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Santa Monica’s Tongva Park to Celebrate Nature, Aztec Culture

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Lookout Staff

September 1, 2015 -- Two abiding legacies of the Santa Monica region – the Aztec legends from the south and the nature than surrounds the scenic beach city – will be celebrated this month at two events in Tongva Park.

Next Wednesday, the program Tongva After Dark, will present Holly Rothschild’s site-specific dance work “Seaclipse,” commissioned especially for the new park in the Civic Center. The ensemble, which includes dancers and musicians, will showcase the striking spaces that have garnered the park a number of design awards.

“The work will traverse five different areas of the park, highlighting its varied settings and one-of-a-kind architectural features,” organizers said.

“Spectators will follow the dancers into each of the park’s distinctive terrains, exploring the landscape’s textures, intimate spaces and urban vistas.”

The piece, which received its premier in the park last year, features dancers Genevieve Carson, Danny Dolan, Lavinia Findikoglu, Princess Mecca and Andrea Sobke.

The performance will take place from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m.

On Saturday, September 26th, from 10 a.m. to noon, recording artist Michael Heralda will present “Aztec Stories,” an interactive performance that combines oral tradition, narratives, poetry and music to bring the Mexika/Aztec culture to life, organizers said.

Heralda will demonstrate and share more than 45 hand-made, indigenous instruments, including clay flutes, Huehuetl and Teponaztli drums, gourd water drums, shakers, rasps and conch shell trumpets.

“The stories, ballads, and narratives presented in this program are all true and based on documented accounts of what is termed the oral tradition - stories handed down through families, generation after generation,” organizers wrote in announcing the program.

"’Aztec Stories,’" according to Heralda’s website, is “an intriguing and thought provoking way” to learn about the culture and distinctive worldview of the ancient Mexican culture of the Mexika/Aztecs.

“For some it may be a way to reconnect to a wonderfully rich legacy that unfortunately lies dormant within them, buried for many, many years and generations,” Heralda writes.

“For others it may awaken a new understanding of a culture that was revealed only through the eyes of the Europeans where the beauty, art, and high levels of sophisticated philosophical understanding were ignored or suppressed.”

Tongva Park is located at 1615 Ocean Avenue across from Santa Monica City Hall. The events are free and open to the public.

For more information, visit

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