Among the many beautiful customs and traditions that winter brings is the annual celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the Denver Art Museum. Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the most beloved images in Mexican culture. It has transcended both times and borders. Since the sixteenth century, her story has been the subject of adoration and inspiration to artists from Mexico and beyond. Her devotees have embraced her as a symbol of protection from sickness, strength during social struggles, and comfort in moments of need. People from all over the world visit her basilica in large numbers, especially during the month of December, and in particular on her feast day, December 12, when pilgrims arrive to serenade her with the singing of the traditional Mañanitas.
This year at the Denver Art Museum, the kick-off celebration for Our Lady of Guadalupe is on December 13. It will feature for the first time the award-winning choir The Spirituals Project singing inspirational songs rooted in the African American tradition, in addition to the pre-Columbian dances and the multimedia presentation The Miracle of Tepeyac. The program also will include the children’s choir from the dual language Academia Ana Marie Sandoval, the Summit group from Rocky Mountain Children’s Choir, and the celebrated Grupo Tláloc Danza Azteca, a premier group of its kind in Denver and a sterling example of commitment to the community.
The Miracle of Tepeyac will feature a multitude of talented contributions. The original music will be by nationally recognized performer and composer Kenny Passarelli. Choreography will be by Janelle Ayon, for many years a leading dancer with the international Ballet Folklórico de México. Accompanying the performances will be 3-D images from contemporary Japanese artist Taketo Kobayashi. As part of this performance, the acclaimed groups Danza Matachina Guadalupana and Comparsa Morelos en Denver will dance and bring color to the celebration with their traditional festive costumes.
The artistic contributions of each one of the performers will create a stellar, international program. Visitors are also encouraged to go to the North Building’s fourth level Spanish Colonial art galleries were there are several paintings of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
We are very fortunate at the Denver Art Museum to have magnificent art that represents different cultures, times, and history. We are honored to have these cultures reflected by performances representative of the living continuance of these traditions as we celebrate art and community.