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Dance of Decent Women and Men

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.

Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre in Merida Yucatan Mexico

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. Decent Women of Calle 58 in Merida Yucatan MexicoThese 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.

…So Lonely

(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.

contemporary dance in Merida Yucatan

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 So Lonely dance performance in Merida Mexicoobsolete… 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.


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3 Responses to “Dance of Decent Women and Men”

  1. I live in London and work at Sadler’s Wells Theatre as Director of creative learning. One of the things I do is manage a company of dancers aged between 60 – 90 years. They are amazing and embrace all styles from Contemporary dance to Hip Hop; they have worked with some of the best European choreographers and give performances around Europe, acting as an inspiration for other older people.

    I am currently on a short sabbatical and travelling through the Americas, hoping to contact groups of older dancers for my research into how life for older people can be enriched through dance. I will be in Merida from 27 Dec – 4 Jan and would like to meet any individuals or groups who can tell me about dance in the Yucatan. please contact helenjanehackettuk [at] gmail [dot] com. Thank you

  2. I have had frequent contact with the ladies of 58th Street – from the window of the ADO bus from Valladolid to Merida as I make my almost weekly dentist appointment. The alluring appearance of two or three standing in the doorway always catches my eye – and imagination. I wonder about their lives. I wonder about the police car usually parked nearby. Who’s being protected – the women or their clients?
    I’m familiar with the quality dance performances of friends, Giles and Susan Collard, and will try not to miss their current performance. Tom Jones

  3. Decent Women of calle 58 and Tan Solo are great plays addressing very contemporary everyday life issues. Congratulations to Odori Desu –Bailía Contemporánea and to Sr. Roger Pech Sansores. En horabuena!

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