Yuyachkani's Antígona at the New WORLD Theater Intersection II Conference (2000)

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From September 26-29, 2000 on the campus of the University of Massachusetts, New WORLD Theater convened a major national and international gathering, ‘Intersection II,’ a conference/performance festival focused on interdisciplinary and intercultural theater work. ‘Intersection II’ included international participation, while examining innovative theater practice within community, and national and global spheres. The event brought together artists, intellectuals, theater producers, arts presenters, and arts activists to explore the process, evolution, and dynamics of making theater in the dawning moments of the 21st century. One of the featured performances was ‘Antígona,’ directed by Miguel Rubio Zapata and masterfully performed by Teresa Ralli, founding member of Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani (Peru). This one-woman performance of José Watanabe’s version of Sophocles classic tragedy is a breathtaking example of the devastation caused by twenty years of civil violence in Peru. Although this is the story of only one character, it speaks for the nearly 70,000 disappeared men, women and children of Peru, and for the thousands of survivors who are still fighting for their right to mourn their loved ones.

Peru’s most important theater collective, Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani has been working since 1971 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. Their work has been among the most important in Latin Americas so called New Popular Theatre, with a strong commitment to grass-roots community issues, mobilization, and advocacy. Yuyachkani won Peru’s National Human Rights Award in 2000. Known for its creative embrace of both indigenous performance forms as well as cosmopolitan theatrical forms, Yuyachkani offers insight into Peruvian and Latin American theater, and to broader issues of postcolonial social aesthetics.

From 1979-2009, the New WORLD Theater worked at the intersection of artistic practice, community engagement, scholarship, and activism toward a vision of a ‘new world’—one that broke the confines of multiculturalism and was an artistic harbinger of America’s shifting demographics. From a geographic ‘outpost’ in New England, New WORLD Theater evolved from a community organizing project and the Northeast point on a theater touring compass, to a protective studio to hone new work, a site of international intersections from South Africa to the South Bronx, and the home of inspired and rigorous collaborations with Western Massachusetts youth. New performance work development at New WORLD defied the conventional theater play lab as ghetto for artists of color; artists were met where they wanted to be in the imagining of new approaches, methods, and production. One of New WORLD Theater’s artistic legacies is Project 2050, a multi-year youth arts initiative built on the demographic projection that people of color would become the majority in the United States by 2050. The program brought together professional artists, youth communities from Massachusetts, scholars, and community activists to engage civic dialogue and create original performances based on themes that addressed young performers’ dreams and concerns. Performances were created from workshops that included playwriting, poetry, breakdancing, drumming, beatboxing, lyricism, singing, songwriting, stepping, and visual art.

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Additional Info

  • Duração: 01:17:54
  • Idioma: Spanish
  • Data da performance: 2000
  • Lugar: Amherst, Massachusetts
  • Type/Format: performance
  • Cast/Performers: Teresa Ralli, performer.
  • Credits: Miguel Rubio Zapata, José Watanabe 1946-2007, Teresa Ralli, Sophocles., Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani., New WORLD Theater. and New WORLD Theater International Conference (2nd : 2000 : University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass.).