Who are your Lxs Desaparecidxs?

Who are your Lxs Desaparecidxs?

Questions to Consider (proposed by Randy):


Who are your Lxs Desaparecidxs?
In what ways has being in this process shifted your own creative practice, if at all?
Where do you see the piece going next and how do you see the work evolving?
What questions have persisted since the process began and what new discoveries have arisen?
Who are you presence-ing? Can you tell us a story about who they are or what this place is?
What is your relationship to Spirit or how are you conceptualizing Spirit and/or queerness?
What are you most passionate about and how is this passion manifesting for you currently?
If you could change anything about the current system we are in, what would this be and why?
Share a bit about who you are as an artist, your creative practice, your repertoire.


A disappearance assumes a once-presence.
A tangible once-presence, enough to brush a hair and kiss a nerve.
Not always of the flesh, but at least of the throat,
a once-presence with voice and teeth, a once-presence given body through remembrances.
Through the membrane of my body, I feel the strike of some echoes.
These are not quite once-presences.
My grandmother passed before New Year’s Eve 2014; she is a once-presence; I have her blackened voice still saved in my voicemail.
But before her?
No record, no document, hardly a scratch on the wall.
Black bodies and bones not quite buried.
Can the stage floor of an old Tenderloin pornographic cinema hide bones?
We are the dogs or the shovels.
We are the sniff-outs, dig-outs, pull-ups, dust-offs.
Every step could be considered radar.
Let my body fall and reveal the underground.
Let my body bring its perfumes.
Every step should be considered radar.
Find that a bone is merely a bone; marrow calcified; blood pride poured off.
Find that a bone is barely a bone; sometimes burnt; sometimes whisked off by the currents.
Every step would be considered radar, if all that was once-presence was protected.

And still I move. 


Response to the question: Who are your Lxs Desaparecidxs?

To me, Lxs Desaparecidxs are my black and brown ancestors who lived as someone other than their true selves. This choice, to me, was made out of the will to survive. My queer ancestors did not live in times where they could shout their being into existence without the fear of alienation or execution. I use my body, my privilege, in these times to honor them through my movement. I move with freedom, unapologetically, in order to conjure up their stories of resistance and an eagerness to express who they truly were. I live to honor them through my dance and through this act I have become them. Bringing their repressed, beautiful, queer existence into a life of its own through me.



working with gabe, emelia, steph, jose, randy and all of the presences, histories, ghosts and futures that we carry has been a constantly shifting practice. we come together and each time we are a little different. our flesh modified by the week we have lived, our energies filtered or filled with who and what we have met. and each time we bring a different flesh we also find new ways to organize ourselves- new questions to ask together, new structures to share healing and growth, new potential imaginings of the many futures that exist outside and against the confines of colonialism, hetero patriarchy, productivity. that process of change that we go through in each “rehearsal” is one that to me feels like practicing community, practicing the intricacies of decentralization , fractalization, generosity, vulnerability (ala adrienne marie brown) , practicing the magic that it takes to conjure rage and memory and fleshy truth and trust into a way of relating to one another, a set of questions, a way out or a way into it.


Los 43. Todos lxs desaparecidxs de México– todos lxs desaparecidxs de América Latina.
Ancestors that I feel but can’t name. Lineages swallowed up by forced migration. Ancestors that I can name but can’t feel. Violence clogs the channel. Lineages interrupting and redirecting others. Lineages intersecting in one body. Invite spirit in to move that body down the narrow stream. Feel it trickle, grow in strength and direction and meet other bodies of water. Bodies intersecting now. Lineages intersecting now. What will happen next? How do I respond? How do we respond?
All of my responses are queer. Queer how the lineages rest (or don’t rest at all) in my body. Queer how spirit reverberates in jumps, crumbles, and tears. Queer how space and time stretch to fit the dance. Queer how the dance comes in between us. We’re not the same. We are very different. We find the dance between us. Spirit dances between us. Layers of borders and boundaries being renegotiated constantly within me and outside of me.

Now my creative process is based in trust. In people I love and trust. In ancestors. In spirit.


Guided by spirit, this process has held space for me to listen deeply. Within all of us exists blood that holds trauma, histories of violence, resilience, and love. In life and through this piece I have been exploring the following questions:
What histories and knowledge are hidden in the body that we can shake loose?
What potentialities do we uncover when we call in those spirits who walk with us and allow them to move through us?
How do we honor our queer and POC kin lost to police violence, colonization, and patriarchy and help us find ways to heal.
Are there ways for all of us to heal and reconcile ancestral wounds (together) across our different lineages and what does this look like?
In what ways can our exploration of queer intimacies create a new way of relating to ourselves, each other, and our environment.
I’m excited to continue to investigate these pondering with folks in this piece and hold space for it to continue to evolve beyond the scope of the theatre.

Randy Reyes is queer Latinx choreographer-dance artist-curanderx. Their new work, Lxs Desaparecidxs, runs Thu-Sat, Dec 7-16 with “Pay what you can Thursdays” as a double-bill performance with Mother The Verb as part of CounterPulse’s Performing Diaspora 2017 residency. Cover Photo by Justin Ebrahemi

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