Day of dead with a Fredericton twist

Day of the dead is a time for spirits to reunite with family (Megan Cooke/AQ)
Day of the dead is a time for spirits to reunite with family (Megan Cooke/AQ)

The fine folks at Connexion Artist Run Center on York Street is hosting their second annual Day of the Dead dance party on Nov.1  The name of the event is Xquisite Corpse and it will be a dance party based around the Mexican holiday, which falls on the same day.

The gallery will be dressed to the teeth in seasonal décor, drawing mainly from this Spaniard tradition.

Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated during the first chilly days of November. They believe the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on Oct. 31 and the spirits of all deceased children are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On Nov. 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them.

Indian villages are decorated with candles, buckets of wild flowers and mounds of fruit. Other snacks and refreshments are laid out for the weary spirits. Toys and candies are left for the young souls while cigarettes and shots are offered to the adult spirits. Folk art skeletons and sugar skulls are also thrown all over the place.

Connexion can’t promise a spiritual meeting with the dead, but they are offering some special Day of the Dead beverages and a culturally hybrid dance. This type of dance party features music from many different cultures, as opposed to the main-stream music commonly played at clubs this time of year.

DJ SoundSyster is a member of the Artist Run Centerand will be mixing some spooky samba, salsa, funk, afrobeat, reggeaton and techno for the event.

Xquisite Corpse will be an alternative to the highly sexualized club scene. The event organizers are encouraging people to get creative with costumes and not feel pressured to dress or dance in a way which might make them uncomfortable, this will be a chill night.

“It is just a more open space to dance, it’s a different vibe,” said Sophia Bartholomew, assistant director at Connexion.

The event will start with a local drumming routine, then move into dance music. There will also be video clips to add to the scary feel.

“I want to go to the dance at Connexion this year because the clubs are all the same on Halloween, this just seems like a fun change,” said Stephanie Roach, a third-year student at STU.

The dance last year featured a large turnout, ending up in the gallery being filled to capacity most of the night. Revellers young and old, from many different cultural backgrounds filled the basement of the old Chestnut, and Connexion is determined to do it again.

People attending Xquisite Corpse are encouraged to wear costumes which reflect Day of the Dead or Halloween. However, if none of the above are possible, guest are welcomed to just dress up for a night out on the town.

All proceeds from the event go back to the the Artist Run Center, which is the only place for hosting contemporary art in Fredericton.

Xquisite Corps is on Nov. 1. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $10 for students. Doors open at 9 p.m.

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