Friday, February 17, 2017

Prayer for the Boo

Prayer for the Boo
by P. Dante CuauhtĂ©moc 

Dear Boo
My love of the night
in a phone call I hear such fright
of
The Future.
As uncertain as the moon's sight
forever biting at our love
coaxing us to bear that soul
that melts us
feeds us
bind us
and for now, has kept us apart.
Dear Boo
I miss the intensity of your noes,
nestled up against your sweet eyes
beside calming cheeks
I miss it because
those nose boo kisses helps us feel
both
grounded
and in outer space
where no boo has gone before.
Looking at our future,
and all its possibilities
knowing too well the past
I stop
I pray
I will not go back to the day
of being frozen
in the great unknown...
"...must trust the unknown"
Jomama Jones once said:
"Life is Motion, Life is Motion, Life is Motion!",
and I believe her.
As long as we keep dancing
as we know we want to
the moon's bite, reminds us
it is only the pinch
for us to yell AYE!
and LET'S GO!
and be the peaceful, happy, and good boos,
like
I know, we are.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Grad school is hard...

Grad School is hard…
by CuauhtĂ©moc Peranda 

Grad School is hard.
I cope by being extra
Extra Joy, Extra dancing, Extra Tacos...
They help me rise
When all I want to do is crumble and fall
Down down
Temoc
To fall, to descend...
I lost the message I was supposed to send...
No.
Yes.
?Yas?
YAASSS!!!
With that Triple "S"
For that triple "D"
Come to me!
Taste this
Taco.
Y se llama paco.
I love you extra big
Mis amores son largos, gordos, y grandes.
We betta' werk hermanas,
because,
Grad school is hard.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The addict

"Glitter Shaman:
Reaching for perfection, he forgot he had gnawed off his arm. There was nothing there to extend, but a little blood and bone. Still he felt the need to catch the sun in the night. He burned himself over and over upon the fire, with legs to weak to notice what he had fell into--to weak to run, jump, gallop out of the flames that were to engulf his whole body. And, there was no sun to catch. His mind was lost. It was she, the transgender lady of the starts, that took him out of the fire, and retrieved his arm from his stomach. it was she, the mistress of water on earth that slapped him out of the hallucination induced by the horny white rabbit of mescal, playful love, and tender kisses. Unable to stay long, as her current pulled her back to the flow, she left him a shell, which he used to contemplate--meditate back into wholeness: reality. As the sun rose, his brothers began to bloom, and he rushed to be held once again in their garden. Still unable to fell his old-new arm, he reached for their embrace...

How do you think his peers responded?

Antonio:
They rejected him? Huh? because he didn't follow the rules, and he broke all of their trusts.

Glitter Shaman:
Not quite. Xochipilli was welcomed back, and was hugged so tightly, seed sprang forth to cover the earth. Still today, his friends and family, his brothers, embrace his body with radical tenderness: tattoos and vines."

---A story from the Glitter Shaman

Monday, December 5, 2016

The last day of my first time teaching Introduction to Dance Studies.

Me: *takes final exam*, Have a great holiday!

Student: I just want to say that I really loved this class. And your passion and enthusiasm, it made section so good. You are so commitment to the subject of dance, it was really inspiring. To be honest, I wasn't really into this class at first. I was like, dance, whatever, its just people doing things and moving But then you guys really opened my eyes to seeing the meaning in the dance, and how dance really does change the world, and brings people together. Anyways, thank you for your teaching, it was amazing!

Me: *lives*, Oh thank you! Please keep engaging with dance. I am so happy to hear this. Thank you, it was an honor to be your teacher and TA

