John Jota Leaños
John Jota Leaños (Director/Animator) is a social art practitioner who utilizes all and any media to engage in diverse cultural arenas through strategic revealing, tactical disruption, and symbolic wagon burning. His practice includes a range of new media, public art, installation, and performance focusing on the convergence of memory, social space and decolonization. Leaños’ work has been shown at the Sundance 06 Film Festival, Cannes Short Corner 07, the 2002 Whitney Biennial, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Leaños is a Creative Capital Foundation Grantee and has been an artist in residence at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the Center for Chicano Studies (2005), Carnegie Mellon University in the Center for Arts in Society (2003), and the Headlands Center for the Arts (2007). Leaños is currently an Assistant Professor of Social Practices and Community Arts at the California College of the Arts.
Christopher Martinez (DJ/Composer) Musician and composer Cristóbal Martinez was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and raised in nearby Alcalde. He devotes most of his creative energy experimenting with new media forms of music composition and performance as he considers how they relate to older forms of music. Cristóbal produces work under the spell of his Northern New Mexican heritage, Latin American literature and the influence of his childhood fascination with science fiction. His works include music compositions such as Count, commissioned for modern dance at the Bonnie Bird Theatre at the Laban Centre in London, and multimedia operettas like La Gran Barrera, performed at Gammage Auditorium in Tempe, AZ.
Mariachi (Musicians) Under the direction of composer, Christopher Martinez a Mexican quartet composed of highly accomplished musicians in the mariachi style.. This unique ensemble consisting of two violins, guitar and folkloric insturments, offers its audience the original mariachi sound—as it was heard over 150 years ago—while including in its repertoire, songs that have become standards in the American musical scene. Besides performing traditional mariachi music, the quartet has integrated a number of other musical genres such as jazz, hip hop, rock, blues and Tex Mex.
Joel Valentin-Martinez is a professional choreographer and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University, Chicago. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Mr. Valentin-Martinez has performed nationally and internationally as a member of Garth Fagan Dance (Obie, Tony, Olivier, Samuel H. Scripps award winning choreographer). His dance piece Tlatelolco Rivisted (2008) was commissioned by Luna Negra Dance Theater and performed at the Harris Theatre in Chicago. He is currently working on a contemporary choreography about the history of the Bracero Project called, “Brasos y Abarzos”.
Ballet Folklórico two contemporary Mexican and Chicana/o folklórico dancers engages in new and creative interpretations of folklore dance from Mexico with north of the border influences and movement.
Under 18 years old: 3€
Under 30 years old: 5€
Performance in Spanish and English with subtitles in Portuguese
Born into the Mexican community of the United States of America, John Jota Leaños creates his own works in a mixed-race and multimedia universe, mixing together American and Mexican imagery and using such diverse techniques as theatre, cartoons, public art and installations.
Imperial Silence: Una Ópera Muerta is a multimedia folk opera that explores the cultural norms of silence and death, offering a contemporary twist not only to the Mexican and Chicano traditions of the Day of the Dead, but also to the long history of silencing alternative and dissident perspectives in the United States of America: the “Imperial Silence”.
Imperial Silence: Una Ópera Muerta takes place in four acts, each of them representing a phase in the cycle of life, told by the muertitos:
I: “Los ABCs ¡Qué Vivan los Muertos!”, an animated introduction to the subject of war and empire;
II: “Deadtime Stories with Mariachi Goose and Friends”, an animation that re-examines the nursery rhymes of Mother Goose and culminates in the great fall of Humpty Mariachi Dumpty;
III: “¡Radio Muerto!”, a performance and an animation of a skeleton travelling on the road that leads to Mictlan, the Aztec underworld.
IV: “DNN: Dead News Network”, a newscast made by dead people, which exposes the silencing of dissidence and the propaganda produced by the corporations linked to the media.