Just before 4 p.m. on a brilliant and blazing Sunday afternoon in San Miguel de Allende the sound of a boombox rose above the usual bustle and cacophony of the Jardin Principal.
As if on cue, the several venders with their bright balloons and bouncing pencils were swept away like neon flotsam and jetsam on the shore.
A lone, tall, leggy blonde in jeans and a black top stepped to center stage and began to dance. She got the attention of the milling crowd. A second woman, all in black, bounded into the open space and the two danced as one. (Full disclosure: Woman No. 2 was my wife, Rose Alcantara.)
They were soon joined by a third, a fourth, and then, from all directions, women of all generations, makes, and styles poured in — and joined in. And a guy or two, too.
The flash mob danced exuberantly through two well-rehearsed numbers — something they’d spent every Sunday afternoon for a couple of months perfecting.
You might say they were dancing as if the lives of all women depended upon them. There was power and passion in their steps, their choreography.
The plaza was packed and there must have been a hundred cellphone cameras videoing and clicking away. Oh, to be able to capture that entire digital stream into one seamless, three-dimensional, full-immersion experience.
Almost like the real thing.
I was down front, on my knees, trying to do the same thing. Having been tipped in that “something might happen on the Jardin, in front of the Parroquia San Miguel. ”
(My sources are the BEST sources …)
At the end of the two dances, the participants came together with forearms raised in front of their faces. Each set of arms carried a message in Spanish, memorializing the women who have been felled by violence in the State of Guanajuato in the past year.
More than 300 women.
The message is as somber as the dancing was uplifting. March is the Month of Women all over Mexico and violence against women is a major concern and theme.
This was also a dance of empowerment, a celebration of sisterhood, womanhood, community, and unanimity.
Did it have an impact?
Just look at the photo at the very top of this blog. The little girl in the back? It sure had an impact on her. She ran out of the audience to join the dancers at the finale. I think intuitively she knew this was something of which all women and girls are a part.
This is her, below, after the celebration ended. With her mom. I think she will remember this Sunday for a long long time. And she is not alone.
Here is a poster of events scheduled for the Month of March honoring women in San Miguel de Allende: