An Interview with Gindo Galeana
As part of our commitment to support the city’s multicultural arts scene, Openface is proud to sponsor Mexique en Couleurs, a multidisciplinary show featuring more than 70 artists that highlight the rich and diverse traditions of Mexico. We talked to Gindo Galeana, the show’s Artistic Director, who is also an Accountant at Openface, about the importance of this event and how it mirrors our company’s multiculturalism.
Openface: Where in Mexico are you from and when did you come to Montreal?
Gindo Galeana: I was born in Acapulco. It’s a port in the south in Mexico, and I came to Canada in 2008. I had come once before to visit some friends and I loved the city, so I told myself: “Why don’t I try to migrate here?”
Openface: What made you fall in love with the city?
Gindo Galeana: How organized the city was, because I’m a really organized person. So, I loved how the city is organized and everything is clean and green. The environment is really clean. And it also offers good economic opportunities.
Openface: How did you become involved in organizing the show?
Gindo Galeana: I’ve been dancing since I was 7 years-old and I started dancing professionally when I was 17 years-old. After I finished my university studies in Business Administration I moved to Mexico City where I auditioned to join an important dance company. I stayed for eleven years and I travelled around the world with them. After 3, 4 years they asked me if I wanted to become an artistic coordinator, and I did that for several years. By the time I was 34 years-old I started to think about my future, and I began working for a German company in Mexico. Then, I decided to move to Canada where I didn’t really do anything related to dance, culture or the arts in the beginning. But I found out there was an organization called Los Pequeños de Nadxieli that promotes Mexican culture here, so I thought about working with them, which I did for 5 years.
I then decided to start my own organization and created the Agora de la culture mexicaine à Montréal, which I’m directing. This year we’re celebrating our fifth anniversary.
Openface: Tell us about the show, what is it about?
Gindo Galeana: It’s a multidisciplinary event with dance, music, singing and different artistic activities showcasing Mexican traditions. It’s a two-hour show that presents the most important annual traditions in Mexico through various short performances, for example, Mexican weddings, which are quite diverse depending on the region. Most of the choreographed sequences are religious celebrations that we have in different parts of Mexico.
Openface: How can you represent all of the country’s diversity?
Gindo Galeana: We have made a selection of the most important celebrations and traditions, or at least the ones that we consider can be more interesting for people to see.
Openface: How does living in a multicultural city like Montreal connect to your show? Do you get inspired by the city’s multiculturalism?
Gindo Galeana: We do this show every year, and this year is a big event because it’s our fifth anniversary. But every year we invite a different country to also present their culture and to work with us to see in what way we are connected. So, this year we have invited Spain. And we also invited a dance group from Quebec. Both groups are going to present their dances and we are going to explain to the public how we are connected to the roots of those cultures. For example, obviously in the case of Spain we were conquered by the Spaniards. And we have a lot of influence from Spain in our music and in our dances. Seeing all those cultures in Montreal gives me inspiration, and it’s really amazing how all those countries have a connection between each other.
Openface: Does working in a multicultural company such as Openface help to spark your creativity and imagination?
Gindo Galeana: There are people from different countries at Openface, and it’s a technological company that helps to connect. Even if it’s not an art company, our enterprise is doing its work connecting people, so that’s really nice. In certain ways it’s related to what we are doing in the artistic field. When I go to lunch with my colleagues we talk about our respective traditions, because quite a few of them know what I’m doing and sometimes they are curious about Mexican traditions. And I also have questions about other countries’ traditions, and even if I I’ve been involved in the arts and in the multiculturalism here, there are many things I don’t know about other countries. And it’s nice to know directly from the people from those countries. It’s really nice the way we can enrich ourselves and share our experiences right here at work.
Openface: What do you wish people knew better about Mexicans and Mexican culture?
Gindo Galeana: I know that Mexico is well known as a tourist destination or a place where we have beautiful beaches and places to visit, and obviously the weather is hot, but I think that not many people know about the richness of our culture; how diverse we are in terms of ethnic groups. We have more than 50 groups that are still living there trying to preserve their traditions and that’s what I want to show. It’s not that we don’t have all those beautiful sunny places, but we also have culture, and we have so many positive things to show to the world. There are many people doing really positive things in Mexico and that is what we want to show, and the diversity that we have in our culture and our music, which is not only the mariachi band. We have different music and customs in different regions. It’s really colorful, so that’s why we’re using that name, Mexique en couleurs. The idea of the show is like a movie in color of what Mexico is, and what our traditions are.
Mexique en couleurs will take place on Saturday, June, 8 at the Théâtre Jean-Duceppe. For more information please visit https://placedesarts.com/en/event/mexique-en-couleurs.
Interview and pictures by Megapress.ca
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