The V Side: Struggle, strife, and a Floating Dance Party
Independence Day (yesterday), and Bastille Day (coming July 14) are times to reflect on societal struggles for freedom, but also complex cultural histories, conflicts, and progress embedded in what it means to be "independent." Many of the opportunities we suggest for the weekend relate to history and struggle. Of course, there's also a global, floating dance party.
SATURDAY / The Way We Were: Support local theater and meditate on history. Saturday night The Elm Theater concludes its production of Langford Wilson's The Gingham Dog. "It’s 1968 in the height of the civil rights movement. Gloria and Vincent, an interracial couple once happily married, are suffering through the first days of their separation. Vincent has decided to move out, and as they divide their possessions amidst the mutual recriminations and accusations about one another’s race, their tolerance level for each other sinks." Saturday, July 7, 8 pm, The Elm Theater, 220 Julia St. Tickets $20.
SATURDAY / Ancestral Festival: Maafa means "great tragedy" or "horrific tragedy" in Kiswahili, referring to the Middle Passage or Transatlantic Slave Trade. At the Twelfth Annual MAAFA Commemoration on Saturday, hosted by Ashé Cultural Arts Center, local and international drummers will lead a procession from Congo Square through historic Tremé, with a brief stop at St. Augustine Catholic Church, the site of the Tomb of the Unknown Slave. From there, the procession continues through the French Quarter, with pauses at Café Maspero and the Royal Orleans Hotel, where slave auctions regularly took place and slave masters transacted business. The procession will continue aboard the Canal Street Ferry to Algiers. Saturday, July 7, 6:30 am, Remembrance & Healing Ceremony followed by a Procession, Congo Square - Louis Armstrong Park. Participants are encouraged to wear white. 11 am, breakfast, health fair & entertainment, Ashé Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
SATURDAY / One World: The Guinness Book folks may well be scratching their heads. If levitation and boogying are your thing, then check out the Global Floating Dance Party: NOLA Edition. "Grab your portable music listening device for a night of dancing throughout and celebrating the city of New Orleans." Presumably, The Floating Dance Party will be occurring around the world simultaneously, with people dancing to the same songs. Locally, participants listen in synchrony and dance in unity to the same tracks. All ages are welcome, but organizers encourage "good judgment given the nighttime and roving nature of the event." Saturday, July 7, 10 pm: Lafayette Square (St. Charles Ave. side); 10:30 pm: Harrah's (outside, Canal and S. Peters); 11 pm: Louisiana Supreme Court steps (Royal Street). Free.
SUNDAY / A Picture From Life's Other Side: 2026 is not that far away. German director Fritz Lange mused in 1927 that by 2026 the income gap will have widened to the point that the rich live above ground in a futuristic city of splendor, and the workers below. You have an opportunity to view Lange's film, Metropolis, with other interested souls at Lyceum Project's Science Fiction Film Classic Series. Watch a man from the upper class abandon the privileged life to join the oppressed workers in a revolt in perhaps the most famous and influential of all silent films. The version shown will include the original 1927 orchestral score restored, and 25 minutes of additional footage. Sunday, July 8, 7 pm, Corner Muse Cafe, 1381 Magazine St. Free.
Georgia Kennedy writes about New Orleans people, places and events for NolaVie.