Uprooted: Pero Resplantado, by Legendary American Choreographer, Donald McKayle. This Donald McKayle work focuses on immigration. It incorporates his brilliant use of curves and shape, and embraces movement that is poly rhythmic.
La Mulata de Cordoba by Viviana Basanta. Viviana Basanta’s work is a rich, allegorical piece that combines traditional and modern Mexican dance.
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This work deals with undocumented immigrants to the United States. In the late spring and early summer of 2014 I watched the reports and pictures of young children carried by their older siblings parting from their mothers climbing the border fences of our country in search of freedom from oppression, poverty, and desperation. I watched the young and watched the mother sad brave and selfless. I read the reports of, heard the talks and started a process of getting in touch with the different aspects of being uprooted from a country, a culture and genetic memories and replanting yourself in a different land. Besides personal past memories I took a deep look at the whole generation of my students and their different ethnic backgrounds some may have come here legally or undocumented or already born here in the US to parents that came here looking for a better life. I observed them being American yet carrying their cultural heritage and genetic memory and their upbringing by hard working families grateful for the opportunities available to their children. This thought process led me to whole heartedly want to create a dance expressing the story of one such ethnic group the closest to our borders, yet encompassing within it all others in the replanted part which will express their rightful claim to belong with no prejudice with rights intact to their new land through theirs and their families hard work, sacrifices and dedication.
The story goes that in the days when the Inquisition came to Mexico, a beautiful mulata living in the town of Cordoba used herbs and traditional medicines to heal the sick. This was frowned upon by the church, but the mulata continued to attend mass so that she would not raise suspicions. One day the governor of the region declared his love for her and being rejected, became enraged and denounced her to the Inquisition. Imprisoned for witchcraft and sentenced to burn at the stake, the mulata asks a guard for a piece of chalk so that she can write on the wall. As she completes a drawing of a beautiful boat, she magically positions herself in the boat which begins to sail until it disappears from the wall completely.