Photo by Ian McMorran www.ianmcmorran.com
As my body interfaces with political and social phenomena, it responds by softening, resisting, or activating. It holds memories, impressions, and potential energy. When I make dances, I tap into these corporeal impacts and birth gestures. I create imagined worlds in which I can work out intellectual and emotional dissonance at the site of my physicality. Movements emerge when I give myself space to unfold and digest my research, and they filter through my bound, athletic yet supple body with a massive spatial appetite driven by my pelvis. My Mexican roots never cease to make an appearance through circular hip patterns or cumbia rhythms and footwork.
I am perpetually fascinated by power, so consequently my work interplays with the concept of identity. How are differently raced and gendered bodies perceived? How can these perceptions be called into question? How can assumptions about particular bodies be dismantled and transcended through performance? What needs to happen to empower the powerless? Witnessing and being a dancing body has the potential to foment empathy, dissent, and political revolution. The body is a site of discourse where ideas can be presented, re-presented, challenged, and transformed. I honor the body as a vessel of cultural and ideological transmission. In my performative work, I set bodies in motion to rub up against political and social environments.
I experiment with ways to visibilize and reimagine the Latinx experience through dance performance, and create artistic dialogue about U.S./Mexico relations. I experiment with borders in my work as both metaphoric and geographic spaces. I investigate how they serve as markers of difference and enforcers of displacement. I also look at how they can be dismantled, transcended, and serve as a point of connection. On a corporeal level, I investigate liberation and constriction of the body, how both of those qualities can exist at once, and how the spectrum shifts as bodies change their proximity to borders. I test the limits of connection between bodies, experimenting with how much they can merge together, and the emotional and psychological states that arise when they do.
I turn to Latinx theorists in performance studies, ethnic studies, women and gender studies to honor and evolve methods of drawing attention to social injustices. For example, I have been implementing José Esteban Muñoz’s Disidentification theory to present and then subvert stereotypes of Latinx people, more specifically Latina women, through dance performance. Humanity appears in my dances within Gloria Anzaldua’s Borderlands framework, which acknowledges the liminality of Latinx people in the United States who shift between many cultures and have beautiful, complicated, and contradictory identities. I actively seek new methods for disrupting hegemonic views on marginalized identities through performance.