Performances

A performance about race and identity in the Americas, Anna Deavere Smith experiments with a translated performance, moving between English and Spanish to convey a series of portraits of representing identities in crisis.

Anna Deavere Smith: Crossing the Lines

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Photo/ Foto: Marlène Ramírez Cancio

Mary Stuart

This imaginary encounter between Queen Elizabeth and her imprisoned rival, Mary Queen of Scots, is one of the signature pieces of Brazil’s most brilliant solo performer. Stoklos’s ‘essential theater’ combines mime, vaudeville, Brechtian techniques, and a medley of languages in an intensely physical style of performance that dramatizes the obstacles to human communication. Mary Stuart jumps between past to present, moving from Shakespeare to Sarajevo to Rwanda in a comment on ‘the tragedy of power in human history,’ a tragedy that ‘keeps repeating, repeating every day.’

Biography

Denise Stoklos began her career in 1968 as a playwright, director and actress in Brasil. In 1987, while visiting New York for four months on a Fullbright, she created "Denise Stoklos in Mary Stuart" for La Mama Theatre. Since then she has world premiered plays in New York each year. These include "Hamlet in Irati" and "Casa". In 1992 she created "500 years - a fax from Denise Stoklos to Christopher Columbus," in 1993, the romance "Tomorrow will be late and the day after tomorrow doesn't even exist," in 1994, her version of the Greek myth "Un-Medea," in 1995 "Elegy," (with the participation of her two children Piata and Thais), and in 1996 "Heavier than the air/Santos Dumont." In October 1997 "Civil Disobedience" based on Henry Thoreau's text premiered in Parana and Rio. In 1999 she created "Dissonant Voices" for the 500 year anniversary of the discovery of Brasil, which was perforformed in many cities. In 2000 Ms. Stoklos created and performed "Louise Bourgeois: I do, I undo, I redo" in New York city, with scenography exclusively created and built by the great sculptor Louise Bourgeois. In the first semester of the year 2000 Ms. Stoklos was a professor at New York University, invited to teach her "Essential Theatre" for Masters and Ph.D. students at the Department of Performance Studies. She has published seven books of plays. Denise Stoklos' theatrical proposition is outlined in "The Essential Theatre", a theatre made with only the actor's instruments: body, voice and mind/intuition. Ms. Stoklos performs her plays in Portuguese, Spanish, English, French, Russian, Ukrainian and German. Since 1986 Ms. Stoklos has performed frequently in important international events in thirty-one different countries.


Denise Stoklos: Mary Stuart

Eleonora Fabião's "Giro Piece" is a dance performance, an installation, a scream claiming attention to the body immersed in present times. An awakening call to the body led by, and oppressed by, globalization. Fabião explains, "The experience of being a "world citizen" in the era of globalization produces on me, among many advantages and benefits, a disturbing vertigo, a certain existential dizziness.

Eleonora Fabião: Giro Piece

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Photo/ Foto: Marlène Ramírez Cancio

El Punto in-Móvil

In a city that overcrowds, restricts, fragments and controls, the people of death and the darkness are riding an empty carriage, waiting for their cargo... part of their cargo is nothing more than men who ate other men to be happy.

These men who ate other men had their gathering, lost in the most savage instinct, full of pain and the blood of others. They are the mounds of men who filled with stones since birth.

But in the dark of night emerges the luminous clarity of the fire to provide the contradiction between the wheels of the carriage and the road beneath, where death comes face to face with life until eternity. Then, there arise the pangs of hope, that come together to overcome the daily misery and hungry, wrapped in the guise of death.

Now the focus on life in a rough and absurd terrain becomes a constant that shakes and beats the circle of the wheel. In the end, the fire is driven by strength of the women who will be delivered from evil, where the carriage will not dominate man and will leave hope in the search for his freedom.

Biography

El Grupo La Gran Marcha de los Muñecones is a theater group from the Coma district of Lima, Perú.

 

Grupo La Gran Marcha de los Muñecones: El Punto In-Móvil

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Photo/ Foto: Marlène Ramírez Cancio

 

Memoria para los Ausentes

In Peru, a long period of subversive and military violence deeply scarred the country. Among the wounds of this dirty war, a wound remained open: that of the missing, thousands of people abducted, whose bodies never were found, leaving whole communities in uncertainty and fear. Today, Peruvians return to the horror as the secret graves are discovered in various regions in Peru.

"Memoria para los Ausentes" (July 2001) overlaps past and present, life and death, facing those responsible for these buried crimes.

