SUKU DANCE SERVES UP AN IMMERSIVE LATIN EXPERIENCE

By. Megan Curet

 Aimee Lalonde Photography

Aimee Lalonde Photography

 
 

A transcripted voicemail left by Abuelita:
"This is your abuelita speaking. Well, not your actual abuela, but you guys are in mi corazon, and I hope you can consider me your soul abuelita. I would like to invite you all over for a fiesta I'm hosting. I'll be cooking warm food, serving cold drinks, playing music, and sharing with you stories about my glorious life events! It will be mucho fun for todos! I have a home filled with joy for us to enjoy a little and leave all the mierda of life outside. MI CASA ES SU CASA, my darlings! So come by, abuela wants to kiss your pretty faces!"

 

The Latino household is a sanctuary blessed by the head that is most often known and referred to as Abuela.  In Suku Dance’s latest Fiesta de Ama De CASA two unimaginable forces transport the audience, immersive theater and the storytelling efforts driven by this female ensemble. 

 

The evening is welcomed by a group of individuals outside of a home in Bedstuy, Brooklyn.  Shortly after entering the quaint abode the members of the audience gather around a large dinning table, mingling and mobile in the space.  Beer is on sale in the kitchen for five dollars and there is the scent of rice and beans steaming from the stovetop.  Immersive takes on multiple forms in this makeshift venue and my favorite one was definitely the calling of our senses.

 

The company director then enters the space to welcome the attendees while reading down a list of do’s and do not’s. Preparing us to be fully engaged and immersed as not only attendees but also members of the performance plot.  Lead dancer of the work Núria Martin Fandos enters the space with a rambunctious energy welcoming the guest of her “house”. 

 

Abuela is definitely here, the energy loops into a series of movement events as our lead dancer begins to engage in a series of hosting efforts alongside her beverage of choice; tequila.   She takes her movement from one room to another. Racing around to tell a story of an exhausted host by serving food and dancing on the table and off.  The viewer’s head is spinning with laughter and confusion as to what may come next.  The movement then unfolds into a series of dancing dialogues as the pedestrian like form turns into a familiar technical dance.

 

What a funny and quirky performance as I begin to ponder where is the arch of the story? Suddenly the Abuela continues her movement therapy and discussion into the bathroom for a brief pause with the viewers.  Upon her re-entrance dressed with hair rollers the character’s movement begins to shift and with this we see a new relationship between the performer we first met and the person who exists as a women with many layers and stories to tell.

 

The performance moves into the living room, where dancing, screaming and dialogue continue to take form.  It is towards the end of the performance where the story comes full circle.  Suku Dance has decided to take us on a journey into the world of one woman, but this story is the story of many women.  Abuela had ambitions, Abuela has turmoil and with this story we experience the blood memory a woman so often carries as well.  It was an exciting celebration of feminine experience told through the lens of a Latina choreographer. 

 

Suku Dance is taking a chance on methodology, movement and score and we are excited to be here for the ride. Fiesta de Ama De CASA...Housewife Party. Do you really know the woman behind the one you see?