Colores

FULL EPISODE

Levi Romero

Known for bringing to life contemporary ideas and identity, New Mexico state poet laureate Levi Romero gets to the heart of querencia.

AIRED: December 05, 2020 | 0:26:50
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

FREDERICK HAMMERSLEY FOUNDATION...

...AND VIEWERS LIKE YOU

THIS TIME, ON COLORES!

KNOWN FOR BRINGING TO LIFE CONTEMPORARY IDEAS AND IDENTITY,

NEW MEXICO STATE POET LAUREATE LEVI ROMERO

GETS TO THE HEART OF QUERENCIA.

THE PLAY "DETROIT RED" FEATURES CIVIL RIGHTS

LEADER MALCOM X'S TIME AS A YOUNG MAN IN BOSTON.

IN THE EXHIBITION "PROOF" CONTACT SHEETS PROVIDE

INSIGHT INTO THE PHOTOGRAPHERS MIND.

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL PERFORMERS AND TECHNICIANS

SHARE THRILLING BEHIND THE SCENES STORIES.

INSPIRED BY MUSIC AND COMICS, SKA BREWING

COMPANY IS KNOWN FOR ITS CREATIVE BEER LABELS.

IT'S ALL AHEAD ON COLORES!

QUERENCIA - MEMORY OF PLACE.

>>DEVON HAWKES LUDLOW: WELCOME TO COLORES.

I'M HERE WITH LEVI ROMERO, THE INAUGURAL POET

LAUREATE OF NEW MEXICO.

WELCOME TO THE SHOW.

>> LEVI ROMERO: THANK YOU DEVON. THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

>> DEVON: I WANTED TO ASK YOU RIGHT AWAY, UM, WHAT MOTIVATED

YOU, OR WHAT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW THAT MOTIVATED

YOU, TO BE PART OF THE "'BURQUE POETAS READING 'BURQUE"?

>>LEVI: IT FELT TO US LIKE IT WAS A REAL SENSE OF

THE KIND OF COMMUNITY THAT WE HADN'T HAD SINCE CO-VID STARTED.

AND IT WAS SO NURTURING.

AND WE REALIZED HOW MUCH WE NEED THAT COMMUNITY.

THAT COMMUNITY OF WRITERS, THAT COMMUNITY OF POETS.

AND OF COURSE, THE AUDIENCE THAT WE HAVE.

YOU KNOW AND, UH, IT WAS JUST AS NURTURING FOR US

AS THE POETS AS IT WAS, HOPEFULLY, FOR THE

AUDIENCE THAT WE WERE PRESENTING TO.

>> DEVON: SO, HOW DOES POETRY HELP, UH, HELP HEAL YOU?

>>LEVI: AS NEW MEXICO POET LAUREATE, YOU KNOW, UM, TO

TO BE BESTOWED WITH THAT POSITION AND THAT TITLE

IS, UH, VERY INTIMIDATING.

AND, A SENSE OF UNWORTHINESS YOU KNOW.

BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY WONDERFUL,

AMAZING, POETS OUT THERE.

AND, UH, WHAT DO I DO WITH THAT?

HOW CAN I HELP OTHERS?

AND SO WHAT I BEGAN TO DO WAS REALLY TO FOCUS NOT ON MYSELF

OR ON MY OWN WORK, BUT TO REALLY FOCUS ON TRYING TO GIVE

VOICE TO THOSE OTHER POETS AND STORYTELLERS TOO.

AND THAT IS WHERE THE HEALING COMES FROM.

AND I THINK THAT FOR PEOPLE WHO DO WORK LIKE

THAT IN THEIR LIVES WHEN WHETHER YOU'RE A DOCTOR A

NURSE OR WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU DO.

WHEN YOU UH, WORK FOR THE WELL-BEING OF OTHERS,

IT'S A FORM OF ACTIVISM, RIGHT?"

A SUS ORDENES", YOU KNOW?

"PARA A SERVIRLES".

TO SERVE.

THAT IS THE ULTIMATE GOAL.

IS NOT TO BE SERVED BUT TO SERVE.

>> DEVON: YOU SHARED THIS UH, LOVELY POEM ABOUT BARELAS.

WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO SPEND TIME WITH POETRY?

THE POETRY OF ALBUQUERQUE?

>>LEVI: THERE'S A SAYING THAT WE HAVE IN SPANISH.

"CADA CABEZA ES UN MUNDO."

EVERY MIND IS A SEPARATE WORLD.

AND THAT'S WHAT WE DID.

IT WAS PRESENTED, ALL THESE DIFFERENT 'BURQUE WORLDS.

AND, UM, ME BEING FROM NORTHERN NEW MEXICO, BUT LIVING

IN BARELAS IN THE EARLY 80S, AT A TIME WHEN BARELAS,

YOU KNOW WAS NOT THE THE FOURTH STREET THAT WE SEE NOW.

