Here at Abbey of the Arts we have a commitment to seeking out and uplifting a wide range of cultural expressions of artistry and Spirit. Our culminating song/prayer dance on our Birthing the Holy CD/DVD features a tune composed by an indigenous Guatemalan composer, Tomás Pascual from the 17th Century. This song was adapted by our dear friend, Laura Ash with bilingual lyrics she wrote to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe. It’s a beautiful blend of ancient and new devotions! When we came to filming the dance/prayer, I found a gorgeous shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe here in the Northwest at St. Frances Cabrini Church (in Lakewood, WA.) I invited the Indigenous Dance Troupe at the parish (Los Matachines) to be featured in our video, but for various reasons, this wasn’t possible. When I put the word out to find another group of cultural dancers, those that stepped forward were the Filipino Community! I learned much about the similar threads in Mexican and Filipino cultures who were colonized by Spain simultaneously in the 1500s. Both cultures now have integrated a blend of indigenous dance and festivals with the overlay of Christian faith, and in particular, both cultures have a robust devotion to Mary! I’d like to honor Eloisa Cardona for being my spirit sister, dancer, and cultural advisor for this project! Please enjoy this dance to Our Lady of Guadalupe with a gift of the Filipino village of families dancing along!
Betsey Beckman, MM