"Choreotopias: Assaulted Desires in Asaltodiario's Street Choreographies in Mexico City, 1985-1994"
Juan Aldape Munoz
PhD Candidate in Performance Studies
Tuesday, September 11, 12-1:30pm
Part of the Global Urban Humanities Colloquium The City and Its People, Rhetoric 198-3 / ARCH 198-2, Rhetoric 244A / ARCH 298-2
This presentation examines the working-class, punk-aesthetic choreographies created by Asaltodiario, a Mexico City troupe formed in 1987. The company organized street performances inspired by Agosto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed to orchestrate impromptu scenes called asaltos (assaults). In this analysis, Munoz evaluates the politics of the “assault,” the materiality of hope, and the choreographies of displacement that develop in the nation’s capital during rapid urbanization and in response to a major natural disaster. Herein, he develops the concept he provisionally call choreotopias to describe the process that Asaltodiario used in their public interventions, shedding insight into how marginalized residents choreograph and claim a right to public place when their lives are threatened in the name of progress.
Juan Manuel is a working-class, formerly-undocumented immigrant from Mexico. He is concerned about choreographic processes, contemporary dance, latinidad, and sweat citizenship. He is a Ph.D. candidate in performance studies at UC Berkeley. His dissertation “Choreotopias: Contemporary Dance and Disappeared Belongings in and out of Mexico,” examines how artists create a sense of belonging using the waste left over from displacement, forensic anthropology evidence from forced disappearances, and the residue of state violence. He holds a joint-MA in International Performance Research from the University of Warwick (UK) and the University of Arts in Belgrade (Serbia). Juan Manuel is the co-director of the Festival of Latin American Contemporary Choreographers, now in its fifth edition in San Francisco, California. He is the co-founder of A PerFarmance Project. PerFarmances are site-specific collaborations between farmers and performers researching the concept of food security and labor from rural and urban perspectives.