BEFORE IT'S UH, YOU KNOW, BEFORE IT GOT RENOVATED,

AND IT'S BEAUTIFICATION AND ALL THAT WITH STREET

LIGHTS AND AND THE BUILDING FACADES BEING REDONE.

I MEAN, I WAS THERE WHEN EVERYTHING WAS BOARDED UP.

AND IT HAD JUST BECOME A MEMORY OF ITS PAST SELF.

BUT IT BECAME MY IT BECAME MY, MY FIRST HOME AWAY

FROM HOME, THIS BEING MY MY ORIGINAL HOME.

AND BARELAS WAS ALWAYS SPECIAL FOR ME SO.

IT WAS NICE TO SEE HOW OTHER POETS BROUGHT IN

THEIR OWN SENSE OF 'BURQUE AS A FORM OF "QUERENCIA".

THE PLACE THAT NURTURES YOU, WHERE YOU FEEL SAFE,

WHERE YOU BELONG.

UH, THE PLACE THAT IS YOUR HOME.

>> DEVON: AND HOW DOES THAT DIFFER FOR YOU FROM,

FROM WHERE YOU'RE FROM, DIXON, IN THE NORTH, TO

ALBUQUERQUE, WHICH HAS GOT THIS METROPOLIS,

VERY-QUICKLY-CHANGING, FEEL TO IT?

>>LEVI: WELL, ALBUQUERQUE HAS BECOME MY SECOND HOME

OF COURSE AND I LOVE IT AS A SECOND HOME BUT, I

ALWAYS CARRY MY FIRST HOME WITH ME.

AND THE WAY THAT I TAKE IN THE WORLD, MY WORLDVIEW

AND MY PERSPECTIVES WERE ALL BORN HERE.

AND SO THAT'S WHAT I CARRY WITH ME, UH.

GLORIA ANZALDÚA SAID THAT "LANGUAGE IS MY HOME." AND

THE LANGUAGE THAT I GREW UP SPEAKING, THE LANGUAGE

OF THIS WORLD, IT'S DIFFERENT THAN THE

LANGUAGE OF OTHER WORLDS.

BUT, THAT'S MY INTERNAL LANGUAGE.

AND THAT'S WHAT I CARRY WITH ME NO MATTER WHERE I GO.

METAPHORICALLY, BUT ALSO LITERALLY.

THE LANGUAGE THAT I GREW UP SPEAKING, THE WORDS,

UH, THE COLLOQUIALISMS, THE VERNACULAR.

UM, THE DIALECT, THE THE "CALOR", THE

"PACHUCO-ISMS", THE "VATO LOCO" PERSPECTIVE, WHICH

ANAYA ALWAYS TALKED ABOUT.

THE "LOCURA", RIGHT?

THE "DUENDE" THAT RESIDES INSIDE.

AND ESPECIALLY AS AN ARTIST, IT IS THAT THAT,

THAT INSPIRATION THAT COMES TO YOU.

AND UH, IT'S A SPIRIT REALLY.

IT'S A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE THAT YOU'RE

HAVING WITH A "DUENDE".

AND THE "DUENDE" IS VERY ELUSIVE.

AND THE "DUENDE" IS KIND OF LIKE ONE OF THOSE

THINGS WHERE YOU KIND OF SEE IT FROM THE CORNER OF YOUR EYE.

YOU FEEL IT FROM THE CORNER OF YOUR HEART.

BUT WHEN YOU LOOK, IT'LL DISAPPEAR.

SO YOU HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO MAKE ROOM FOR THE "DUENDE".

IN YOUR HEART.

WITHOUT LOOKING DIRECTLY INTO ITS EYES.

>> DEVON: THANK YOU SO MUCH THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME.

I LOVE TALKING TO YOU.

I COULD TALK TO YOU ALL DAY.

>>LEVI: THANK YOU. ME TOO.

LIKEWISE. "BENDICIONES."

BECOMING AN ICON.

THE LASTING IMAGE OF MALCOLM X IS OF THE

UNDAUNTED CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST.

"WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A RACIAL EXPLOSION.

AND A RACIAL EXPLOSION IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN AN

ATOMIC EXPLOSION.

IT'S GOING TO EXPLODE BECAUSE BLACK PEOPLE ARE DISSATISFIED."

HERE IN 1963, TWO YEARS BEFORE HIS ASSASSINATION

HE WAS THE FULLY FORMED FIREBRAND.

BUT HE WASN'T, AS THE NEW PLAY DETROIT RED REMINDS US,

BORN THAT WAY.

"I'M LATE THREE MONTHS ON THE BILLS.

AND IF ELLA HEARS YOU, SHE'S GONNA JAM ME UP FOR

THE MONEY I DON'T HAVE."

"HOW DOES ONE REACH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL INTO MANHOOD,

INTO ADULTHOOD? YOU KNOW?

UM, SO I WAS ALWAYS FASCINATED BY THIS PART OF HIM."

