Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Friday, September 12, 2014
Tomorrow is the big day - sharing what we have been working on and continuing to learn -but outside of the small collective of CONTRA-TIEMPO artists I've used for this specific residency - and bring in community members, people who are interested in being in conversation with in the work.... I don't think most folks coming know quite what they are in for -but I am putting it out there - that we have a willing group of people who are open to explore and therefore leave inspired and transformed! Sat 3-5 and Sun 5-7 -come to both!
Today I had another day of exploring, thinking, creating, watching video - Jeremiah and I worked together on a solo that felt like it physicalized moving pain, hopelessness and being blocked in - transforming this into a space where we are 'here' and recognized as being... a space where we feel in control and alive and free... It is the experience of the Caliban character - the slave, the native, the betrayed - in someway it is like existing in two spaces simultaneously - a space where you are fighting for your life constantly and a space where you are looking upon this fight in disbelief... finding how to smooth the edges and find your own space... the owning of yourself and your experience... some beautiful and disturbing movement came out of it -I'm excited to share it with an audience.
Last night in thinking about the passing of September 11th, I started remembering where I was that morning - in NYC - I actually saw the second tower be hit with what looked like from my vantage point on my roof in Brooklyn - a missile. It was a scary day and I am still affected each year that passes in remembering the feeling of not knowing where my husband was - thinking he was in the subway under the towers - not being able to contact family and the fear of possible loss - the not knowing - and then that shift in the way I saw the world after those events. It then got me remembering Katrina -that happened a few years later right around the exact same time - late August into early Sept - and the incredible aftermath and lack of action that devastated the trust of a nation - that again for me was a major moment of growing up and realizing that things weren't always as they seemed - I got the importance of seeking out the truth in order to fight for justice... I went back and forth btw sharing this video on my blog -but in creating a work about race and water - if feels like it isn't possible to not remember Katrina - and how important it is to remember it as it actually happened... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zXZ-R0mcN0 - although posted later - this video was taken almost exactly 9 years ago today.
I share this to create a context -that I am not claiming to solve any major national, societal or world issue through this piece or through my work - all I can do is hope to touch on something that moves someone -that sparks conversation - that makes it more realistic to push back - that gives space for alternate ways of thinking and questioning. All I hope to do is create art that is in conversation with the world around me - to participate in a discourse for a more just tomorrow... that's all I want really - and dance is my medium - it is what I love to do - it is how I think about the world - in movement quality -
Here is another few 'work videos from the week' to give a little flavor of what you might see on Sat/Sun!
Isis/Jeremiah - like water for justice
Jeremiah - we need we need
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Here we are - a week and a half after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO - and since I started working here at the Beach House - the racial tension in our country has continued to escalate and rightly so - as the repeated and recorded police brutality seems to be spreading, and a disregard for and cracking down on people's right to assemble and protest has become common place - it feels in some ways surreal to find myself in this place surrounded by such beauty - open expansion of space and possibility - while the world around me feels like it is on fire. The Beach House feels like an oasis of space that I have been gifted to think about some pretty complex and difficult ideas - but this space is proving to be exactly what I need to get clarity before launching a year of creating, conversing and engaging those around me to think, dance, talk, move through all of what we and generations before us have carried and continue to pass on around race, color and privilege...
I have spent some of this week so far moving, but a lot of the week has been spent in a space of reflection, thinking, writing, engaging in conversations with other artists - questioning... what does it mean to be making work right now about race? Who am I and what role can I play to help facilitate honest, open and compassionate conversations about race - as a Cuban American, as a woman, as a person of color that has in my life learned to slide in and out of 'passing as white' how can I acknowledge the privilege from where I come and use that as a way to impact and move this conversation forward - to change the narrative and bring new empowering narratives and counter narratives that will help to build a world of not just racial tolerance but better than that - a future where my own son won't have to fear for his life when walking down the street with his friends... As the swell of 'ain't gunna take it no more' - 'no justice no peace' is palpable - I am becoming more excited to create and scared to create this work - which I imagine is a good thing. I always tell my students and dancers to run towards the fear - now I get to practice what I am preachin'. As someone who grew up in a family (I am the child of two labor union activists) that taught me to never stand by and be complacent when I see or experience personally injustice - this piece has feels urgent but also extremely uncomfortable - good. That means I am moving in the right direction.
This week we taught a Salsa class of over 50 people at the beach house and I am excited to have one of dancers come out and 'play' with me and explore some of these ideas via movement on Friday. If we were all able to live and be who we are in the dance - if we could take those principals of compassionate partnership, listening, pushing back, engaging, patience and persistence - into our everyday lives - I know we could build a more beautiful and just world... I know it. I feel it.
No, no we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. - Martin Luther King
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Thursday, August 7, 2014
CONTRA-TIEMPO, a bold and multilingual Los Angeles based dance company, is dedicated to transforming the world through dance. Founded and directed by Ana Maria Alvarez in 2005, their unique form of Urban Latin Dance Theater brings to life voices that are not traditionally heard on the concert stage, while building community, facilitating dialogue, and moving audiences to imagine what is possible. http://contra-tiempo.org