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Emerging Artists III features dance explorations of social stigma and transformation


Emerging Artists III

Photo by Tim Trumble courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

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January 25, 2016

Emerging Artists is a series of dance performances featuring choreography from the graduating MFA in Dance students in the ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre. These thesis projects are the accumulation of several years of study, exploring a variety of issues through movement, interactive media and performance.

This year’s iteration of Emerging Artists III will feature Ricardo Alvarez and Jenny Gerena.

Alvarez’s work, “It’s My Party,” is an immersive multi-media production that focuses on understanding the social and personal issues surrounding HIV stigma. Drawing from a series of round table conversations with newly diagnosed HIV+ young adults, Alvarez seeks to illuminate how HIV+ individuals find empowerment and personal acceptance.

“My hope is to show others that although it may be difficult for someone to accept their HIV+ diagnosis, that it doesn’t have to change who they are,” Alvarez said. “They are not a statistic; they are not a bad person; they do not deserve to feel ashamed.”

Gerena’s production, “Flesh Narratives,” is series of 5 distinct pieces that explores the power of personal narrative and storytelling as told through the language of the body. The interplay of creation and destruction, the transformation of seasons and the transformative power of water are examples of themes explored in each work.

“I aim to create pieces that allow the dancers as well as the audience to feel a sense of nostalgia, perhaps taking them back into their personal memory bank to assign meaning to what they are experiencing,” Gerena said. “In short I make choreography to communicate, share and provoke emotions or thoughts that extend beyond our physical understandings of our reality.”

Emerging Artists III, featuring Ricardo Alvarez’s “It’s My Party” and Jenny Gerena’s “Flesh Narratives,” is playing at the Dance Lab in the Nelson Fine Arts Center room 122 on ASU’s Tempe campus at these times: 

6:30 p.m. Jan. 29
7:30 p.m. Jan. 30
2 p.m. Jan. 31

Tickets are $16 for general admission; $12 for ASU faculty, staff and alumni; $12 for senior citizens; and $8 for student. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 480-965-6447.

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