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Indigenous Dancing, Decolonial Possibilities
March 8 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Photo of Sergio Juarez: Drum Song by Natasha Brennan
Join us for a discussion on how Indigenous dancing and cosmologies can inform our approach to academic research and community-based art practices. We will begin with a talk by Dr. Tria Blu Wakpa, Indigenous contemporary dance and performance scholar, followed by a dance and music demonstration led by Sergio Juarez and Danza Azteca Toyaacan.
Tria Blu Wakpa is an Assistant Professor of Dance Studies in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at the University of California, Los Angeles. She received a Ph.D. and M.A. from the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from San Diego State University, and a B.A. in English with an option in Film summa cum laude from Oklahoma State University. Her research and teaching combine community-based, Indigenous, and feminist methodologies with critical race theories to examine the politics and practices of dance and other movement modes—such as theatrical productions, basketball, and yoga—for Indigenous peoples in and beyond structures and institutions of confinement. She is a scholar and practitioner of Indigenous dance, North American Hand Talk (Indigenous sign language), martial arts, and yoga, and publishes her poetry in a variety of venues.
Sergio Juarez is the leader of Danza Azteca Toyaacan, a La Puente-based Aztec dance group. Living up to his late father’s maxim, the Sergio Alejandro Juarez, that “no one should have to pay learn about their culture,” Danza Azteca Toyaacan offers dance classes at no cost to the community, with the goal of empowering youth with knowledge, a sense of community, and pride. Since inheriting this tradition and leadership from Mr. Juarez, Sergio and the group have led countless workshops and lectures in both academic and community settings, bringing both a wealth of historical and cultural knowledge, as well as handmade regalia and traditional instruments. Aside from being a skilled dancer, musician, and educator, Sergio is an experienced construction laborer and owner of his own construction business, Bridgetown Floor and Wall.
Please help us ensure the safety of our gathering by observing the following COVID-19 protocols:
- Complete the Daily Health Check the day of the event before your arrival. For your convenience, this link will also be included in your Event Reminder email.
- Please use a mask that fully covers your mouth and mask. Individuals may unmask while eating or drinking.
RSVP on our Eventbrite page starting 2/7!