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Urban-15 Lights It Up With Dia De Los Muertos Moving Altar

Steve Gilmore
Urban 15's Carnaval de los Muertos celebration 2012.

Known for their pounding drums and creative, lit-from-within costumes, Urban 15 is planning a uniquely San Antonio-centric Dia de los Muertos celebration. Music and media director George Cisneros reveals what their event Carnaval de los Muertos will look like.

"What Urban 15 has developed is what we call the moving altar," Cisneros said. "And that’s using dancers and drummers, and we are basically a commemorative altar, and that moves through the streets."

This moving altar concept will move over two nights and six separate performances downtown, the West Side, all the way to The Quarry. Cisneros emphasized that this innovative take on tradition isn’t Halloween.

"It is not macabre, it is not horror, it is not Friday the 13th or anything like that," he said. "This is a very family-oriented tradition. It is a way for families to connect with each other as well as the dead."

The tradition of honoring those who have come before is deeply rooted in the past, but has enjoyed a renewed focus in San Antonio, in part because groups like Urban 15 who have breathed new life into them.

"The costuming we will be wearing on both Friday and Saturday night are enormous paper mache calaveras with lighting," Cisneros said. "All of our women’s dresses and men’s suits that we wear have embedded lighting in them, so this is a pretty spectacular thing to see."       

Events are planned for both Friday and Saturday.


Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii