Over the past six years, CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP)/Duende CalArts has collaborated with celebrated Mexican performance group Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol. In February, a team of CalArts students and alumni traveled to the Festival Internacional de Teatro Universitario (FITU) in Mexico City to present El Camino Donde Nosotros Lloramos (The Road Where We Weep), the newest project from Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol. As part of the festival, CalArts faculty Anthony Nikolchev also led a movement workshop for students.
Produced in partnership with CNP/Duende CalArts, El Camino focuses on the migration of people from the Mixtec Region in Oaxaca to the state of California. The live performance features stories—both real and fictional—about the lives of children growing up in Oaxaca.
In the summer of 2019, while the project was being developed, CalArts students and faculty visited a community arts center run by Luisa Pardo, one of the project’s creators, in Yanhuitlán, Oaxaca. The team spent time meeting and interviewing local children, keeping one question at the forefront of their minds: Why and since when do certain human beings have the right to cross certain borders while others cannot?
Created by artists Pardo and Lázaro Gabino Rodriguez, El Camino features Lighting Designer/Production Manager Omar Madhour (Theater MFA 20), Video Designer Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh (Theater MFA 15), Technical Collaborator Emmanuel Bradshaw (Theater BFA 21), Videographer Natalia Lassalle-Morillo (Theater MFA 20), Stage Manager Marissa Jacobo-Correa (Theater MFA 22), and Assistant Stage Manager Hera Jung (Theater MFA 21).
The CalArts School of Theater actors featured in the cast include Perry Goeders (MFA 21), Bismarck Quintanilla Jr (MFA 21), Ashley Sanchez (BFA 20), and Marcelo Torrico (MFA 21).
Ultimately, CNP/Duende CalArts and Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol hope that their project continues to live across both sides of the border.
CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP) is the professional producing arm of California Institute of the Arts, established to provide a unique artist- and project-driven framework for the development and realization of original theater, music, dance, and interdisciplinary projects. Extending the progressive work carried out at CalArts into a direct dialogue with professional communities at the local, national and international levels, CNP offers an alternative model to support emerging directions in the performing arts. It also enables CalArts students to work shoulder-to-shoulder with celebrated artists and acquire a level of experience that goes beyond their curriculum.
Duende CalArts is an initiative of the CalArts Center for New Performance dedicated to developing and producing innovative work emerging from Latinx and Latin American communities and sources. Established in 2009 by Marissa Chibas, Duende CalArts brings prominent and emerging Latinx and Latin American artists from the performance community to develop adventurous projects at CNP. It aims to expand aesthetic boundaries and performance discourse, collaborating with national and international Latinx artists and advancing multilingual works.
Founded in 2003 by Pardo and Gabino Rodriguez, Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol aims to erase borders between work and life. According to their bio, “Their work seeks to provide meaning, to articulate, dislocate, and unravel what is generally overlooked.”