Biography

For 18 years, Vichama has grown in Villa El Salvador, a district in the outskirts of LIma. The group offers a theater intimately linked to the social and policial process of the district, as a way of assetrting collective identity as an artistic proposal directed basically at the community development. For the group, theater is more than an occupation, it is a mission, a way of being part of the world, to defend the right to create, so that this this no longer a privelege and to democratize the culture; a way of transforming human relations and contributing to human development. Defending the right to invent our own feelings separately from our own experiences, feelings that intend to connect reason with the heart. A theater that contributes to reocvering what it is to be human which we are losing.

The most significant theater works they have produced are: "Diologo entre Zorros," about the history of Villa El Salvador, released in 1985. "Carnaval por la Vida" about women, their organization and their struggle, released in 1988. "Voces en el Silencio", about violence, released in 1992. "Lirio de Esperanza" about Maria Elena Moyano, popular leader and victim of violence, relsaed in 1996. "La Noche de los Olvidados," about authoritarianism and misery, relesead in 1998. "La Cantante Calva" y "Esperando a Godot" about the so-called theater of the absurd released in march of 2000.

Grupo Vichama: Memoria para los Ausentes

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Photo/ Foto: Marlène Ramírez Cancio

Etno-tecno

The central theme of the project is an investigation about how the means of global communication demonize, sexualize or fetishize the multitudes of cultural others who are not included in the so called "global project"

Biography

Guillermo Gómez-Peña is a performance artist/writer and the director of the transnational arts collective La Pocha Nostra. He was born in Mexico City and came to the US in 1978. Since then he has been exploring cross-cultural issues with the use of performance, multilingual poetry, journalism, video, radio, and installation art. His performance work and eight books have contributed to the debates on cultural diversity, identity, and US-Mexico relations. His art work has been presented at over seven hundred venues across the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Russia and Australia. He is a MacArthur Fellow, American Book Award winner, and a Senior Fellow of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. He is a regular contributor to National Public Radio, a writer for newspapers and magazines in the US, Mexico, and Europe, and a contributing editor to The Drama Review (NYU-MIT).

Guillermo Gomez-Peña y Juan Ybarra: Etno-tecno

enc02_rodriguez_felipe_lgPhoto/ Foto: Marlène Ramírez Cancio

New War New War

In this farcical, multimedia political cabaret/musical theater production, Rodríguez, Felipe and Orozco ask whether humor can elucidate politics in times of crisis and war. The piece was written in particular response to the U.S. war on terror and the build-up to what we now know of the Iraq war of 2003. This performance brings to the forefront a reflection on six aspects of the War on Terror: the destruction of a cosmic order; a fourth world war in a neo-prehistoric era; a political war in the global village; a genetic revolution; a gender war; and a cultural war.The performance combines multi-media sets with traditional opera from Orozco, music from Felipe and political satire from Rodríguez.

Biographies:

Jesusa Rodríguez is a Mexican director, actress, playwright, performance artist, scenographer, entrepreneur and social activist, Jesusa Rodriguez has been called the most important woman of Mexico. Her "espectáculos" (as both spectacles and shows) challenge traditional classification, crossing with ease generic boundaries: from elite to popular to mass, from Greek tragedy to cabaret, from pre-Columbian indigenous to opera, from revue, sketch and "carpa," to performative acts within political projects. She and her partner, Argentine singer/actor Liliana Felipe, own and operate El Habito and Teatro de la Capilla, alternative performances spaces in Mexico City. They have won an Obie for Best Actor in Las Horas de Belén, A Book of Hours (1999) with Ruth Maleczech and New York-based Mabou Mines. Rodríguez contributes regularly to Mexico's most important feminist journal, Debate Feminista.

Liliana Felipe is one of Latin America's foremost singers and composers, born in Argentina in the 1950s. She left for Mexico just before the outbreak of the 'Dirty War' (1976), but her sister and brother-in-law were both 'disappeared' victims of the military dictatorship's criminal politics. In Mexico, Liliana went to one of Jesusa Rodriguez's performances. Jesusa, catching a glimpse of Felipe in the audience, remembers saying to herself: "I am going to die with that woman." Since then, Liliana and Jesusa have created two performance spaces, El Cuervo and later El Habito, which they still run. They 'married' in February, 2000. Liliana's music has a wide range of followers in Latin America. She continues to be a powerful presence in Argentina, working with human rights organizations especially H.I.J.O.S. (the organization of the children of the disappeared).

