Trauma. Oppression. Sadness. Caused by an array of experiences in our lives, they leave imprints on us, creating internal conflict. We hold onto these emotions associated with that trauma in our bodies, which can be triggered by memories from our childhood or interactions with religion, popular culture, or other societal systems. Pradera & Collaborators explore such memories and experiences that create these destructive emotions and patterns in two pieces, “Looking Back” and “Think Like a Guy,” with the intention, in the end, of letting go.
Inspired by the idea that the body is a container that holds the emotional upheavals of life, Carlota Pradera choreographed “Looking Back” to explore the sadness and depression experienced after losing a close family member. “This piece is about letting go of people and saying good bye and learning to understand death in our lives,” explains Pradera.
Pradera and performer Ilana Reynolds chronicle the body’s emotional journey. Pradera’s choreography utilizes imaginary dialogue, playing with weight and series of set designs that propel the audience to the eventual release of the cancerous growth. She “releases” these experiences through a connection of movements, spiritual trance, and an original composition by Gustavo Matamoros, helping the performers overcome their hang-ups with death.
Visual Artist Glexis Novoa created ornate costumes inspired by Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica’s and his 1960’s Grand Nucleus and Parangolés series (1964), and also the detailed sets. Novoa, Matamoros, Reynolds, and Pradera make up the multi-disciplinary ensemble.
“Think Like A Guy,” a collaboration between fashion designer Liliam Dooley and dancer and choreographer Prisicilla Marrero, along with Novoa and Pradera, explores the social dichotomies of gender within Latino and American cultures. Satirical in nature, “Think Like A Guy” is an in-your face-performance of two women’s personal stories. The piece choreographed and performed by Pradera and Marrero dramatically critiques societal beauty norms, while poking fun at the treatment of women in a our various communities.
In coming up with this intense and spicy performance of societal contradictions, Pradera and Marrero reveal the fine line among control and abuse and the addiction to the manipulation of women’s body. “We began questioning who decides what makes us beautiful and why. Why don’t I feel sexy unless I’m wearing heels or makeup?” asks Marrero. The internal conflicts and intentional engagements create a mind-twisting piece that formulates important questions about image and relations.
Pradera, originally from Sabadell, Spain, has been living and performing in Miami since 2001, when she began creating her choreographic pieces. She’s worked with choreographers Giovanni Luquini, the Puksuku Dance Group, Fredrick Bratcher, Bistoury Dance Company, Heather Maloney, and Karen Peterson & Dancers.
Pradera & Collaborators premiere the two works on Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19, during “Subtropics: Miami’s Experimental Biennial of Music & Sound Arts”