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Antonio Ramos: In the Arena, Not Everything is Pink

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by , 5 years ago
5 1


Inspired by the photographs of Sol Aramendi, this piece is about ritual, superstition and fighting arenas where we individually and collectively meet our demons. Six dancers debate gender roles, undertake santeria cleansing rituals and emerge ready to take on the battle of their own existence. The work is dance theater with an epic sound score and lighting that emphasizes the over-the-top dramatization of their collective exorcism.

The Young Roots Performance Series at Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture showcases emerging artists experimenting with the artistic roots of Afro-Latino traditions to create new branches that reach into the future. The series was made possible by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation’s highly selective New York City Cultural Innovation Fund, which supports creativity and the arts, with an emphasis on innovation.

In May of 2011, The Young Roots Performance Series presented The Mermaid’s Feet, a collaborative effort between East Harlem-based vocalists Catarina dos Santos and Raquel Z. Rivera who draw on roots music of the Afro-Ibero-American world, highlighting women's experiences. The project title makes reference to the female-centeredness of dos Santos' and Rivera's music, and to the ocean that touches all the countries whose musical traditions they draw from, in a innovative collaboration with Brazilian, Portuguese, and African musicians.

The Young Roots Performance Series project grew out of the two rotating biennial festivals produced at Hostos Center: BomPlenazo, which focuses on the bomba and plena traditions of Puerto Rico, and Quijombo, which focuses on the congo, salve and guloya, which continue to be extensively documented by the media center BronxNet. BronxNet produces programs that globally connect one of the most diverse and culturally rich places in the world: the Bronx – and the TV station’s award winning production team will produce a series of Young Roots docu-concerts.

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