May 23, 2024
May 25, 2024

Shared Program: Pioneers Go East Collective and Arthur Avilés

La MaMa Moves! Presents in Association with Pioneers Go East Collective
Electric Blue
presented at Out-FRONT! Fest. 2023

Naked Vanguard by Arthur Avilés and BAAD! presented at Out-FRONT! Fest. 2024

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Electric Blue is a performance installation inspired by queer thought-provoking literary icon Allen Ginsberg. A meditation on creative agency and pacifism, Electric Blue celebrates past and present LGBTQ+ resilience in pursuit of artistic and personal freedom. Taking Ginsberg's writing—some of which was censored when first published—Pioneers examines the author's controversial poetry reflecting same-sex love, male bonding, pacifism, and the antiwar activism movement. The work deploys personal reflections to underscore how individual artist and community experiences are inevitably bound together, hinting at the potential for collective action. Electric Blue is created with archival research by creative director Gian Marco Riccardo Lo Forte, choreographer Joey Kipp, and composer ALEXA Grae, performer Daniel Diaz, collaborating with designers Philip Treviño, Mark Tambella, and Bryan BAIRA.

Arthur Avilés reimagines several of his classic nude solo dance works in his groundbreaking Naked Vanguard Series. In addition to revealing the body, the works deconstruct conventions of Latinx and Black cultures. Avilés showcases his signature Swift/Flow dance technique across works performed by Nikolai McKenzie, Hunter Sturgis, and Avilés. The program includes the pieces:Morning Dance (2001), In the End, Let’s Begin (2021), Untitled #5A After Ted Shawn AKA Dansé Mexicaine & Jamaïquaine Américaine (2024), and the Bessie Award-winning A Jamaican Batty Bwoy in America (2021).

Photos of Electric Blue by Bug
Photos of Naked Vanguard by Steven Pisano

Concept and direction: GianMarco Riccardo Lo Forte
Choreographer/ performer: Joey Kipp
Composer/performer: ALEXA Grae
Performer: Daniel Diaz
Installation design: Mark Tambella  
Production designer: Philip Treviño
Video design Bryan BAIRA
Choreography consultants: Symara Sarai and Hollis Bartlett
Producer: Jo Wiegandt

Electric Blue was developed in 2023/24 with residencies at The LGBT Center, Collar Works (Troy, NY) and presented at Out-FRONT! Festival 2023 with the support of NYSCA Creative Residency.

Choreographer: Arthur Avilés
Dancers: Arthur Avilés, Nikolai McKenzie, Hunter Sturgis
Music: Mel "Cello" Greenwich
Costumes by: Liz Prince

Arthur Avilés is an award-winning Gay New York-Rican dancer and choreographer. He founded Bronx-based dance company, Arthur Avilés TypicalTheatre (AATT) in 1996, and co-founded BAAD! The Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance in 1998. He has toured internationally as a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company for eight years. His achievements include aMayor's Award for Art and Culture and in 2020, he was awarded a Bessie Lifetime Achievement Award in Dance. 

La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival


La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival continues to support La MaMa’s commitment to presenting diverse performance styles that challenge audience’s perception of dance by featuring performance/installations, experimental film screenings & public symposiums which address dance artists’ engagement with the current political climate, as well as honoring diasporic histories and legacy, ancestral inspirations and inter-generational dialogue.

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