WILL POWER IS THE PLAYWRIGHT OF DETROIT

RED-A DRAMA NOW HAVING ITS WORLD PREMIERE AT ARTSEMERSON.

"HE WAS FROM MICHIGAN.

AND THEY EVENTUALLY CAUGHT HIM DETROIT RED, BUT

THAT'S BECAUSE LANSING RED DID SOUND AS, AS GOOD, YOU

KNOW WHAT I MEAN?

SO. HE WAS FROM EAST LANSING, WHICH AT THAT POINT WAS PRETTY,

LIKE RURAL."

MALCOLM X, OR MALCOLM LITTLE AS HE WAS KNOWN THEN,

REFERRED TO HIMSELF AS A "HICK" WHEN HE CAME

TO BOSTON IN 1940 TO LIVE WITH HIS HALF-SISTER, ELLA.

HE WAS 16 AND WOULD SPEND 12 YEARS IN THE

CITY-NEARLY A THIRD OF HIS SHORT LIFE.

"WHEN HE FIRST GOT TO BOSTON.

RATHER THAN GETTING A JOB IMMEDIATELY, HIS SISTER

ELLA, WHICH WAS HIS OLDER SISTER, BUT WAS KIND OF A

MATRIARCHAL FIGURE FOR HIM, UM.

SHE WAS LIKE "GO EXPLORE THE CITY, DON'T GET A JOB YET.

GO EXPLORE" AND SO HE GOT ON THE BUS, GOT ON A

TRAIN, AND BEFORE HE EVEN KNEW ANYONE HE JUST WENT

ALL AROUND THE CITY AND GOT EXPOSED TO THESE PLACES."

(SMART BOY. YOU READ DON'T YOU?)

YES SIR.

WORKING ON A FEW THINGS NOW, NEVER FAR FROM MY BOOKS."

(HOW MUCH DIFFERENTLY DID YOU THINK ABOUT HIM, WHEN

YOU ACTUALLY CAME TO BOSTON AND STARTED WORKING ON THE PIECE?)

I GOT, - BEING IN BOSTON GAVE ME JUST A - JUST A

CLOSER VIEW OF WHO HE WAS DURING THAT TIME.

YOU KNOW?

NOT JUST HE WAS AND WHAT HE DID, BUT ALSO PLACES."

WE MET POWER AT DARRYL'S RESTAURANT IN ROXBURY-IN

THE SAME NEIGHBORHOOD MALCOLM X ONCE ROAMED.

IT'S HERE WHERE POWER HIMSELF WALKED THE STREETS

OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS-TALKING TO LONGTIME BOSTONIANS

TO GET A FEEL FOR WHO MALCOLM X WAS IN HIS YOUTH.

"I TALKED TO A COUPLE OF OLD, OLD GUYS THAT KNEW

HIM IN THE 40S DURING THIS TIME, I MEAN THAT WAS CRAZY!

AND THAT'S REAL INTERESTING BECAUSE YOU

KNOW, PEOPLE WHO KNOW - WHEN YOU KNOW SOMEONE, BUT

YOU KNOW THEM BEFORE THEY'RE LIKE AN ICON OF CELEBRITY,

IT'S NOT THE SAME THING - THESE GUYS LIKE "YEAH!

I KNEW MALCOLM, HE WAS AROUND TALKING MESS AND-" YOU KNOW.

IT'S NOT THE SAME LIKE, "OH," REVERENCE, SOMETHING

LIKE THAT, WHICH IS REAL GOLD FOR ME AS A WRITER."

"(WELL DOES IT GET TO A POINT WHERE YOU THINK THAT

YOU CAN THINK LIKE HIM, THAT YOU CAN SEE LIKE HIM?)

YEAH, FOR ME, AT LEAST AS A WRITER.

YOU TAP INTO HIS ENERGY.

YOU KNOW THAT'S EMANATING OFF THE PAGE IN THE BOOKS,

THE SPEECHES.

THE INTERVIEWS, WHAT YOU HEAR, "THAT'S LIKE ASKING

THE FOX TO PROTECT YOU FROM THE WOLF."

THEN I TRY TO TAP INTO HIS UH RHYTHM PATTERS AND SPEECH."

"SHORTY, CAN YOU GET ME A GUN?

(...WHAT FOR? )

CAN YOU GET ME ONE?"

IN BOSTON, MALCOLM X REPLACED MENIAL JOBS WITH

WORK IN CRIME RINGS-PEDDLING COCAINE AND

ROBBING HOMES-A SPREE THAT ULTIMATELY LANDED HIM IN

THE MASSACHUSETTS PRISON SYSTEM.

"IF WE AS AUDIENCES SEE MALCOLM X, OR JFK, OR

MARTIN LUTHER KING, OR SUSAN B, ANTHONY, AND

THEY'RE LIKE THESE PERFECT FIGURES.

