A weaving of Bomba Jazz, indigenous dances of the Philippines, Kundiman, Plena, and many other interconnecting indigenous practices within the global south grappling with the persistency of colonialism.
Within the past years, Critical Race Theory became a controversial discussion within US education, parents, school boards and state
legislatures- all fearing an academic approach against white canonical US history. And to those children of immigrants, critical thinking has often been discouraged through a US-curated history curriculum, shielding US colonization behind a more palatable term, IMPERIALISM. A popularly coined phrase, Manifest Destiny became a moral compass used to justify violence against Caribbean and Asian Pacific peoples, justifying colonization as "god’s will for US’ global domination," and validating Western expansion and the
displacement of indigenous peoples. Art and education became gatekeepers of truth and tools for psychological warfare. Democracy became a veil to disguise the hidden agendas of capitalism, leading to mass migrations in pursuit of the mythical American Dream.
As a mother of a first-generation immigrant Filipina and as a first generation Puerto Rican + Dominican, Anito Gavino and Marcel Santiago Marcelino knows these nuanced stories to be true. Despite growing up generations and oceans apart, they connected through
their shared stories of oppression and resistance. To reclaim lost histories that resonate deeply within, Gavino and Marcelino create Primx, a theatrical dance conversation between family members connected not by blood but by blood memories.
Both Gavino and Marcelino are dance researchers who use embodiment, oral history and scholarly research to explore cultural identities and personal narratives. Gavino is indigenous to the island of Panay, a central island of the Philippines. She is a mother and a mid-career immigrant artist using dance as a portal to dismantle her colonized history. Marcelino is an emerging young maker whose first dance language is Bomba, a dance of Borikén. Their work uses Bombazos (Bomba celebration) as a healing practice from a Western-centered dance world. Together, they use the many languages embedded in their bodies to tell a history.
They desire Primx to be a conversation with community during the performances and prior to. “Primx will be experienced rather than viewed at.” During the developmental stage, they will facilitate movement and discourse workshops to Filipino-American and Puerto Rican communities throughout the Philadelphia and NYC.
Early Stages of Research. April 2021.
Marcel and Anito's explorations in South Philadelphia.
Experimental Film I created post field research in Boriken, April 2023
Field Research, learning Bomba from the Cepeda Family in Boriken, April 2023
Working with Multicultural Education and Counsel through the Arts (MECA) and UNIPRO TX