Ania Bwia Bwia Toochia
Ania Bwia Bwia Toochia, which means the world, the land, the soil, the dust. It grew out of my many experiences and relationships such as living in Tempe, Arizona, camping in Tucson, talking with other Yaqui folks, working on my monograph, “Performance as Ceremony”, building a cello out a busted guitar that was gifted to me, a genuine desire to integrate my love for playing stringed instruments and dance, and working with Natalie Diaz, being inspired by her poem, “isn’t the air also a body moving?”.
As a Native artist, my work is not created in a vacuum of extrapolation and extraction. It is a direct response to being accountable to the natural world and to my community.
A collaboration between Sam Aros Mitchell and Dr. Raymond Simmonds, Ph.D., an experimental physicist working with superconducting quantum circuits at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, CO. Sam and Ray have been friends since their undergraduate college days more than 20 years ago, at U.C. Santa Barbara. Sam was pursuing dance and dramatic arts and Ray’s interests straddled the arts, theatre, and the sciences. Sam introduced Ray to modern dance when he choreographed a septet based on Garcia Lorca’s “Poem of the Deep Song” casting Ray as one of the dancers. This experience not only affirmed their friendship, but planted the seeds for this collaboration.
Dee(a)r Spine was born out of my desire “to remember the things I never knew.” As a Yaqui who was adopted, I had a strong desire to connect to my roots. Through conversations with my biological family and through the discovery of my grandparents’ marriage certificate issued in Imuris, Sonora, I now know about my grandmother, Maria Luisa Aros Siquerios and her daughter, (my biological mother) Evangelina Gaxiola, who immigrated to California, married, and had my six siblings and me. Evangelina died tragically when I was an infant. This piece marks my journey to reconnect with my family and community, and to find ways to “remember everything.”
Hedda´ing was a collaboration between Siri & Snelle and Sam Aros Mitchell. Hedda´ing was performed at Without Walls Festival (WoW). Hedda´ing was a cross cultural, dance theatre exploration using Henrik Ibsen’s play Hedda Gabler as a source. Hedda’ing investigated the polarities that exist between the role of home as a sanctuary and as a prison, between memory and reality, and between the existential and the spiritual. Hedda’ing was set in and around the Stuart Collection’s “Fallen Star” by artist Do Ho Suh.