Choreographed Disasters and Natural Events 2012

The OFFCENTER residency and Green Valley Village- 2012 Dancers: Liz Duran Boubion, Diana Lara, Bricine Mitchel, Nao Kobayashi, Meryl Juniper, Afia Walking Tree. Music: Afia Walking Tree and Dancers. Videography; Matthew Sigal.

Apocalypse (Ancient Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apocálypsis, from ἀπό and καλύπτω meaning ‘un-covering’), translated literally from Greek refers to a revelation or unveiling of something hidden…In religious contexts it is usually a revelation of hidden meaning – hidden from human knowledge in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception.

Its 2012 and we are entering a new age.  Our inheritance of global warming, modernization, post-colonial memory loss, capitalism, consumerism and on and on… is tugging at our sleeves undeniably calling for our attention to change and lift the blindfold off.  As a dance artist and expressive arts movement coach,  I have been developing a movement based on the historical, literal, and metaphoric ritual of the Piñata. As a mixed race Chicana, I identify with her mixed race identity- claimed by numerous countries as their own. See more Liz and Diana Duet

The Piñata spins and flaps in the wind all over the world, in cities and backyards, claiming space for ART like a country flag.  She has been traveling over continents and across borders for centuries and has stayed alive and beautiful no matter how many times people appropriate her, smash her, and take all of her insides. She is immortal.  She celebrates birth… and she holds prayers for sustainability- as the Aztecs prayed into their clay pot vessel.  She reminds us to play, to trust, and not to loose our aim. (dale dale dale no pierdas el tino!) She reminds us that we, ourselves, are impermanent works of art, and that each one of us is filled with nourishing goodness.  In essence, she is a symbol of life, death and creativity itself. See Piñata Mexico Campaign 2014

PDC has been an ongoing re-construction of the Piñata Ritual from various points of view in honor of the ending of the Mayan Synchronometer.  As a member of “Walking Tree Essentials” gardening and a part of Green Valley Village CSA farm,  I am wanting to align my life more and more in sync with nature and the cosmos rather than the colonialists imposed sense of time called the “Calendar”- a word originally referring to the money paid into the government every month.  We are undergoing tremendous change, and each person has their own target.


Nov. 16, 2012, at Kunst-Stoff Arts in San Francisco, Boubion presented a Piñata Breakthrough Performance Ritual that was performed by workshop participants: Shoshana Greene, Maica Folch, Sharon Sato, Titine Vos, Amy Hougan and musicians Evelie Sales Posch and Jacob Johnson as well as installed video projections by Afia Walking Tree and a live ice melting sculpture by environmental artist Carter Brooks.  It was fascinating to hold myself back from dancing in my own piece for the first time ever… this is something I have wanted to try for quite some time.  I was able to see and feel in quite a new way. I apologize to those of you who came to see me perform…but I am still recovering from a few bodily injuries and I was too busy producing to get into the studio. See an excerpt of Piñata Breakthrough here.

Piñata, I think we are on to something…. comments from audience were surprisingly “genderized”… in that men felt that the blindfolded sensory walk and performance was very feminine and nuturing… even “motherly”… which I mistakenly thought it had nothing to do with gender and more based off  zen mind and finding presence through the senses….And the piñata breaking at the end was very male dominated according to some women.  One woman didn’t want to come to the show because she didn’t like the idea of “hitting”.  And I thought the piñata was a pregnant thing wanting to birth and bust open….So, now I am fascinated with the spectrum of experience that was presented in this format and I am dying to do it again.

I found last Friday to be part of the revelation and a revolution that we are part of that has to do with restoring humanity in an apocalyptic era.  Re-Sensitizing our machine dominated world from the personal revelation to the planetary revolution… And bringing back in balance the feminine and masculine energy on the planet.  To enter a public space blindfolded with a sighted guide through a wonder world of sounds, tastes, smells and tactile stimuli…then to witness a private act of women performing raw and undeveloped material of “breaking through” and unveiling the predominant paradigm for themselves…and finally to undergo your own witnessed “breakthrough moment” when putting your unveiled intention into every wack of that community ritual called “Piñata” is a subversive act of balance.

As an artist, I feel amongst billions of women who are doing invisible work in the world… and I wonder how visible this project will become. I can imagine creating a Piñata ceremony every winter Solstice as my ancestors did to call back the sun and pray for 52 more years of life.  I have a feeling we will be needing to beg mercy from our Sun in years to come… the ice is melting and things are getting hot.


Piñata Dance Collective outdoor installation.  Editor: Malachi Roth