13 November, 2017
This past Saturday in our gallery space, we were proud to host the world premier of “Me Hago Falta,” or “I am missing myself,” an interdisciplinary dance theatre piece exploring the relationship between the pride and prejudices present in the Afro Latinx community in America.
The show was produced by Suku Dance Lab in collaboration with THE CREATORS COLLECTIVE, whom we previously worked with on a series of dance and theatre performances in the 100 Bogart Gallery Space.
Directed by Talia Moreta, the performers used different mediums of dance to tell the story of an ambiguous Latina woman, Maria, who represents the struggle this community faces to break stereotypes and rise up in finding their identity. This performance was apt for Bushwick as 65% of the neighborhood’s population are from Latinx backgrounds.
Maria, the main character of the show, was portrayed by Belinda Adam, a dancer and company manager of Suku Dance Lab. In a voiceover that swept the opening scene, Maria said, “I don’t know…how to exist. I don’t know how to be all these different parts of me – my identity, myself, parts of other people.” Through intricate and expressive movement, Maria conveyed to the audience that she felt she needed to put different parts of herself together, with her color, heritage, background, and identity.
In order to contrast her ambiguous demeanor, the other five supporting characters played different Latina tropes like a soap opera star, the matriarch, and the peasant. “I carry the weight of my ancestors. The White, Native, the Enslaved. I am the Background. And along with my family, we share the burden of war…a war within…” each stereotyped character said as they challenged Maria of her American identity.
Throughout the performance, the characters go through a wide range of emotions to navigate their experience of growing up with Afro Latinx values that are unvalued within America’s societal constructs. At the end, Maria and the tropes formed together, as they all felt a communal burden of Maria’s consciousness. The rawness and intensity of the performance had moved many people in the audience, and afterwards, many stayed to contemplate the serious tone and the barriers of America’s binary society with the performers.
The conversations dispersed a warm and inclusive energy, with hopefuls ready to redefine identity in the Latinx community. By the end of the night, the audience was wowed with the thought-provoking topics and stunning choreography, ready to come back for more. We look forward to hosting many more captivating performances and inspirational events for the Bushwick community!
Photos by: Ilona Shakhguseynova