Thursday, February 21, 2013
A San Diego arts producer has launched a series that showcases the popular culture embedded deep in the U.S./Mexico border region.
SAN DIEGO A San Diego arts producer has launched a series that showcases the popular culture embedded deep in the U.S./Mexico border region. His first show, "The HeART of Lucha," featured Mexican wrestling and the luchador culture.
Most recently, the theme was "HeART of Loteria."
The show, at San Diego's Centro Cultural de la Raza, was centered around loteria. It's a Mexican bingo-like game that uses images similar to tarot cards, with rhyming couplets instead of letters and numbers. Guests looked over paintings and talked to artists as they listened to live cumbia and banda music, sipping at cheladas and Tecate beer.
People dressed as loteria characters, such as “El Catrin,” “El Diablito,” and “La Dama” -- the dandy, the little devil, and the lady -- mingled with the crowd and posed for photos.
Ruben Torres, a veteran music producer and creator of the “HeART Of,” series, grew up between countries, on the San Diego-Tijuana border.
“I concentrate really on what I know. I really understand, like, the community, the Latino community. It's my roots. Everything I do is gonna come out of that, and flourish out of that. Gotta keep it true," Torres said.
He says he created the show in part to remind people of Mexican descent -- especially those who grew up on the border -- of some of the culture they grew up with.
“I think we kind of tend to get a little more, like, Americanized -- and I'm a victim of it," Torres said. "My kids speak very little Spanish. But they know loteria, and they know lucha libre, and so this is something I think everyone can relate to.”
Torres' next installment in the series will focus on youth art.