DanceForce Member: Margarita Espada
Artists: Lia Dominguez, Mariana Lima, Jacqueline Selesky, Joan Wozniak
Community Partners: Custer Institute and Observatory; Suffolk County Cultural Office; SUNY Stony Brook; Teatro Yerbabruja Cultural Center
“Constellations” is an interdisciplinary performance that seeks to create an experience of dance and movement inspired by images from the Custer Observatory telescope and our needs for social and cultural healing through reconnection with the stars, the earth and ourselves. With this open perspective, this performance will connect cultures, folklore, contemporary and tradition to create a multimedia dance experience that will be performed under the stars.
This year we have received an invitation to present our project at the Custer Institute and Observatory. Established in 1927, Custer Institute and Observatory is the oldest public observatory on Long Island. Inspired by the beautiful space of the Custer Institute, we will develop the multimedia performance based on the constellation research of the Mexican dancer and choreographer Lia Dominguez and images from the Custer Telescope. The word constellation comes from the Latin: com (meeting) and stelar (bright). They are groups of stars that are joined by imaginary lines and form a silhouette that acquires unique and recognizable figures. Human beings intersect, relate to each other or move away like constellations due to relationships that we have with each other. Last year’s epidemic awakened our conscience and made us review our constellations. We realized that our network of links more than ever amplifies the importance of love that sustains us for growth and survival and thus renounces the manifestations of disease, limitation and death.
Jacqueline Selesky is the other dancer that will participate in our project. She is a professional African American dancer from a community who has returned to Long Island after working in NYC as a result of losing her job due to the pandemic.
Our dancers will offer workshops to the community and youth. Jaqueline Selesky will have a two-week artist residency at 2 Ave. Firehouse Gallery Performance Space. The artists will also be part of a discussion on the decolonization of dance from its indigenous, Latino and Afro-descendant cultural perspectives. Teatro Yerbabruja will bring their multidisciplinary team that include videographers, DJ musicians and multimedia directors as part of the project.
Time Frame ( tentative as per COVID19 restrictions)
June 1 to September 11 – research, development and production of the show “Constellations”
July 17, 24, 31, August 1 – Dance Workshops
Dance Residency August 7 to 22 (15 days) – Jacqueline Selesky
Panel discussion on the decolonization of dance – August 25