THEN WE, ADULTS AND YOUNG PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE LIKE,

"WELL THAT'S GREAT, BUT I CAN NEVER BE THAT

BECAUSE I HAVE DOUBTS, YOU KNOW I HAVE FAILURES,"

"WHAT THE PLAY IS SHOWING, IS THAT HE DOESN'T ALWAYS

WANT TO DO WHAT HE'S DOING.

HE'S - HE'S CONSTANTLY WORKING FOR SOMETHING

GREATER AND BIGGER."

ACTOR ERIC BERRYMAN PLAYS MALCOLM X-WE MET HIM IN

FRONT OF THE HOME DETROIT RED SHARED WITH HIS SISTER, ELLA.

THIS IS - THIS IS MY FIRST TIME WALKING AROUND HERE."

LIKE POWER, BERRYMAN HAS GONE DEEP DOWN THE MALCOLM

X RABBIT HOLE-STUDYING FILM, PHOTOGRAPHS AND WRITINGS.

DETERMINING WHO HE WAS BEFORE HE LEVERAGED PRISON

RESOURCES TO REINVENT HIMSELF AS ONE OF THE

COUNTRY'S MOST GALVANIZING VOICES.

(IS IT ANY MORE DAUNTING FOR YOU TO BE

PLAYING A REAL LIFE PERSON?)

NO, IT'S MORE EXCITING TO ME.

BECAUSE ALL ONE CAN I THINK HOPE TO DO WHEN

YOU'RE PLAYING SOMEONE WHO, WHO REALLY LIVED IS

TRY TO ATTAIN A PART OF THEIR ESSENCE."

"AND WHEN FATHER WAS... MURDERED,

WE ATE DANDELION ROOTS AND CORN MUSH

AND ANYTHING WE COULD FIND."

HE HAS TAKEN SOLID NOTE THOUGH-FROM A BOSTON WOMAN

WHO KNEW MALCOLM X AS A YOUNG MAN AND TOOK

EXCEPTION TO THE POOR POSTURE BERRYMAN THOUGHT A YOUNG,

LESS CONFIDENT MALCOLM MIGHT HAVE.

"SHE SAID, "MALCOLM NEVER SLOUCHED." AND I S- SHE SAID

"YEAH" SHE SAYS "MALCOLM WAS ALWAYS HAD A-

ALWAYS HAD A PRIDE AND NEVER SLOUCHED AND.

YOU KNOW HE WAS ALWAYS UPRIGHT."

SO. UH I SLOUCH A LITTLE LESS NOW.

WHICH IS THE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING THE PHYSICAL

AND EMOTIONAL BEARING OF A MAN MADE FOR MONUMENTALITY.

CHOOSING THE FINAL IMAGE.

(UPBEAT MUSIC)

>> FOR MUCH OF THE 20TH CENTURY, PHOTOGRAPHERS WORKED WITH

CONTACT SHEETS TO DEVELOP AND SELECT THEIR IMAGES.

>>EVEN WHEN CONTEXT SHEETS WERE ESSENTIAL, AND AN EVERYDAY

PART OF PHOTOGRAPHY, PEOPLE WHO WERE OUTSIDE

OF THE WORLD OF PHOTOGRAPHY NORMALLY DIDN'T SEE THEM,

BECAUSE THEY WERE PART OF THE WORKING PROCESS.

>> CONTACT SHEETS PROVIDE A PEEK AT HOW

PHOTOGRAPHERS WORK, LIKE IN THIS PROOF OF PHOTOS BY

LARRY FINK, CAPTURED AT A NEW YORK GALA.

>> SO WE HAVE THE FINISHED PRINTS FROM THIS SHEET,

BOTH OF WHICH ARE LESS THAN THE FULL NEGATIVE,

BUT ALSO BOTH OF WHICH ARE THE SAME SQUARE SHAPE AS

THE FULL NEGATIVE.

>> IT'S INTERESTING THAT BOTH OF THOSE ARE SO TIGHT

ON THE EMOTION AND ACTION.

>> WELL, AND HE'S FEELING THAT HE CAN MAKE AN

EXPRESSIVE PICTURE WITHOUT BASICALLY HAVING TO HAVE

THE EXPRESSIONS OF THE PEOPLE'S FACES.

IT CAN BE DONE THROUGH THEIR PHYSICAL GESTURE

>> PROOF, PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE ERA OF THE CONTACT SHEET

FEATURE MANY FAMILIAR FACES, INCLUDING IMAGES OF

MARILYN MONROE FROM EARLY IN HER CAREER.

>> PHILIP PULLSMAN, WHO IS ONE OF THE LEADING

MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPHERS AT THE TIME, WENT OUT TO

HOLLYWOOD PHOTOGRAPH HER.

IT WAS A LARGE STUDIO APARTMENT BUT IT WAS STILL ONE ROOM.

AND THEN THIS IS THE PICTURE THAT HE CHOSE, AND

YOU SEE AT THE TOP THERE, IT'S THE HINGE ON THE DOOR.

IT'S SUCH A GREAT PICTURE.

