We were led into a cobblestone courtyard after a short trek through the layer cake city of Belgrade. The old and the new built alongside and on top of each other. All stonework and stairways in and around the ancient walkways of the city. They took us up away from the river, past stately parks […]
Mabel Valdiviezo with Travis Bennett
About This Artist
Artistic Director and dancer
Mabel is a 21st-century techno-shaman who employs the arts as a means of expression to achieve social justice for cultural, community and gender healing. Utilizing a multidisciplinary lens, she creates intimate and immersive works through film, mixed media, video, and performance, exploring relevant themes such as transnational migration, diaspora, and belonging. Grounded by research and an experiential approach, her projects combine ancestral indigenous knowledge with accessible interactive technology.
Mabel has exhibited her films and artwork in the United States, Latin America, and Europe, including the Cannes Short Film showcase. She is an alumna of the Sundance Producers Conference. www.arts4healing.org
Technologist and Artist
Travis is a Bay Area web content creator, immersive technology researcher, and technical artist. His work explores the nature of society’s relationship with emerging technologies; such as AR, VR, motion capture, and human movement. Since 2014, Travis has been collaborating with Kinetech Arts, creating the motion capture framework OpenPerform, and organizing annual DanceHack events. In 2015, he co-founded Kineviz, an immersive data company.
Choreographer and dancer
Juliana is a Venezuelan contemporary dance performer, choreographer and teacher based in Oakland. She graduated with a degree in dance from the University Institute of Dance in Venezuela. Juliana co-founded Raíz de Agua, a live music and dance company that creates projects inspired by nature and our relationship with it. She have drawn influences from contemporary and popular dance styles such as Butoh, Latin Traditional Dances and Physical Theater, to find a unique language with which she can express and create powerful works of art.
Ronald Sanchez aka “Altiplano”
Based between Peru and Berlin, Altiplano is known for his sonic approach called “Cosmic Folklore”. Altiplano’s unique sound approach merges Andean pre-Hispanic instruments and Amazonian based sounds with contemporary electronic music. He generates sound pieces and sound architecture for museums, art galleries, live performances, as well as music production for television and radio. Altiplano has worked with important museums and exhibits in Peru, Mexico, Ecuador, Germany and Portugal. He will collaborate closely with the project lead to timely produce composition sketches and a final version.
Limbert is an artist specializing in contemporary Amazonian art from Peru, having received his training in Usko-Ayar painting school, which emphasizes transformation and healing through the practice of surrealistic figurative landscape painting. Born in the Peruvian Amazonian rainforest, Limbert became a direct student of the master visionary painter Pablo Amaringo, studying under his guidance at the USKO-AYAR school of Amazonian painting. Limbert paints visions of Ayahuasca and other medicinal plants and has been nationally recognized for his work in this artistic field.
About this Project
Metamorphosis combines dance performance, interactive visuals, and shamanic storytelling to explore the rising mental health crisis among Latinx immigrant women as a result of their undocumented status and forced family separation.
Using “la cultura cura/culture heals” transformative framework, Metamorphosis asks the question, how do we alleviate suffering and restore well-being through dance, cultural rituals and artwork that are rooted in Latinx indigenous practices?
Part mythical, part contemporary tale, the dance portrays an indigenous Mayan woman losing sight of her child and surviving sexual assault in an arid desert at the U.S. Mexican border. Seeking safety, she encounters a Peruvian shaman who guides her inside a healing garden.
Fusing traditional culture with interactive technology and improvised movement, Metamorphosis emphasizes visual and physical expression, and incorporates an authentic shamanic healing rite into the performance to free the self from ordinary consciousness to a deep healing space.
The piece utilizes projection mapping with video imagery (shamanic paintings of the Amazon forest) and creative coding to build an immersive “healing garden” environment that enhances the narrative and the movements of the dancer and the “shaman” performer on the stage.
Silhouettes of women crossing the desert are projected onto the walls. Live on stage, the immigrant woman dancer attempts to transverse and break through the border wall in the video loop. The voices of women captured in audio about leaving their homeland and escaping from violence are part of the soundscape of the desert.
A multilayered soundscape accompanies the piece highlighting natural elements, wind instruments and sounds from the Amazon forest, fusing ancestral and native sounds with an electronic contemporary feel.
A social collaboration community component will accompany the piece through four art & movement workshops with Latinx immigrant women living in San Francisco’s Tenderloin.
[Artist Photo: Mabel Valdiviezo; Photo by Zen Cohen. Cover Photo: Metamorphosis 7: Mabel Valdiviezo; Photo by Mercedes González]
Telling myself what to do feels foreign And bends itself into what will turn into the first escape of many It takes a careful tread and a dissonant listening in order to achieve the uncut smile that spreads across my face So I scan wildly Wanting no one’s eye but my own Desperation and wanton […]
So CounterPulse is centering their second annual festival around improvisation and the pursuit of “freedom,” and this… is just a very real workout for all of me: brain, bod, heart, etc. I think it’s a bold move on our part. And I say: thank goodness for bold moves. Years ago, I used to co-teach a […]
Interview conducted by Claire Frost, Artspan Program Manager, on January 28, 2019 Claire Frost: How do you see your work and your practice fitting into CounterPulse’s space + programming? How does this space contextualize (or not) your work? Brea Weinreb: Similar to CounterPulse, community is integral to my work. Every figure painting I’ve ever made has […]