Eveoke Dance Theatre became immersed in the history and culture of the Dominican Republic in creating "Las Mariposas," a piece inspired by the real-life Mirabal sisters. Three of the sisters, codenamed "Las Mariposas" ("the butterflies") were murdered in 1960 because of their roles in the resistance against Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo; a fourth sister, now in her eighties, has dedicated her life to preserving their memory. The story became known internationally through "In the Time of the Butterflies," a celebrated novel by Julia Alvarez.
Now Eveoke is taking "Las Mariposas" to the Dominican Republic. In a three-city tour at the end of this month, they'll perform for audiences including surviving members of the Mirabal family.
The audience will also include Alvarez, who set the wheels in motion for the Dominican tour. As part of the premiere of "Las Mariposas" last November, Eveoke and several community partners brought Alvarez to San Diego. After seeing "Las Mariposas" in rehearsal, she contacted friends in the Dominican Republic and at the U.S. Embassy about bringing Eveoke to the Dominican Republic. The U.S. State Department is sponsoring their tour.
Besides performing, Eveoke will teach classes and visit sites connected to the Mirabals' lives. And, in a cultural exchange, they'll learn merengue from Dominican dancers.
Catherine Kineavy, dramaturg for the project, says that "Las Mariposas" has been a high point for Eveoke. "Many of our artists have expressed that as artists doing this show, meeting Julia Alvarez, and going to the Dominican Republic is one of their greatest experiences of being an artist," she says.
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Source: Sign On San Diego