Commissioned by The Chocolate Factory and presented as part of American Realness.
In This Bridge Called My Ass six Latinx performers – Alvaro Gonzalez, John Gutierrez, Miguel Gutierrez, Xandra Ibarra, Nibia Pastrana Santiago, and Evelyn Sanchez Narvaez – map an elusive choreography of obsessive and perverse action within an unstable terrain of bodies, materials and sound. A formal logic binds the group and propels them to create a constantly transforming world where their togetherness retains autonomy to complicate the idea of identity. Clichéd Latin-American songs and the form of the telenovela are exploited to show how familiar structures contain absurdity that reveal and celebrate difference.
The title is a play on This Bridge Called My Back (ed. Cherrie Morága and Gloria Anzaldua), a seminal 1981 anthology of Third Wave feminist essays that explores identity and critiques white feminism. Its calls for intersectional awareness and political resistance eerily resonate to our time now and also reveal the limitations of discourse to imagine new ways of being together.
With Stephanie Acosta as dramaturg and assistant director. Lighting Design: Tuçe Yasak. Photo credit: Paula Lobo.
This Bridge Called My Ass is co-commissioned by The Chocolate Factory Theater, Centre National du Danse in Pantin and Montpellier Danse. This Bridge Called My Ass is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by PICA/TBA in partnership with the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, Bates Dance Festival in Maine, Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh, PA and NPN. The Creation & Development Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information: npnweb.org. Additional support comes from individual donors. The piece has been developed through Gibney’s Dance in Process (DiP) Residency program with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Freehand Fellowship x Bard Residency, and residencies at The Chocolate Factory and the Centre National de la Danse, Pantin.