IT LOOKS LIKE ONE OF THE GREAT HOLLYWOOD STUDIO

PORTRAITS MADE IN THE CONTROLLED LIGHTING,

IT'S IN HER APARTMENT.

AND THEN OF COURSE WHEN IT APPEARS ON THE COVER OF

LIFE, THEY AIRBRUSH THE HINGE AWAY.

>> THE EXHIBIT INCLUDES AROUND 180 PROOFS AND

OTHER WORKS, COLLECTED BY THE LATE CLEVELANDER AND

MUSEUM TRUSTEE, MARK SCHWARTZ.

>> AS FAR AS I KNOW NOBODY HAS EVER MADE A COLLECTION

LIKE THIS BEFORE.

>> SCHWARTZ'S WIFE, BETTINA KATZ, SAYS HER

HUSBAND'S COLLECTION BEGAN WITH ONE CONTACT SHEET IN 2002.

>> AND THAT IMAGE WAS DIANE AND ALAN ARBUS.

I DON'T THINK THAT ARTISTS WAS OF PARTICULAR

SIGNIFICANCE, BUT IT WAS A SHOOT FOR VANITY FAIR.

AND I REMEMBER WHEN HE BOUGHT THIS, AS MANY

THINGS IN MY HUSBAND'S LIFE, YOU KNOW WHEN HE

GETS AN IDEA IN HIS HEAD, OR COLLECTING IDEA, AND

THEN IT JUST TOOK OFF.

>> DID YOU EVER THINK THAT THIS COLLECTION WOULD

BECOME AN EXHIBIT?

>> I KNEW HE WAS ONTO SOMETHING, YOU KNOW HE WAS

A REALLY SMART MAN, AND HE STARTED TO PURSUE ARTISTS

TO CREATE IMAGES FOR HIM, NOT JUST THOSE THAT WERE

USED IN THE DARKROOM.

HE HAD AN IDEA ABOUT THIS.

SO NO, I'M ACTUALLY NOT VERY SURPRISED

THAT IT'S AN EXHIBITION.

WHAT IS SURPRISING TO ME IS THE INTEREST AROUND

THIS KIND OF NOSTALGIA, LOOK BACK AT FILM PHOTOGRAPHY.

>> ONE OF SCHWARTZ'S SPECIAL REQUESTS OF AN

ARTIST WAS FOR RICHARD AVEDON, TO ENLARGE A CONTACT SHEET,

FROM HIS PHOTOSHOOT WITH THE ACTOR GROUCHO MARX.

>> AFTER AVEDON HAS AGREED TO MAKE THESE FOR MARK,

MARK PROPOSED TO HIM, "WELL, WOULD YOU CONSIDER

MAKING A BIG ONE?

LIKE SIX FEET TALL?"

AND EVENTUALLY AVEDON AGREED.

>> WAS THAT A COMMON THING?

>> NO, COMPLETELY UNCOMMON, ALTHOUGH AVEDON

HAD BEEN ONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO PIONEERED VERY LARGE

PRINTS, BUT HAVE INDIVIDUAL FRAMES, NOT OF

CONTACT SHEET, EVEN THOUGH HE INCLUDED CONTACT SHEETS

IN HIS EXHIBITIONS, BUT NOT THAT SIZE.

I THINK IT WAS...

PARTLY THE REASON HE SAID YES, WAS BECAUSE HE WAS INTERESTED.

HE WAS INTERESTED IN THE CONTACT SHEET AS A TRACE

OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER PROCESS, WORKING PROCESS.

SO HE DID AGREE, BUT THERE'S ONLY ONE OF THOSE.

>> YEAH, AND IT'S RIGHT THERE.

>> AND IT'S HERE, YEAH.

>> AT THE END OF IT (LAUGHING), END OF THE SHOW.

SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY.

>> AND NOW, WE INVITE YOU INTO THE WORLD OF CORTEO!

>> CORTEO MEANS CORTÈGE OR PROCESSION, COMES FROM

ITALIAN, BECAUSE THE SHOW TELLS A STORY OF A CLOWN

WHO IS DREAMING ABOUT HIS OWN FUNERAL,

BUT IN THE CARNIVAL ATMOSPHERE.

WE'RE GONNA SEE HIS FRIENDS FROM ALL OVER THE

WORLD AND DIFFERENT CIRCUSES COMING TO SEE

HIM, SHOW ALL THE AMAZING SKILLS THEY HAVE.

>> JEFFREY: IT'S THE TELLING OF HIS LOVES AND

TRIUMPHS AND FAULTS, ALL, WHILE THE AUDIENCE'S BEING

A PART OF IT, THE WHOLE TIME.

THEY GET TO SIT AND FEEL LIKE THEY'RE ON STAGE WITH

HIM AS HE GOES THROUGH THESE MEMORIES IN HIS MIND.

>> MAXWELL: EVEN THOUGH THE MAIN THEME OF THE SHOW

IS HIS OWN FUNERAL, THE SHOW IS A CELEBRATION OF LIFE.

>> LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WELCOME!

>> IT TAKES US ABOUT A 12 HOUR DAY TO SET THE SHOW

UP FROM AN EMPTY FLOOR TO READY TO GO FOR THE

ARTISTS TO ARRIVE.

THE FIRST NINE HOURS OF THAT IS US GETTING THE SET

ACTUALLY BUILT, INSTALLED AND EVERYTHING CABLED.

AND THE LAST THREE HOURS FOR THE LIGHTING

DEPARTMENT AND SOUND DEPARTMENT IS CHECKING

EVERYTHING IN THE DARK ROOM.

>> THEY'RE GOING THROUGH EACH ACT OF THE SHOW,

EVERY SINGLE MOMENT OF THE SHOW, THEY NEED TO GO

THROUGH IT AND MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE THE LIGHTS IN

THE RIGHT POSITION, THE RIGHT COLORS, WELL, SO

THEY'RE CHECKING THE LIGHTING, WE HAVE THE

RIGGING TEAM ALSO CHECKING EVERYTHING THAT WE ALSO

MAKE OUR PERFORMERS FLY.

NOT ONLY THE PERFORMERS, BUT ALSO FLYING APPARATUSES.

WE HAVE THE AUTOMATION TEAM MAKING SURE THAT

EVERYTHING THAT MOVES ON STAGE, ON THE FLOOR AND IN

THE AIR, IT'S ALSO IN PLACE.

>> JEFFREY: THE LIGHTS PLAY A VERY KEY POINT IN

THE SAFETY REFERENCE FOR THE ARTISTS.

THEY'RE USED TO SEEING A BEAM AT A CERTAIN ANGLE,

AND A CERTAIN PART OF THE SET LIT UP.

THAT WAY THEY KNOW WHERE THEY'RE AT IN A ROLL OR A

TUMBLE, AND THEY CAN ALWAYS STOP RIGHT ON THE

SAME SPOT, BECAUSE THEY KNOW THE EDGE OF THE LIGHT

IS WHERE IT IS, BUT IT'S A SUBTLE THING WE CAN PLAY

TO HELP THEM BE SAFER.

>> MAXWELL: THIS SHOW IS VERY UNIQUE FROM ANY OTHER

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL PRODUCTION, BECAUSE OF THE

WAY THE STAGE IS SET UP.

IT'S RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ARENA, AND THE

AUDIENCE IS SITTING ON BOTH SIDES OF IT.

THIS WAY, WHEN YOU'RE WATCHING THE SHOW, YOU SEE

SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY HAPPENING ON STAGE, AND

THE REACTION OF PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE

STAGE, YOU HAVE THE FEELING OF THE ACTORS.

SO, YOU KNOW, HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE ON STAGE, AND

HOW DO YOU SEE THE REACTION OF PEOPLE WHEN

THEY SEE SOMETHING AMAZING HAPPENING IN FRONT OF YOU.

>> YOU DO HAVE TO CHANGE THE WAY YOU PERFORM.

YOU HAVE TO BE A PERFORMER AT EVERY ANGLE.

THAT WAS SOMETHING THAT TOOK A LITTLE GETTING USED TO.

LIKE, I'VE BEEN IN OTHER SHOWS, BUT I'VE NEVER BEEN

IN A SHOW WHERE I'M BEING WATCHED FROM EVERY SINGLE ANGLE.

THERE'S MOMENTS WHERE YOU FEEL LIKE NOBODY'S MISSING

A TRICK, AND IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE OR SOMETHING, YOU

FEEL RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF EVERYONE'S EYE LINE.

(DRUMMING AND CHANTING)

(CLAPPING & CHEERING)

>> THE CREATOR OF THE SHOW, DANIELE FINZI PASCA,

HE WANTED THE TECHNICIANS TO ALSO HAVE SOME

VISIBILITY, BECAUSE THEY'RE AS IMPORTANT AS

OUR PERFORMERS AS WELL.

THEY ARE PART OF THE SHOW AS WELL.

SO BY THE END OF THE SHOW, ALL THE PERFORMERS, THEY

WILL LOOK BACK TO THE CENTER OF THE STAGE, AND

ALL THE TECHNICIANS DO A RUN AND CROSS AND DO A

HIGH FIVE WITH EACH OTHER FROM ONE SIDE TO THE OTHER.

IT'S A VERY SMALL MOMENT THAT THEY ARE BEING PART

OF THE SHOW, SOMEHOW, BUT IT'S BEAUTIFUL TO SEE THAT

OUR DIRECTOR RECOGNIZES THE HARD WORK, NOT ONLY

FROM PEOPLE ON STAGE, BUT ALSO OFF STAGE AS WELL.

