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Culture notes: Day of the Dead at History Center; French culture celebration

By Howard Pousner

Shocking haunted houses and cheesy horror flicks conspire to scare the life out of those in the mood for Halloween fright, but the Mexican-rooted Day of the Dead observance takes matters in a different direction. It’s a chance to honor deceased loved ones while celebrating the continuity of life.

Celebration is the operative word at the Atlanta History Center’s 11th annual Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos observance on Oct. 28. Visitors of all ages will partake of folkloric dance, mariachi and marimba music, storytelling, an exhibit of elaborately decorated altars designed to honor lost family and friends, festive Latin colors and authentic Mexican food.

The History Center, which presents the free, mostly outdoor event in collaboration with the Instituto de Mexico and the Mexican Consulate, is making a special offer this year to Day of the Dead guests of half-off admission to the history museum, historic houses and gardens.

Noon-5 p.m. Oct. 28. Free. Atlanta History Center, 130 W. Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta. 404-814-4000,

France in the heart of the South
France-Atlanta 2012, a series of events aimed at encouraging cooperation between France and the South, offers a number of cultural events, many of them free (along with scientific, business and humanitarian offerings) in coming weeks, including:

Three contemporary dance performances by French choreographer Pierre Rigal and the Compagnie Dernière Minute. The first, at 5 p.m. Oct. 27  is a series of impromptu dance creations in public spaces downtown (in the area of 100 Broad St.) as part of the closing ceremonies of Elevate 2012. At 5 p.m. Oct. 28, Rigal and company will perform “Standards,” a hip-hop work on the assimilation of social codes and collective identity, at the Rialto Center for the Arts (tickets: And at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 29, Rigal will perform “The Standing Man,” a multimedia, evolution-themed solo dance, at the Goat Farm, kicking off Tanz Farm, a four-part performance subscription series presented by gloATL and the arts center (tickets:

French photographer Pierre Gonnord, whose exhibit “Portraying the South” is on view at SCAD’s Gallery Seecq through Nov. 16, will give a free artist talk at 6 p.m. Nov. 7. 1600 Peachtree St., Atlanta.

Jazz saxophonist-composer Raphaël Imbert will share the stage with Atlanta sax man Dwight Andrews in a jazz celebration of the South, 7 p.m. Nov. 3 at First Congregational Church, 105 Courtland St. Atlanta. Free (donation collected).

Francophone cinema from Guadeloupe, Martinique and Senegal will be presented as part of the BronzeLens Film Festival, Nov. 8-10 at the Georgia-Pacific auditorium, 133 Peachtree St., Atlanta. Tickets:

More information on France-Atlanta 2012, co-presented by the Consulate General of France in Atlanta and the Georgia Institute of Technology:

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