THE BURNING OF ZOZOBRA
EVENT Each year at Santa Fe’s hottest party, the public sends Old Man Gloom up in flames. Zozobra, a 50-foot effigy designed in 1924 by artist Will Shuster, is one of the world’s tallest, fully functioning marionettes. The monstrous figure, which has large ears, pointing fingers, and glowing eyes, is stuffed with slips of paper inscribed with gloomy thoughts and disappointments. In a wild extravaganza, Zozobra is burned against a backdrop of colorful fireworks. The weekend before the big night, Zozobra is introduced at ZozoFest, a free public party and art show at the Santa Fe Place Mall. Souvenirs are for sale and anyone can add report cards, divorce papers, pink slips, and written grievances to the doomed puppet’s pile of kindling.–Sarah Eddy The Burning of Zozobra, August 30, 4–10 pm, $10, Fort Marcy Park, 490 Bishop’s Lodge, burnzozobra.com
NM RAILROAD HISTORY CELEBRATION
El Museo Cultural celebrates the history of the railroad in New Mexico over Labor Day weekend.
ASPEN SANTA FE BALLET
PERFORMANCE On August 31, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet presents its first-ever evening-length ballet. Choreographer Nicolo Fonte’s Beautiful Decay hauntingly juxtaposes bold and skillful athleticism against the harsh realities of aging. Joining the company for this production are guest artists Hilary Cartwright and Gregg Bielemeier, two distinguished performers now in their 70s. The music comes from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, as well as contemporary composer Max Richter’s interpretation of the same, and original set design is by Tony Award–winner Mimi Lien. The dance company was created in 1996 in Aspen, Colorado, and it spread ballet further across the Southwest by forging a dual-city relationship with Santa Fe in 2000. ASFB places a priority on developing new performances and nurturing relationships with emerging choreographers. It fostered the early career of Fonte, who has now created or staged ballets for the Australian Ballet, the Finnish National Ballet, the Washington Ballet, and many others.—SE Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, August 31, 8 pm, $36–$94, Lensic Performing Arts Center, aspensantafeballet.com
EVENT The train is a classic symbol of the West. First arriving in New Mexico in the late-1870s, the railroad played a heavy role in shaping the history, industry, and culture of the state. This several-day event explores and celebrates that role. The weekend kicks off with an opening night reception and panel discussion Friday evening, 5–8 pm at El Museo Cultural. Then, all Labor Day weekend, find 21,000 square feet of model railroad layouts surrounded by related art and photography. Railroad information and concession booths educate visitors on railroad history, railroad safety, locomotive restoration projects, and rail artifacts. On both Saturday and Sunday, free, docent-led history walks start and finish at El Museo from 10 am to noon. The nearly twomile tours cover the greater Railyard area, stopping at the Santa Fe Depot, Union Station, Chili Line, and a dozen other points of historic interest. On Sunday, a mellow bike ride tour leaves at 10 am and visits the New Mexico Central Railroad, Bruns General Hospital Rail Spur, and other locations.–SE NM Railroad History Celebration, Opening Night Reception August 30, 5–8 pm, Exhibit open August 31–September 2, 10 am–4 pm, free, El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, 555 Camino de la Familia, nmrailroadhistory.com. August 29, 2019 NOW 1
Beautiful Decay comments on the realities of aging.