>> JEFFREY: WE'RE HERE TO SET THE MOOD AND HELP

SUBTLY INFLUENCE PEOPLE INTO COMPLETELY LEAVING

THE WORLD THEY'RE IN AND REMEMBER THEY'RE NOT IN AN

ARENA, AND FEEL LIKE THEY'VE MOVED INTO

WHEREVER HE IS AT ANY POINT, WHETHER IT'S THE

WARMTH IN THE AIR, OR JUST A SUBTLE LITTLE SOUND

COMING OUT OF SPEAKER BEHIND THEM.

IT'S ENOUGH TO JUST TAKE THEM AWAY TO ANOTHER WORLD.

THERE IS AN AMAZING SOUND THAT COMES OUT OF ALMOST

EVERY AUDIENCE AT SOME POINT DURING THE SHOW,

WHICH IS, JUST YOU HEAR THEM COLLECTIVELY ALL GASP

AT THE SAME TIME.

AND IT'S THE MOST SPINE-TINGLING MOMENT FOR SOMEBODY

RUNNING THE SHOW, BECAUSE YOU KNOW YOU'VE MADE AN IMPACT.

>> IT IS TOO MUCH, I'M ALREADY DEAD.

>> THE ONLY TIME OUR JOB TITLES MATTER IS WHEN THE

SHOW'S ACTUALLY RUNNING.

>> WE HAVE 52 PERFORMERS IN 18 DIFFERENT NATIONALITIES.

THEY COME FROM THE MOST DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS.

WE HAVE MUSICIANS, WE HAVE SINGERS, ACTORS, DANCERS,

PEOPLE COMING FROM GYMNASTICS, CIRCUSES SCHOOL.

SO IT'S A VERY MIXED GROUP.

>> JEFFREY: WE'RE ABOUT 110 PEOPLE ON THE ROAD

TOGETHER, AND WHEN THE SHOW FINISHES AT THE END

OF THE NIGHT, WE EAT IN THE SAME CATERING, WE'RE

LIVING IN THE SAME VENUES, WE TRAVEL TOGETHER ON THE

SAME PLANE OR BUS.

>> AND SEEING THESE PEOPLE FROM SO MANY DIFFERENT

PLACES, WORKING TOGETHER AND BEING ABLE TO PUT THIS

BEAUTIFUL PIECE OF CORTEO ON STAGE EVERY WEEK, THIS

IS, DEFINITELY, ONE OF THE BEST THINGS THAT WE COULD HAVE.

>> WHEN THE SHOW IS OVER, WE ARE 110 FAMILY MEMBERS.

WE'RE THERE FOR EACH OTHER, WE SUPPORT EACH OTHER.

IF YOU'RE HAVING A BAD DAY, SOMEBODY'S GONNA BE

THERE TO SUPPORT YOU, AND IF YOU'RE HAVING AN

AMAZING DAY, YOU'VE GOT THIS 109 TROUPE BEHIND YOU,

THAT WANTS TO CELEBRATE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS WITH YOU.

A LABEL WITH A STORY.

(UPBEAT MUSIC)

>> SKA IS A TYPE OF MUSIC THAT ORIGINATED IN JAMAICA

IN THE LATE 50S.

(TRUMPETS & DRUMS)

IT'S A VERY DANCEABLE, UPBEAT, KIND OF BLEND OF

TRADITIONAL CARIBBEAN RHYTHMS AND SOME WESTERN MUSIC.

MY NAME'S DAVID THIBODEAU, AND I'M THE PRESIDENT AND

CO-FOUNDER OF SKA BREWING.

MY BREWING EXPERIENCE CAME OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL, AND

WHEN WE WERE IN HIGH SCHOOL WE WERE PUNK ROCK KIDS,

AND KIND OF STARTED GETTING REALLY INTO SKA MUSIC.

IT KIND OF BECAME OUR THING, SO WHEN WE WERE

HOME BREWING, WE WEREN'T LISTENING TO SKA,

THE HOME BREW WOULDN'T TURN OUT GOOD.

SO, WHEN WE ACTUALLY CAME TO STARTING THE BREWERY,

WE THOUGHT, HEY, YOU KNOW, WHAT ARE WE GONNA CALL IT?

WE WENT WITH WHAT WE LOVED AND WHAT WE WERE

PASSIONATE ABOUT AND THAT WAS SKA MUSIC,

IT WAS COMIC BOOKS, AND OF COURSE BEER.

I THINK A BEER NEEDS A STORY.

>> MAN: ONE, TWO, ONE, TWO, THERE, FOUR.

>> THE STORY IS OUR BATTLE AGAINST ROTGUTZEN,

INTERNATIONAL BEVERAGE CORPORATION.

AND YOU CAN DECIDE WHAT BREWERY OR GIANT BREWERY

CONGLOMERATE THAT MEANS TO YOU.

SO, IT BECAME AN EPIC BATTLE OF GOOD VERSUS EVIL,

AND SKA VERSUS ROTGUTZEN,

AND THAT'S THE STORY IN THE COMIC BOOK.

