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Dance Artist Yvonne Montoya Presents Online Debut Of STORIES FROM HOME: COVID-19 ADDENDUM

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Dance Artist Yvonne Montoya Presents Online Debut Of STORIES FROM HOME: COVID-19 ADDENDUM

Tucson-based choreographer, mother, and bi-national artist Yvonne Montoya announces her new Stories From Home: COVID-19 Addendum online series, set to debut on July 15, with new content appearing weekly July 15-Sept 16, 2020. Newly evolved in response to COVID-19 and quarantine-based parenthood and work,

Stories From Home is a series of dances embodying the largely underrepresented experiences of Latinx communities in the American Southwest, with palpable theatricality, compelling spoken word, a movement aesthetic informed by vibrant ancestral and contemporary sources, and universal themes of love, family, and home.

Stories From Home was originally scheduled to premiere on stage and in person on Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage this September; this engagement has been postponed and will be rescheduled for the 2021 season. Facing the realities of COVID-19 and its impact on the performing arts industry, along with postponed performances and residencies, Montoya evolved the presentation of the work. She also identified ideological parallels with her 2016 piece Motherhood and the Performing Arts-a solo work that explored the joys and challenges of parenthood and a performing arts career-as her work as an artist was suddenly combined with new responsibilities as a homeschool educator. These ideas and circumstances were the catalyst for the online Stories From Home: COVID-19 Addendum.

"Stories from Home centers Latinx bodies, aesthetics, and experiences from the U.S. Southwest. Such themes and aesthetics are rarely seen on the traditional concert dance stage," comments Montoya. "This work is even more potent now in the time of COVID-19 as we are collectively homebound. The focus on experiences and stories from the home opens up spaces and opportunities to share embodied testimonials of family, love, loneliness, uncertainty, and change experienced at home during social distancing. It also opens up many exciting new places to dance in and around the home."

The two-month online Stories From Home: COVID-19 Addendum series is an evolution of and supplement to the full-length Stories From Home work, integrating new choreography and ideas. This online series presentation is divided among two acts. The first act encompasses five work-in-progress dances, performed by Montoya, that reflect upon the challenges of homeschooling and parenting while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second act will feature the cast of Stories From Home in five work-in-progress dances, choreographed by Montoya, that feature the dancers' stories from home during the time of COVID-19.

Stories From Home: COVID-19 Addendum, Act 1: Each Wednesday, July 15 - August 12, Stories From Home: COVID-19 Addendum, Act 2: Each Wednesday, August 19 - September 16 The Stories From Home: COVID-19 Addendum online series will be free and accessible on Instagram Live for 24 hours at @mpaproject1. Following the initial presentation, series recordings will be available on Yvonne Montoya's Patreon account for future viewing, for a nominal fee.

Stories From Home was made possible, in part, due to financial support from the following organizations and programs: Dance/USA Fellowships to Artists, Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellowship 2019/2020, Safos Dance Theatre and Projecting All Voices, an initiative launched by ASU's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and supported by ASU Gammage.

Stories From Home is a series of dances embodying the oral traditions of Latinx communities in the American Southwest. Choreographer Yvonne Montoya and an all-Latinx cast of dancers draw upon personal histories as well as ancestral knowledge, including stories from Montoya's great-grandmother, grandmother, great-aunts, and father.

Montoya, a 23rd-generation Nuevomexicana, began to develop Stories From Home after her father's passing in 2015; compelled to continue his storytelling tradition for her own child, she turned to dance. Stories From Home is a vessel for personal and specific tales, while also offering a broader look at various cultural traditions throughout the Southwest. The work explores the ways in which geographies, languages, and histories among groups such as Nuevomexicanxs and borderlands communities have created shared or dissimilar experiences. The grounded, sometimes incongruous choreography embraces abrupt shapes and connected, fluid shifts, balancing disarticulation with a moody softness.

The work addresses issues such as loss of language, the embodiment of internalized racism, body image and beauty in the Latinx community, spiritual symbolism, and the experience of the Sefardi people during and after the Spanish Inquisition. The cast of Stories From Home originates from communities throughout Arizona and New Mexico, and features an all-Latinx cast, including Nuevomexicana, Mexican American, and immigrant artists. This intentional geographic spread addresses the isolation of Southwest-based dance artists, instituting a community of Latinx dancers.


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