Piñata Dances

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Photo Credit: Su Pang Dancers; Liz Boubion, Xochitl Sosa

History and Mission  Piñata symbology was seeded in my MFA thesis performance at Dance Mission Theater as the multi-media “fiesta” section of Maclovia’s Birds: Inspirados por el Arte de Mi Abuelita, 2011. In an ancestral piece inspired by the drawings and poetry of my Sonoran-born grandmother, a joyful dance party gets out of hand when a symbolic fighting duet erupts.  The aggressive dance occurs on stage against a projected video of  me violently breaking open a piñata hanging from a tree that explodes into a windstorm of feathers. This section of Maclovia’s Birds, symbolized the domestic violence and child abuse that existed in my family stemming from my lineage.  The following year, of the prophetized 2012 apocalypse and the ending cycle of the Myan Synchronometer,  I decided to research the origins of the Piñata. I discovered a rich history originating in both China and Mexico that began to take on a life of its own proceeding to found my company name, The Piñata Dance Collective.

Piñata 2012: Choreographed Disasters and Natural Events was an ensemble piñata project confronting our modern impingement on the environment, exploring borders and fences in site-specific locations, sharing immigration stories by an international all women cast of dancers and musicians, diving into mixed race identity, and breaking open lost meanings of a re-appropriated Piñata ritual.  The Piñata became a containing symbol for the temporary nature of the body and explored themes of creation, destruction consumption, and literal representation of its cultural meaning and metaphors. Various iterations of Piñata dances were performed in several venues including THEOFFCENTER, Dance Mission Theater, KunstStoff Arts, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts and the Indigenous Dance Festival at CSU East Bay.  In a month-long residency in Guadalajara Mexico in 2014, I choreographed a piñata piece with 14 dancers titled Temporário Contemporánea. The piece consisted of several deconstructed piñata movement installations that occupied several rooms in a live-work space produced by Ailyn Arelles and José Ramon Vásquez. Following the residency, PDC produced the 1st Annual ¡FLACC! Festival of Latin American Contemporary Choreographers at the Temescal Art Center in Oakland and migrated to San Francisco in 2015- present. FLACC has featured over 50 choreographers of the Latinx diaspora to date.

Piñata deconstructions

During my residency at THEOFFCENTER, SF., Ca., 2012, I offered a workshop titled “Life Art and Choreography” blending performance techniques with the Tamalpa Life-Art Process.  We also produced a Multi-Media dance ritual performance titled “Piñata 2012, Choreographed Disasters and Natural Events” with an ensemble of 6 international female artists out in nature for video and on stage at THEOFFCENTER… see video below.

Piñata dance film edited by Malachi Roth 

Piñata 2012- Choreographed Disasters and Natural Events Edited by Malachi Roth

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Temporario Contemporánea– Casa de Axolotl, Guadalajara, MX. may 2014. 14 performers, 7 Piñata Installations, 3 rehearsals!

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Piñata Ritual Performance Benefit at Shawl Anderson Dance Center. Supporting my residency 360 Xochi Quetzal, in Guadalajara and Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico. May 2014. Afia Walking Tree, Jeanette Male, Bricine Mitchel, Sophie Stanley, Siu-Wei Huang, Dominique Nigro, Katherine He, Cuauhtemoc Miranda, myself. See Dancers Group Article: Piñata Breakthrough: A Conversation with Liz Boubion by Nirmala Nataraj

Pinata Dance 2012

PiñataBreakthrough Peformance Lab – 5 week series that ended in a performance with audience participation and a melting “Ice Piñata” by Carter Brooks. Audience was lead through a blind folded journey of the senses with Jacob Johnson on Bass, Evelie Sales Posch on guitar and vocals. Dancers: Sharon Sato, Titine Vos, Tomi Hougan, Shoshana Green, Maica Folch.

Dissilience Art Show, Diana Lara, Liz Boubion, Afia Walking Tree

Dissilience Art Show, Diana Lara, Liz Boubion, Afia Walking Tree, 2012

"Yo soy una media luna"- Liz Boubion in "Mixed Blended and Whole" at The Garage

“Yo soy una media luna”- Liz Boubion in “Mixed Blended and Whole” at The Garage 2013

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5-710x4734-710x466blindfoldaudience Temporario Contemporanéa- Photo credit: Magda Bocanegra