WHEN WE FIRST STARTED, THIS IS MID-80S, THERE

WASN'T DIGITAL PRINTING YET, SO WE DID EVERYTHING,

BECAUSE IT WAS ALL ON A PRESS, SO IT WAS REALLY

CHEAP TO DO THINGS IN ONE COLOR WHICH IS THE COOL

THING ABOUT THE SECOND WAVE OF SKA MUSIC, IS

THAT'S ALSO KNOWN AS THE TWO TONE ERA AND IT WAS

ALL ABOUT BLACK AND WHITE CHECKERS.

THE TWO TONE WAS A RECORD LABEL IN ENGLAND, THE IDEA

WAS THAT THERE WAS WORKING CLASS WHITE KIDS AND BLACK

KIDS THAT WERE FORMING THESE BANDS TOGETHER, SO,

THE BLACK AND WHITE AND THE CHECKERS REPRESENTED

THE UNITY BETWEEN THE RACES,

THEN THESE GUYS WERE FORMING THESE BANDS.

FORTUNATELY FOR US AT THE TIME WHEN WE HAD NO MONEY

AND WE WERE STARTING THIS BREWERY, IT WAS A LOT

CHEAPER TO JUST PRINT BLACK ON WHITE PAPER.

THINK MY FAVORITE LABEL IS OUR MODUS HOPERANDI.

IT'S PINSTRIPE, ONCE AGAIN, THE CEO OF ROTGUTZEN,

AND HE'S WALKING DOWN MAIN STREET

IN DURANGO TWO OTHER OF HIS THUGS, SIDE BY SIDE.

YOU KNOW, IT'S WEIRD, 'CAUSE THERE'S A SKELETON

WITH TWO HUMANS, YOU HAVE TO KNOW THAT THERE'S

SOMETHING MORE THERE WHEN YOU LOOK AT IT.

NO ONE WOULD JUST DRAW THAT FOR NO REASON.

THE CHARACTERS THAT ARE IN THE COMIC BOOK ARE THE

CHARACTERS AND THE NAMES OF OUR BEERS, ALL SHOWING

KIND OF LIKE PIECEMEAL PARTS OF OUR COMIC BOOK.

THAT'S JUST BEEN OUR MARKETING PLATFORM.

MR. PINSTRIPE IS THE CEO OF ROTGUTZEN, AND HE'S THE

SKELETON YOU SEE EVERYWHERE AND HIS LEAD THUG IS BUSTER.

AND SO, IT'S A NUT BROWN ALE, SO IT'S BUSTER NUT

BROWN, OBVIOUSLY THE NAME TIES TO THE BEER.

IT ALSO TIES, IT HAS SOME SKA MUSIC TIES, BUSTER

BLOOD VESSEL IS THE NAME OF THE LEAD SINGER OF ONE

OF OUR FAVORITE BANDS, BAD MANNERS.

WE TIE EVERYTHING TOGETHER, SO, IT'S A SKA BAND,

IT'S THE BEER STYLE, IT'S THE LEAD THUG IN OUR STORY.

THE GUY THAT DEVELOPED OUR LOGO, OUR SKA BREWING

CHECKERED LOGO, AND OUR FIRST TRUE BLONDE LOGO AND

PINSTRIPE LOGO IS A LOCAL TATTOO ARTIST HERE IN DURANGO.

HIS NAME IS MATT ROUSSEAU, YOUR FLESH TATTOO IS HIS

TATTOO STUDIO.

>> I THINK MY APPROACH IS MORE JUST COMING UP WITH

SOMETHING THAT REPRESENTED THEIR CONCEPT AND KIND OF

JUST WHAT I THOUGHT WOULD LOOK COOL, 'CAUSE BACK

THEN THERE WEREN'T MANY OTHER COOL BEER LABELS,

AND THEY WANTED TO DO SOMETHING UNIQUE AND

CREATIVE THAT WAS TOTALLY UNLIKE ANYTHING ELSE THAT

THE BEER INDUSTRY WAS DOING AND SO I THINK THAT

KIND OF GAVE ME THE FREEDOM TO REALLY TRY AND DO WHAT

I WAS INTO AND WHAT I THOUGHT THEY WOULD BE STOKED ON.

>> ARTISTS MIGHT NOT WANNA BE ASSOCIATED WITH

A GIANT CORPORATION.

I THINK YOU'RE SEEING AN EVOLUTION OF THIS WHERE

ARTISTS ARE WORKING MORE WITH BRANDS BECAUSE

THEY'RE LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE.

BUSINESS, IF LIKE-MINDED, MIGHT BE A TYPE LIKE A

YOUNG ARTIST WANTS TO ASSOCIATE THEMSELVES WITH,

AND THEY COULD PROVIDE A PLATFORM FOR THIS ARTIST

TO REALLY SHOW THEIR WORK AND BEING ABLE TO

INTEGRATE IT THROUGH DIFFERENT SORTS OF MEDIA.

IT'S THE ONLY WAY, NOW.

I THINK WE OVERTHINK IT.

I BEEN THINKING, I BEEN DRINKING

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