Leslie Ann Epperson’s 2015 documentary (trailer above) examines the history, personalities, logistics and guiding ethos of Tucson’s acclaimed All Souls Procession. This secular and notably artistic remembrance of death and celebration of life dates back to the year 1990 and has grown from strength to strength – a recent count estimated well over 150,000 participants … Read more“Many Bones, One Heart” – a Documentary on Tucson’s All Souls Procession
This episode of the Artbound documentary series considers the reinvention of the Day of the Dead festival in the USA, particularly via the work of the Self Help Graphics community art center in East Los Angeles during the early 1970s. For much more on this subject, I strongly recommend Regina M. Marchi’s 2009 book Day … Read moreArtbound: “Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead”
By Tony Wolf Several years after staging The New Danse Macabre in Wellington, New Zealand, I had become part of the regular faculty of the Stamping Ground Festival of Dance and the Action Arts in Bellingen, Australia. Stamping Ground was the brainchild of veteran dancer/ choreographer Peter Stock, who wanted to encourage greater participation in … Read moreThe New Danse Macabre at Stamping Ground (2003)
Here’s a colorful and cheerful website devoted to El Dia de (los) Muertos, perhaps the world’s most colorful and cheerful thanatocentric celebration. As a child in Wellington, New Zealand during the 1970s, I was hardly aware of Latin American culture other than via Spanish-language segments on Sesame Street. That said, I seem to recall first … Read moreThe Day of the Dead
For the past two years the non-profit Reimagine organization has been staging annual, city-wide life- and death-affirming festivals in San Francisco and NYC. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Reimagine has canceled the planned NYC festival and pivoted to organizing a two-month long, international online event. Reimagine Life, Loss and Love (May 1 – July … Read more“Reimagine Life, Loss and Love” – an Online Festival Exploring Death and Celebrating Life (May 1 – July 9, 2020)
The song that says it all … Here are the lyrics, in case you want to sing along: When I die I don’t want to rest in peaceI want to dance in joyI want to dance in the graveyardsThe graveyardsAnd while I’m alive,I don’t want to be aloneMourning the ones who came beforeI want to … Read moreDance in the Graveyards by Delta Rae
Here’s writer/performer Tracey Erin Smith’s podcast memoir of her death-positive production Memento Mori, which was staged for the 2014 Toronto Fringe Festival.
By Tony Wolf My background is in the entertainment industry as a choreographer and sometime-director, with an extracurricular “minor” in ritual. I’ve always been interested in the intersection of creativity, history and psychology, and in the ways those disciplines play out in public celebrations. I was also deeply dissatisfied with the mainstream modern, Western approaches … Read moreThe New Danse Macabre: How and Why I Created a Death-Positive Performance for a 1998 Arts Festival