Regina Orozco (La Megabizcocho) is a Mexican interdisciplinary soprano vedette who fulfilled her music and theater studies in the National Conservatory of Music, the Theater Center of UNAM and in the Julliard Music School in New York. Among the prices she has earned are the acting scholarship Salvador Novo, the First Place in the Opera contest of Palm Beach, Florida, finalist in the singing contest of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York and one of the awards of Operalia II. She was nominated as best actress in the Film Festival of Venice for her performance in Profundo Carmesí, for which she also received an Ariel award in 1997. She has worked in different productions with the company Divas A.C., directed by Jesusa Rodríguez, among which are Donna Giovanni, Atracciones Fénix, Ambrosio o la Fábula del Mal Amor, and La Sumanita, where she acted as leading roles for a period of four years of tours in Europe and North America.In addition to her extensive credits as producer, writer, actress, singer and performer in diverse film, theater, cabaret, opera and world music projects, Regina Orozco is, since 1999, the director and producer of her theater company, Regina Orozco y Los Tigres de Sumatra (Regina Orozco and the Sumatran Tigers). Both an artist ad a political activist, Orozco is constantly supporting social causes campaigns as the empowerment of indigenous women, the protection of street children, gender equality and the rights of homosexuals.

Video

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Jesusa Rodríguez, Liliana Felipe & Regina Orozco: New War New War

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Photo/ Foto: Marlène Ramírez Cancio

Blanche Dubois

Blanche Dubois is based on Tennessee William's play A Streetcar Named Desire. For many years Marianela Boán has admired the character of Blanche DuBois and has identified with her from the perspective of a Cuban woman. This Cuban Blanche, who stays on the island while her sister emigrates, holds onto her revolutionary dreams, just as the original Blanche never loses her aristocratic spirit..

Biography

Marianela Boán graduated from the National School of Dance in 1971 and Hispanic Literature and Language from Havana University in 1981. For 15 years she worked as a dancer and choreographer for the dance company, Contemporary Dance of Cuba, which toured internationally. In 1988, she founded DanzAbierta where she has created a signature style mixing visual arts, theater, singing and music with dance. Her other choreography works have included the Cuban National Ballet, Venezia Balleto, and film works in Cuba, Canada, and Spain.

Video

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Marianela Boán: Blanche Dubois

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Photo/ Foto: Marlène Ramírez Cancio

America, the Beautiful

America, the Beautiful is a body-narrative, which begins with the performer literally setting the stage. Through the rituals of feminine transformation, using clear packing tape and haphazard make-up, Bustamante creates a distorted reality of beauty with all of its eros and defeat. This tragic/comedy takes the viewer on a bizarre circus-like adventure of ladder climbing and breath-holding tension.

Biography

Nao Bustamante is an internationally known performance art pioneer originating from the San Joaquin Valley of California. She received her BFA and MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in the field of New Genres. Her work encompasses performance art, installation, video, pop music and experimental rips in time. Some of Her collaborators include Coco Fusco, D.L. Alvarez, and Chico MacMurtrie. Bustamante's work has been presented, among other sites at, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts, and the Kiasma Museum of Helsinki. She has performed in Galleries, Museums, Universities and underground sites throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Mexico and of course the United States. Most recently she received the prestigious Anonymous Was a Woman fellowship and a residency to develop an interactive web site through the Franklin Furnace in New York. Using the body as a source of image, narrative and emotion, Nao's performances communicate on the level of subconscious language taking the spectator on a bizarre journey, with haunting images, cracking stereotypes by embodying them. America, the beautiful originated at the improvisational festival, Engaging the Imagination (San Francisco). America... now a fully developed exploration, finds it's nature to be flux and evolutionary.

Video

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Nao Bustamante: America, the Beautiful

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Photo/ Foto: Marlène Ramírez Cancio

Live in Concert

Susana Baca perfomrs live at El Instituto Negro Continuo.

Biography

Susana Baca, the Peruvian vocalist who became internationally renowned with "Maria Lando," a track in the 1995 David-Byrne-produced CD The Soul of Black Peru, has often been compared to Cesaria Evora, from Cabo Verde. It's not surprising; both women have found rich material in folk traditions of their countries, and both sing songs that are rooted in gloomy emotions: pain, nostalgia, longing. Susana Baca is not only one of the greatest divas in South America, she is a tireless researcher, and is largely responsible for the revival of many forms of Afro-Peruvian folklore. She is also the founder of the "Centro Experimental de Música Negrocontinuo" (Institute of the Black Continuum), a cultural center dedicated to the study of Afro-Peruvian music and dance. Won a GRAMMY AWARD in 2002.

