Venue:  MIWSFPA
Time:  Friday 7:30pm-9:30pm; Saturday 2:30pm-4:30pm; Saturday 10pm-12am; Sunday 2pm-4pm
Category:  RHIZOMES, Theatre + Spoken Word
City of Origin:  St. Catharines, ON
Price:  $20 or Festival Pass

Snapshot:

A sunflower that has stood strong with the strength of her ancestors intertwined within her thick green stem is slowly fading in the fields. A woman draws near it and senses the sunflower’s sorrow and desire to connect with the man from a foreign land that has taken care of her.

About:

This piece is inspired by Heryka’s experience befriending ‘the sunflower man,’ a migrant farm worker from Mexico. For a month Heryka got to listen to stories and teachings directly from the sunflower man who has been coming to Canada as a migrant worker for 25-years. Together they explored the life and teachings of sunflowers through dance, storytelling and drawings in a local sunflower farm in St. Catharines.

Artists:

Heryka Miranda (Choreographer and dancer) Heryka Miranda’s dance work influences stem from her bicultural identity as a daughter of Guatemalan immigrant parents with Mayan and European heritage; born and raised in the Mid-Atlantic United States. Her dance creations are acts of solidarity in response to social and environmental justice issues that she deeply cares about.

Juan Luis Mendoza de la Cruz (Storyteller and emerging dancer) is a Mexican migrant farm worker, over 25 years working on Canadian farm land. He is collaborating with Heryka to use the medium of dance to share wisdom gained from years of working in the sunflower fields in St. Catharines.

Praise:

“Heryka’s movements illuminate the profound impact of trauma on the self; she conjures up powerful testimony using her body as witness.”
– Callie Long, PhD student, Interdisciplinary Humanities, Brock University

“Culturally grounded, elegiac and expressive, Heryka’s dance enlists powerful empathy joined to social questions of heritage and belonging.”
-Gyllian Raby, Associate Professor, Department of Dramatic Arts, Brock University

“What I found so striking about Heryka Miranda’s performance is how it bypassed mind to affect me otherwise. The language of embodiment, the feelings her limbs conveyed, moved me to recognize the sufferings of another, others, profoundly.”
-Kelly Hewson, Past President of Canadian Applied Literature Association

“Expressive dance is Heryka Miranda’s vehicle for advancing social justice. She invites audiences to accompany her on intimate, raw, and ultimately moving journeys. Her focus is on legacies of suffering: she invites her audience to accompany her as she takes on her ongoing struggles with the pain, and the necessity, of remembering, and of facing up to our own capacity for violence and our complicity in the suffering of others. As an audience member I was brought face-to-face with the multiple challenges of remembering. I was unmade by the performance, and then skilfully led through an exploration of the possibilities for healing to which our acts of shared witnessing might give rise.”
-Sue Spearey, Associate Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Justice and Equity Studies, Brock University

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