Fronteras Desviadas / Deviant Borders

Texts Created by Andrea Assaf

Directed & Choreographed by Dora Arreola

Performed by Mujeres en Ritual Danza-Teatro, with Andrea Assaf

“Lo desviado es …making pure actions dirty through different intentions, and soiling them with lies. Caminar con los pies de otra. It’s the redundancy of betrayal. The line apparently straight, erect – twisted and rotten. La violencia de arrancar a alguien de su destino y arrojarlo fuera cual basura. Es el zig-zag que retorna a mi to my convictions, the resistance to being corrupted by the cold perfection de lo cotidiano – that straight line of amnesia in what “should” be. Rebellion is an everyday job. Lo desviado es la alternativa.”

Through poetry, character and movement, Fronteras Desviadas / Deviant Borders explores gender, taboo and rites of passage. The performance presents a juxtaposition of two parallel realities: A tour guide known as El Chamuco leads the audience on a journey from night to day through the red zone of Tijuana, as two actress-dancers embody and give voice to the experiences of women in communities near the border.

The creative process investigated the exploitation of women's bodies in transnational factories and sexual tourism in the Tijuana-San Diego region (home of the most frequently crossed border in the world). The choreography includes traditional dances from Mexico, in combination with physical experimentation and contemporary dance. The text is bilingual, and includes poetry created from community workshops with women in the Tijuana, Tecate and San Diego areas.

Through the collision of diverse cultural elements and political realities, Fronteras Desviadas / Deviant Borders offers a journey to "the other side" of sexuality, deviance, and culture.


A través de poesía, personajes y movimiento, Deviant Borders / Fronteras Desviadas, explora género, tabúes y ritos de paso. El espectáculo presenta la yuxtaposición de dos realidades paralelas. Un guía de turistas conocido como el "Chamuco", conduce a los espectadores por un viaje de la noche al día por la zona roja de Tijuana, mientras dos actrices-bailarinas encarnan y dan voz a experiencia de mujeres de comunidades cercanas a esta frontera.

Durante el proceso creativo se exploró e investigó la explotación del cuerpo de las mujeres en las fábricas transnacionales y el turismo sexual en la región Tijuana- San Diego (la frontera mas visitada del mundo). La coreografía incluye danzas tradicionales de México, en combinación con experimentación física y danza contemporánea. El texto es bilingue e incluye poesía creada de talleres comunitarios con mujeres en la región de Tijuana, Tecate y San Diego.

A través de la colisión de diversos elementos culturales y realidades políticas, Deviant Borders / Fronteras Desviadas ofrece un viaje al "otro lado" de la sexualidad, cultura y desviación.


Production History: The Spanish-dominant version of Fronteras Desviadas / Deviant Borders premiered at the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California (UABC), and toured in northern Mexico in 2005; the English-dominant version was developed at New WORLD Theater and excerpts were performed at Alternate ROOTS (2005). The project then toured to the National Theater Festival hosted by Teatro Justo Rufino Garay in Managua, Nicaragua (2006). Related lecture-demonstrations and workshops given at the University of Minnesota (2006) and Sappho women’s organization in Kolkata, India (2008), in association with Ananya Dance Theater; at the Symposium on Interdisciplinarity, Concordia University in Montreal, Canada (2007); and the Kahn Institute “Festival of Disorder” at Smith College, Massachusetts (2009).

Residency Activities available with this performance include: Master classes and workshops in dance-theater or movement composition. Community-based poetry & movement workshops for women, migrant workers, or sex workers. Lecture-demos on the U.S.-Mexico Border, the Fronteras Desviadas project and creative process. English, Spanish or bilingual workshops/activities available.

Este proyecto esta dedicada a las trabajadoras de la industria del turismo sexual en Tijuana, a las mujeres que trabajan en las maquiladoras y a la mujeres desaparecidas y muertas en Juárez.


This project is dedicated to the women and woman-identified workers of the sex industry and the sweatshop factories in Tijuana, and to the disappeared and murdered women of Juárez.

For booking or more information, contact:

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