Artist Statement

I am Cuban, born in Guatemala. As a child, I lived in Mexico, Washington, DC, and Algeria, where my father journalist died covering Che Guevara’s African travel. I danced, choreographed, and toured the world in Cuba’s national dance company and my own company. For the last decade, I lived in the United States, a sworn enemy of the island where I grew up. Now, as ever, my country is my body.

I have lived on both sides of history. I have seen the poverty and wealth, landscapes and bodies nourished and abused by ideology. My work excavates humanity from ideology, pulling actual bodies out of the bodies we are officially permitted. Wherever ideology is strong, bodies must adapt, and resist. I am fascinated by the ways our bodies are pushed by ideology and push back, by the spaces in between the rules and off the grid, where bodies come together, settle, and sometimes dance. Soft, responsive, rebellious, local, our bodies are the first victims of ideology, but are finally unconquerable and unsubmissive. Our bodies are nations unto themselves, full of contradictions and silences. I do not make dances that proclaim a winner, that one system to is best. I make dances about what systems hide. I am fascinated by the lies we tell ourselves, the lies we are forced to live, the lies we happily agree to.

Marianela Boán