Presented by L.A. Dance Project as part of the 2022 Fulcrum Festival, BIGUIDIRIBELA explored human experience through a daring and provocative display of medias. The artists, collectively known as MUXX Project, offered a transformative experience of raw, gripping vulnerability through 3D video technologies, sound, and movement.
Walking into the theater, audience members were prompted to venture through the space for the entirety of the performance in order to get up-close-and-personal with the performers. This freedom as an audience member gave me permission to see every detail of the show through varying perspectives. The scene was set with a grand platform in the middle of the space, giving spectators the access to a 360 degree view of the room. The platform that served as a ‘stage’ was divided into two sections by a translucent screen that was met with projection and video design of metamorphic orbs of light. The tone was dark but the work kept me curious. This kind of staging of unidentifiable beings were placed on both halves of the set I found intriguing. The performers’ bodies were beneath material such as sand and cloth, disguised in such a way that at first glance I questioned if anyone was truly beneath these materials. To my surprise, the performers entered the scene from the image via a birth-like transformation and I suddenly felt transported to a universe of hauntingly honest confession of identity and origin.
Performers Luka Avendaño, EYIBRA, and NNUX grappled with a multitude of variables throughout their performance. From managing set design, to curating a sound score through vocal and musical performance, along with navigating the responsibility of the content at hand, I was greatly impressed by their total commitment to each detail. The performance moved in a sustained, energetic fashion, and one that left me craving a more dynamic focus on movement atop their already committed intention. The movement provided throughout the evening felt as if I was living in a slow motion realm and at times, ethereal to the point where I felt a deep yearning for a change of pace. The environment was expertly curated by lighting designer Sean Lennon, visual designer Oswaldo Erréve, and costume designers Vanebon, Lisa TV, Corsant, Mikel Archila, Donahto Pastén, Ukaanalil, and Sergio Morales de Leon. There were moments, however, where I felt a lack of momentum in a performative aspect that often left me unsatisfied.
BIGUIDIRIBELA showcased a raw telling of origin stories stemming from the non-binary divinity that is especially integral to pre-Hispanic cultures. Interwoven with the exploration of the Muxe identity of Oaxaca, the performance provided insight that appeared personal and authentic. The evening was a gripping experience, peeling back layers of expectations and preconceived notions. I came face to face with grief, rebirth, curiosity, and honesty in the beautiful commitment that the performers had to offer.
To learn more about LA Dance Project, please visit their website.
Written by Rebecca Lee for LA Dance Chronicle.
Featured image: MUXX Project – BIGUIDIRIBELA – Fulcrum Festival – Photo by Christopher Wormald (Fulcrum Arts)