Portal de la Cultura de América Latina y el Caribe
Dance piece Andares highlights Afro-Venezuelan culture and marronage
25 September 2015/ MPPC Press

The struggle and rebelliousness of Afrodescendants in the continents of the world will be conveyed through the language of contemporary dance in Andares, produced by the Coreoarte Foundation, in collaboration with the National Dance Company Foundation (FCND), which will have its premiere on 2, 3 and 4 October at the Bolívar Theatre.

“The participation of fourteen dancers from the traditional and contemporary cast of the Dance Company has been well received and Coreoarte appreciates the receptiveness and support shown to the institution, attached to the Ministry of the People’s Power for Culture. “We consider that this joint work will have an important outcome”, stated the general director of the Coreoarte Foundation, Poy Márquez.

She added that although the piece will be performed for the first time this year, it had been in their plans for a long time. It was through the Artistic Residencies of the government in the capital district that an economic contribution was made to help finance its production.

Andares deals with the rebellions of Afro communities in American and Caribbean lands from a historical standpoint, but it is also set in the context of a historical process that tells of marronage as a rebellion against the oppression that still exists in the 21st century. In addition to this contemporary approach, marronage is seen through historical elements vindicating a community that has made substantial contributions to Venezuelan culture.

The idea of this production is not to “stay in the rhetoric of the poor Afros that came as slaves! Yes, that’s part of it, but it also conveys the idea that the Afro community is the same as the indigenous community, which has also made contributions that are essential to understanding ourselves as a society”, stressed Poy Márquez.

A total of 32 artists –dancers, poets, musicians—will appear on stage, using the multimedia as a means to speak about these issues.

Some of the artists invited to go on stage will be visual artist Ramón Pimentel, who designed the image that Coreoarte used in the pictorial element of the piece; the Senzala capoeira group; the urban Dancehall street movement, among others.

Coreoarte: Afro-Venezuelan Culture

Coreoarte is closely linked to the Afro-Venezuelan culture of its founders, Carlos Orta and Noris Ugueto. Based on this, the Foundation staff conceived the idea of a dance piece that would tell of marronage.

In addition, its present general director has done some research work on this topic at the Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UBV), based in Caracas, since she has been coordinating the Free Africa Chair for nine years.

“When we see Afro-American communities that have fallen victim to a terrible racism, when we see what is happening in Africa with the displaced persons in Europe, when we see the Afro-Colombians, we realize that marronage is still a present-day issue,” Márquez declared.

Andares will premiere on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 October, at 7 p.m., and on Sunday, 4 October, at 4 p.m., at the Bolívar Theatre. Tickets will be sold at a cost of 50 bolivars.

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