The Borderlands Dance Project
How does dance fit into the U.S./Mexico relations conversation? Can dance truly build connections when tension is high? For this project I was called to the U.S./Mexico border to figure out what dance can reveal about the social, political and cultural divisions between my homeland and motherland. Can dance help shine light through the cracks and fissures?
The Borderlands Dance Project, which is meant to ignite a dialogue between dancers in the U.S. and Mexico regarding the border and the friction that exists between the two countries. I draw inspiration for the piece from my daily encounters: the sudden transition to being immobile when waiting at the port of entry, the need to redirect my route when I encounter part of the border wall, the natural flow between Spanish and English, the panic that set in when the U.S. closed the port of entry for an indefinite period of time, the daily sightings of migrant camps all over the city, and the stark contrast between either side of the Border wall when viewed from up high. But the most inspiring place is Friendship Park. It’s a part of the border close to the beach where friends and family from either side can connect through the mesh border fence during certain hours on the weekends. This is where the culminating performance will take place. The Borderlands Dance Project will depict the complexities of border life, and the perspectives of individuals who live on the border as well as U.S. dancers who feel the impact of the border wall from afar. Even though the border creates division, and presently is creating a humanitarian crisis for Honduran refugees, it is also a crux where people can meet, ideas can be exchanged, and messages (and dances) of social justice can be seen and heard.