Our Signature Show: Cornbread & Tortillas
Cornbread & Tortillas is a show in English and Spanish devised from the life stories of the artists involved, whose cultural heritages span from Appalachia to Nicaragua, Mexico, Guatemala, Greece, and Ecuador. It contains music, dance and stories from throughout the Americas with central themes of family, identity, work, love and art. You will see lots of instruments including banjo, fiddle, mandolin, Andean flutes, charango, congas and cajon, as well as mountain-style flatfooting and percussive danza folklórica styles from Mexico and colorful costuming.
Weaving it all together is a narrative that illuminates the stories told through song and dance, highlighting our similarities and differences as human beings and building cultural bridges for our changing nation.
Workshops & Educational Offerings
These workshops are offered in conjunction with our theatrical show, or as stand-alone workshops as scheduling allows. Contact information is as indicated, or to schedule block booking with multiple artists or schools, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
From Appalachia to the Andes Educational Assembly
This diverse show consists of two artists from Appalachia and two of Latino heritage, and is a mix of Appalachian, Andean, and Mexican music, dance, and stories. Students will see and hear instruments such as the banjo, guitar, charango, zampoña and quena (Andean flutes), various drums, and rhythms made by dancing feet. Students will hear traditional songs of Mexico, Kentucky, and Ecuador, sung in English and Spanish. They will see and compare flatfoot dancing from Appalachia and several styles of colorful danza folklórica from Mexico.
The artists highlight the interconnections among the various cultures, in a mesmerizing way that celebrates the cultures involved. Audiences come away with an enhanced appreciation for cross-cultural similarities and differences, and the variety of arts present in cultures throughout the Americas.
Appalachian Heritage Variety Show
This K-6 show featuring musician/dancer Carla Gover and musician/storyteller Mitch Barrett is filled with Jack tales, participation stories, sing-alongs, clogging, tunes on banjo, dulcimer, and guitar and a lot of information about
traditions in the mountains. This is great for schools who wish to expose children to many art
forms in one performance. This is a very fast-paced, participatory show and can hold the
attention of all ages.
Appalatin Educational Assembly
This concert for young and old features extremely upbeat music including songs in English and Spanish which fuse traditions in Appalachian and Central American traditions and support the development of global competencies. The program embodies a compassionate worldview while providing a unique and engaging musical style that invites audience participation including clapping, stomping, singing and even dancing. The band members talk in detail about the instruments they play, the elements of music including their unique combination or rhythm, melody and harmony, their culture and the places they come from, as well as the meaning and messages in the songs they perform. All of this makes for a very joyful and rich multicultural experience.
Appalachian Clogging & Flatfooting
East-Kentucky native Carla Gover offers instruction in clogging and the more old-fashioned flatfoot-style dancing in
workshops for all ages. Perfect for schools, festivals, children and adults. Classes are offered
in beginning and advanced levels, and can vary in length from one hour to multiple days.
Students will start with very basic steps and learn how to add on to them to create rhythms
that will let them be “percussionists with their feet.” Students can also explore group-dance
traditions from the mountains including singing games and circle dances.
Folk Dance of Mexico/Ballet folklórico de México
The dances of Mexico tell stories. Every region and place in Mexico has different styles of music and dance, different styles of self-expression, and different beliefs, which are reflected by their art forms. In her dance workshops, Paulina Vazquez shares the rich and varied folk traditions of Mexico that she learned as a child. She covers the basics such as form, body alignment and posture, costuming, and history for the various styles she teaches. Her classes include steps from various regions and she can work with presenters and teachers to customize each workshop. Some popular regions/styles include Sinaloa, Jalisco, and Vera Cruz, as well as steps that go with Banda music. Paulina can teach to men and women, young and old, and shares her heritage with deep love and enthusiasm.
Andean Folk Culture and Instruments
Fernando Moya, master musician and craftsman of traditional Andean instruments and Yani Vozos of Appalatin give students a cultural and musical tour of the Andes. They begin the session with information about where they are from (Appalachia and the Andes) and introduce and explain the various wind, stringed and percussive instruments, and the origins and mechanics of each. The instructors will engage the students with traditional rhythms, melodies and songs. The workshop is filled with personal stories about culture, music and how it is utilized as a treasured form of expression and as a tool to bring people together. Students and teachers will have opportunities to participate and clap, sing and play instruments.
These lively group workshops can be tailored to all ages. After providing introduction and context to the elements of storytelling, Mitch leads students through lots of warm-ups and theater exercises, teaches them to draw on their personal experiences, and leads them in story creation, in an empowering and self-esteem-building style.