This installment is a variation on the Machera Series 5. It has the same concept of reciprocity as revealed by a black ring that the performers use to dance with. The stretchy fabric acts as a third dancer that unifies the performers. It also refers to the gender roles in Hispanic dances such as Salsa and Meregue.
Machera Series 5. Performance at Lubeznik Center for the Arts
in Michigan City, IN. 2014. Photo by Nancy Valladares
The performance took place in different aisles where the viewers didn’t expect a performance until the performers stood up, held the fabric ring with their waists, and loud salsa and merengue started playing.
There was an interesting response from the venue in the last presentation of the night. The music turned down slowly and we stood still until a few minutes passed. The curator’s friends that were helping us had turned off the music. The organizer told them to turn off the music because he thought we weren't allowed to perform, even though I was invited to participate in this venue.
It’s quite interesting that woman performing Latin dances with loud music shouldn’t do it in the prestige aisles of an art fair, and how its relates to a gender roles in “Hispanic” dances, the man leads the dance and the woman follows.
Some people say that it is better to get a reaction than nothing. On the day of the exhibition I felt very disappointed, but now the organizer’s reaction makes me question the preconceptions of different art practices and the places where they belong.
The response we got from the organizer suggests that an exhibition of women performing Latin dances with loud music doesn’t belong in the prestigious aisles of an art fair. And the fact that the organizer was a man who essentially brought our dance to a halt, relates back to the gender roles in “Hispanic” dances, where the man leads the dance and the woman follows.
Overall, his reaction reinforces my interest to continue performing the Machera Series at a variety of venues. Every time we perform we get a different reaction.