Sunday, November 20, 2016

graduate school 11-20-16

To write and read and grade and "budget", while my gay rights are under threat, while my undocu-queer lovers are in danger, while my career may be destroyed, seems so ridiculous, and I am beyond frustrated.
Every time I read another headline about Trump's moves to settle fraud cases, or pick another cabinet member, I wonder how much longer it will be until I am without rights, unions, work, money, homes, loans, or a career. I wonder, even more than before, if my dream of becoming a Professor of Dance is even possible--not only for the lack of employment, but because in the future, Dance may not even be a field. I doubt it, but it is a scary thought as de-funding of the arts is even more possible.
Beyond all of this are my limits. Or, I should say, deep inside myself, away from the politics of the country, is my energy that is constantly near depletion. Between conferences, meetings, classes, teaching, grading, lecturing, writing papers, reading, collaborating, planning, is this very sad thing, of which I am unsure I can afford living as a graduate student. I am following all the tricks and and strategies of my peers, following "the hustle", and for now I am okay--but I am for sure living like an outlaw, juggling legality. I am for sure wondering how long I can keep this up, or what will happen this next coming summer. Without a "home" to really return to, I am constantly scared that if I fail, I will be lost in the streets of the Inland Empire.
Now, I know, yes, there are plenty of peers that will help me out. I will most likely not be forced to live in the stacks of the Rivera Library, but how does that feel? To live in the care of peers because you have nothing else? I do not know, and I do not want to find out.
It is with these thoughts that I look to the strength of my undocu-queer friends and peers. They are the ones taking huge chances towards their survival and education, against deportation. Without sometimes an ability to work, get loans, or get scholarships, how do they make that hustle work? I never really know, but I am grateful when they let me in on their secret lives.
I miss my full time job with benefits. I miss my 3 part times jobs with benefits. I miss making art and never sleeping. And I miss my dad helping me out, and calling me to check up on me. I miss all of those things, and I feel very alone.
In the desert of it all, in the small budget of the winter, I wonder if I will be able to pay back all of my bills, and still get a fucking stupid card for my friends...but I am not sure I will be able to.....
...we shall see...

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Realness?

M:

Dear Dante, what is realness?

D:
You wanna talk about realness? Let's talk about realness! 

Realness, as a term, comes from the Ballroom Scene, and so I must start there. However, I am not going to use Peggy Phelan's (realness as "just" passing) or Judith Butler's (realness as something that cannot be read) ideas of realness, I am going to use the Ballroom's idea...which is living your truth. 

Now to say that there is a singular truth is to think inside of a western construct of individuality. Instead, I pose to use the perspective of the Black Radical Tradition (from Cedric Robinson), which says we are many, and we share with each other many ideas. We are not individuals, but many individuals in our collective accumulation of experiences. This allows us to know that there are many truths, many realness that we can explore, dance, and become.

To look at realness as an academic-ethnographer, the Ballroom Scene provides us evidence that there is no such thing as "real" or "authentic". Thus, if valuations and qualifications can be simulated, then there is no differentiation between the "real identity" and the "mask/veneer/facade". What this reveals, is that there is a "real identity of the other, known inside ourselves, as ourselves" -- then, realness is the praxis of excavation of those identity performances and dances, and presenting it, performing it, in originality and fierceness.    

I hope that clears some things up.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

CORD+SDHS Conference Paper



To Learn the Kids:
Dipping into the Genealogy of Voguing’s Pedagogies


Abstract

Voguing, a primarily improvisational form, requires the dancer to perform in kinesthetic discourse with a Master of Ceremonies (MC) and the surrounding audience at the Ball. Participatory in nature, all people present to voguing (in the Ball) have actions to do in anticipation or reaction to the dancer’s improvisation. This paper investigates how new codifications of voguing techniques are born or regulated, as voguing leaves that Ball space, and is abstracted from its forming community. As non-ball participants learn to dance and teach voguing, fears of an inauthentic practice percolates up for the traditionally Black and Latino queer and transgender dancer-practitioners. The “5 Elements of Voguing”, which mandates a dancer show their skills, at minimum, in doing “Hand Performance, Duckwalk, Catwalk, Spins, and Dips”, provides a code of technique that enacts a level of protection for voguing from its dilution. This required display maintains some sort grounding and control of the combined techniques for improvisation, or new choreographies, that form voguing. This paper finds that though older legendary dancers of voguing teach the children (novice dancers) how to vogue, in turn, the children are the creative force who expand voguing by 1) creating new sub-categories (version of voguing), or by 2) modifying the previous technique formats. If authentic voguing is tied to a technique, which is constantly in evolution, then we must look to the genealogy voguers as a living authenticity. As new generations of queer Black and Latino youth and non-ball dancers vogue, there are new techniques of voguing born.