Editor’s Note: This week, the XVIII National and International Festival of Contemporary Dance: Ohtic Oc’ takes place around the city of Merida. It started December 1 and continues until December 9, with performances daily. There are more than a few amazing performances to look forward to, and we wanted to inform you about some of them in more detail than can be found on our Events listing. We have not seen any of these dances so far, but we have received information and press releases about some of them, which we would like to share with you.
Decent Women of Calle 58
(Press Release written by Giles Collard)
Have tears come to your eyes in a Contemporary Art Museum? Well, it happened to me. And I was not alone. It happened to my wife Susan first. “You must see this exhibit at the MACAY,” she told me. Not only was I moved, but the exhibit shattered all my preconceptions, prejudices and “understanding” of a world I knew nothing about, a world that everybody has an opinion about: Prostitutes, Women of the Street, Putas, Women of the Night, Sexoservidoras.
“Las Mujeres Decentes de la Calle 58” at the MACAY is an exhibit by anthropologist Christian Rasmussen of 22 interviews of sexoservidoras from Calle 58 in downtown Mérida, Yucatán, México. The exhibit includes needlework portraits by Elena Martínez and pen-and-ink portraits by Gabriel Ramírez.
My mental images of eroticism, sensuality, lingerie, darkness and forbidden fruit were brought down to reality by these women’s poignant stories of hard lives with sometimes terrible events. To survive, protect and provide for their children and families, they have taken the difficult choice to become a sexoservidora.
Their dedication to their families, to safety, health and a better life for their children in such adverse situations is heart-wrenching. It is the human story of a mother doing the best she can for her children.
In the Dance Theatre performance of “Decent Women of Calle 58”, based on Christian’s exhibit, Susan Collard, artistic director of Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre and White Dog Dance ProjectX International, wanted to focus on the humanity of these women’s stories. Her work puts them in intimate settings in a house: the kitchen, a bedroom, a patio… and expores the issues that are important to them: making a better life despite all their restrictions, taking care of their children, protecting themselves and developing camaraderie. The dance performance is accompanied by music composed by Yucatecan Alejandro Basulto, as well as Puccini. Dancer/actors are Lola York and Sharon Cooper, as well as Co-directors Susan and Giles Collard. These dancers will perform intimates scenes inspired by the poignant stories of the decent women of Calle 58 that move your heart and mind. Costumes are by Susan Collard, and all are assisted by Roger Pech Sansores.
“Decent Women of Calle 58” will be performed as part of Contemporary Dance International Festival Oc’-Ohtic 2012 on December the 6th, 7th and 8th, 22:30 hours (10:30 PM) at Casa Luna y Sol (68th St x 61st St Núm. 502, Centro, Mérida, Yucatán). Admission is free, but there is limited access for only 30 people per performance. If you want to attend, we encourage you to make a reservation at the Secretaria de la Cultura y Las Artes, Departamento de Danza, (999) 942-3800 EXT. 54069.
(Press Release written by Roger Pech Sansores)
A group of people coincide at the same place and moment, and through simple and even childish actions, discourse about the status of their own lives. Confronting each other, questioning and forcing themselves to reach their own mind and physical limits, they face their doubts and make decisions that drag them to outcomes that might or might not solve their initial problems.
These are the premises for “…Y tan solo” (“…So lonely”), a multidisciplinary scenic piece that will premiere on Wednesday, December the 5th, at 9:00 PM at Teatro Armando Manzanero as part of International Contemporary Dance Festival Oc-‘Ohtic 2012.
This second work for independent Mexican group Odori Desu –Bailía Contemporánea, deals in every scene with human beings and their essence. It explores the way in which every single person seeks their individuality among everyone else and at the same time, tries to relate to other humans. It’s a multidisciplinary spectacle in one single act but divided into four scenes, with an approximate length of 50 minutes.
The piece contains reflections about the world’s population growth and its repercussions on the planet, as well as on humans, through the work of five performers-creators accompanied with live music. Each character questions a world where high-tech, fashion, consumerism, capitalism and narcissism seems to dominate and where values are becoming obsolete… a world where war, famine, hate, and violence have become so common that their impact on people has apparently diminished.
“…Y tan solo” is an original work choreographed and directed by Roger Pech Sansores, with performances by Nazaret Flota, Raúl Rivero, Addy Sauri and Lola Tuzlop, as well as Sansores himself. Costumes are by Josefa Sabido, with some original music by Amaury León, as well as music from The Dandy Warhols and Phillip Glass. For more information, you can contact danza [dot] comunicacion [at] gmail [dot] com.