United States in September and October 2016 to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Founded in 1993, The Core Ensemble performs and commissions chamber music theatre works, combining music with other performance elements such as narrative and dance.

The event was co-sponsored by the Office of Faculty Affairs/Provost’s Office, Office of Intercultural Affairs, Ethnic and Intercultural Services, and Chicana/o Studies.

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