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L.A. County Holiday Celebration surveys local music and dance

December 25, 2012|By Randy Lewis
  • Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez was among nearly two dozen performers at the 53rd L.A. County Holiday Celebration.
Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez was among nearly two dozen performers… (Ed Krieger )

The 53rd L.A. County Holiday Celebration, which played out Monday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion,  will be rebroadcast Christmas Day at noon and 3 p.m. for anyone who missed the live telecast on KCET Channel 28.

The three-hour program surveys the cultural landscape of the region through a broad spectrum of L.A. County-based performing arts groups.

Veteran folk singer and UNICEF spokeswoman Judy Collins got things started with “Silver Bells,” with each successive group performing for five to 10 minutes. The South Bay Children’s Choir, the hip-hop/classical/jazz collective Double G and Strings, the Shin Dance Company, the Los Angeles Ballet, the Spirit Chorale of Los Angeles, the retro pop-jazz band Vaud & the Villains, the Shakti Dance Company and the Jouyssance Early Music Ensemble were among nearly two dozen acts that took part.

For the TV broadcast, the live performances are supplemented by short film segments created by L.A.’s preeminent cheerleader, Charles Phoenix. The chief curator of kitsch cajoled Mama’s Hot Tamale Cafe to create a Walt Disney Concert Hall-shaped tamale sculpture, then concocted a dazzling Jell-O Christmas tree, complete with lights in the mold, from  Boyle Heights “gelatin expert” Michelle Aquilas of Blooming Art Gelatin.

Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez concluded the festivities with a mariachi arrangement of “O Holy Night” that earned the group one of the most enthusiastic ovations of the afternoon.

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Follow Randy Lewis on Twitter: @RandyLewis2 

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