 

Susana Baca: Live in Concert

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Photo/ Foto: Marlène Ramírez Cancio

Los Músicos Ambulantes

In this performance, Yuyachkani explores Peru's rich folkloric traditions through music, masks, humor and the child-like concept of a farm animal cosmos. "Los Músicos Ambulantes" is a parable about four aging domestic animals that run away and form a quartet rather than be put out to pasture or face the butcher's block. Based on Luis Enríquez & Sergio Bardottis "Los Saltimbanquis" and the Brothers Grimms classic fairy tale "The Town Musicians of Bremen", the performance tells the story of the journey of four musician animals from four different regions of Peru: an Afro-Peruvian hen ('La Plumosa'), a donkey from the Southern plains ('El Burro'), a cat from the rainforest region ('La Michicha'), and a dog from the Northern coastal area ('El Chusco'). The animals abandon their hometowns in search of their dreams in the capital city; upon meeting each other along the way, and after many adventures and exploits, they decide to form a music group, the Músicos Ambulantes (Traveling Musicians), and to tour the country telling their multiethnic story. The resulting performance, by now a classic piece in Yuyachkanis repertoire (performed since 1983), is a popular musical theater celebration of Peruvian cultural and ethnic diversity.

Biography

Since 1971, Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani has been working at the forefront of theatrical experimentation, political performance, and collective creation. "Yuyachkani" is a Quechua word that means "I am thinking, I am remembering." Under this name, the theater group has devoted itself to the collective exploration of embodied social memory, particularly in relation to questions of ethnicity, violence, and memory in Peru. Founded through the initiative of Miguel Rubio, Teresa Ralli and others, the group is recognized throughout the world as one of the most premier exponents of Latin American theater. For the past 38 years, they have created performances intimately aligned with Peruvian society, involving the spectator in an act that is at once reflective and emotional. Yuyachkani creates a theater for all that reveals Peru's great diversity, drawing on rituals, the sacred, and Andean space to provoke an introspective investigation into the past that can help us understand the present.


Video

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Yuyachkani: Los Músicos Ambulantes

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Photo/ Foto: Marlène Ramírez Cancio

Hecho en el Perú: Vitrinas para un Museo de la Memoria

"Hecho en el Perú", the work with which Yuyachkani commemorates their thirtieth anniversary, is born of the suggestions that the group proposed two art forms: plastic installation and dramatic action. Both one and the other involve the viewer and the experience of a shared space. That territory to see and to be seen, for discovery and inquiry, is a place that announces, in a playful and thought-provoking way, the two connotations of the word "gallery": the enclosure intended for the exhibition of art and also the tour site in which there are, on one side, stalls offering goods. Walking through a lesson, walking through a market: in both cases we follow a path that is not fixed in advance, stopping or hastening after the counsel of our own interest or desire. What connects the display cases in which actors and actresses illustrate the visions and scenes of contemporary Peruvian is not a script, but the trace of footsteps and stops of every visitor; there are, at all times, six simultaneous people at once. As in reality, something always happens outside the field of our gaze. The viewer does not fully absorb -as those who appreciate a landscape - an object of fixed contours and full consistency; rather, they find themselves -as one finds walking through a busy street- drifting through a myriad of gestures and presences. For certain, the passerby driving on a street knows that five minutes before or after he will not see the same thing because the of nature of urban traffic. Such is the experience of those who enter "Made in Peru".

Biography

Since 1971, Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani has been working at the forefront of theatrical experimentation, political performance, and collective creation. "Yuyachkani" is a Quechua word that means "I am thinking, I am remembering." Under this name, the theater group has devoted itself to the collective exploration of embodied social memory, particularly in relation to questions of ethnicity, violence, and memory in Peru. Founded through the initiative of Miguel Rubio, Teresa Ralli and others, the group is recognized throughout the world as one of the most premier exponents of Latin American theater. For the past 38 years, they have created performances intimately aligned with Peruvian society, involving the spectator in an act that is at once reflective and emotional. Yuyachkani creates a theater for all that reveals Peru's great diversity, drawing on rituals, the sacred, and Andean space to provoke an introspective investigation into the past that can help us understand the present.

 

 

Yuyachkani: Vitrinas para un Museo de la Memoria