Tuesday, February 21, 2012

....mitote decolonizes modern dance.....mitote re-appropriates modern dance.....mitote gains agency over indigenous fruturity in dance....mitote leads to a non-oppressive, balance sharing of culture and dance.... mitote achieves this through acknowledgment of present indigenous knowledge, fierceness, traditional protocol, traditional avant-grade/kokopelli, and sacred time/space in the dance....mitote is a powerful dance....

A choreographer’s Life #1

A choreographer’s Life


Often I feel, we are at home, late at night, supposed to be doing some kind of writing about theory, grants, jobs, new project proposals, letters to our doctors and families and friends, but we sit there, thinking and-or looking at videos of our past rehearsals, trying to see what cannot be seen at first so that we can ever improve our work, ourselves.

Often, we sit in a room covered in piles of papers. Each pile a different subject of capsule of time and information. Each pile a different aspect of our lives. Some piles are notes from past works or performances, some are maps of our current choreographic work, some are notes for a document of theory and philosophy, which we are studying, and then there are the books. The books are everywhere! Floor, desk, bookshelf, counter, bed—the books go wherever the soul deeps perfect in chaos. Some of these books are on pedagogy, and some are about dancing, some are critical art studies, and then there is a gay community newspaper to be read at a later date. Our rooms are a mess, but with purpose and function.

Here, at this hour, we find tights on the floor, along with pants, ballet slippers, and the ever-present tiger balm. Ibuprofen is often in reach of our chair and desk. And, a stuffed animal is placed ever so neatly as to provide companionship in an often very solo existence. The choreographer ponders, thinks, contemplates about what is next, planning, choreographing his or her life, and the lives of his or her dancers and peoples. It is a trust, honor, respect, and endeavor they hold deeply to their hearts, for the act of making dances is not to organize a play, conduct a symphony, or create a painting…the dance is from the bodies, from the soul, from the self of the people who dance—and then it is gone. So much all at once, and then gone….

What will be the next piece? What must I create next? What must I do next? What must be done now? So many questions, lost again in books and articles and a stretch or sit-up…so much to be done…lost and found.

Again the choreographer pulls up the video of past work, and sees what is there…so much movement, so much information…what can be improved, what does this art do, what does it say, what could it mean, how is it speaking, how is it dancing, what to develop or create more, why do I not have more energy and rehearsal time and space?! Anxiety! The choreographer longs for more rehearsal, there is never enough time to get it all done, there is always more to develop and create, always more, always more…

The choreographer does not often go out, and chill with others. He or she lives in the studios, and with his or her art process. The planning for the next rehearsal is infamous, and strange—it takes too much time, and stress, yet we go on and create what others often care not to see—aye that TV!!

Words can only say so much. True, I agree, they invoke feeling, ideas, images—but that is all. Is that all you want? Invocation? What of physicalization? Made present and real? What of dance, as that next step...the choreographer ponders and creates more…..

The choreographer’s life is a messy one. He or She is skilled in observation and innovation. Their world is one of continuous work, continuous dance, and continuous choreography…

Saturday, February 18, 2012

MFA Thesis Blurb


Cuauhtémoc Peranda (Xicano/Aztec and Mescalero Apache) is a choreographer, dancer and scholar from Santa Cruz, CA. His dance training primarily comes from Tezcatlipoca under David Vargas, Tlaloc-Chalchihuitlicue by Elizabeth and Elena Barron, as well as Stanford University and Mills College. His work has been presented around the Bay Area, and he has traveled through the United States, and to Canada and Mexico as a performer. Since the age of 15, Cuauhtémoc has taught traditional Aztec dance to his communities and now continues to teach Aztec dance and give lessons in voguing, modern dance, and winterguard and drum major mace work. He has studied with, and performed in contemporary works, by Ralph Lemon, Rulan Tangen, Ann Carlson, Jane Comfort, Robert Moses, Diane Frank, Aleta Hayes, Parijat Desai, Susie Cashion, Tony Kramer, Sonya Delwaide, Molissa Fenley, Sheldon Smith, and Shnichi Iova-Koga. He has graduated with honors from Stanford University with degrees in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and Dance, and was the 2010 recipient of the Sherifa Omade Edoga Prize for Work Addressing Social Issues. Cuauhtémoc current artistic interest is the examination of Modern Dance’s relationship to the “Native American Indian”, and he is working to create a dance form named: MITOTE—a dance form with the mission to fuse the sacred indigenous tradition of dance and the experimental nature of Modern/Avant-Garde dance. In short, Mitote is the dance of sacred, un-oppressed sharing: the House of light. He is the Artistic Director of his company: Cuauhtémoc Peranda Mitote dance company, and is the Director of Choreography for the Santa Cruz Chamber Ballet.

The Thesis Dances

I make dance, because I need to...I make it with honesty and clear intention. Fierceness is my gift to you. Perhaps I should have had some honey with my tea, but it is delicious nonetheless.

Group Dance

The Preservation of Time {Part 1: Black; and Part 2: Yellow}

This dance, mitote, is centered on an exploration of “TIME”. Part 1, dark, hidden time, slow time, mysterious time, compressed time. Looking at the now, at current time, I cannot help to wonder what the now is comprised of, where it comes from, and what is held within every moment, breathe and cough of time. Part 2, does the same investigation as Part 1, but looks to its opposite or side view. It asks: what is light, revealed, present, fast, “happening” and overloaded time? Looking directly at the now, the present, my joy, I extract from the sweat of time a dance of force and exhilaration.

Solo Dance

Solo No. V

…Lost Grandmother…Cholo get’low…Foundations of Nature… Fideo con Pollo …stillness…legendary…“I want to conjure up a dance, cook something really nice for you”…

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day




Sunday, February 5, 2012


See, Mitote looks at modern dance, alongside Aztec dance, and it says, wait, these 2 things are related. The hybrid has already been made. Now....how do we push the form further? How do we dance about anything? Let us dance and be free with honesty and authentic intention. Let the dance move and move you. It is a sacred dance.