PROJECTS

Stories from Home

Yvonne Montoya in Stories from Home
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Dancer Ruby Morales in Albuquerque
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Embodied research in Barrio Analco
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Stories from Home
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Tecolote
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Stories from Home: COVID19 Addendum
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Stories from Home centers Latinx bodies, aesthetics, and experiences from the U.S. Southwest on concert dance stages, where such themes and aesthetics are rarely seen,” comments choreographer Yvonne Montoya. 

Stories From Home is a series of dances embodying the oral traditions of Latinx communities in the American Southwest. Choreographer Yvonne Montoya and an all-Latinx cast of dancers draw upon personal histories as well as ancestral knowledge, including stories from Montoya’s great-grandmother, grandmother, great-aunts, and father.

 

With palpable theatricality, moving spoken word, a movement aesthetic informed by vibrant ancestral and contemporary sources, and universal themes of love, family, and home, Stories From Home brings these largely underrepresented experiences to the stage. 

 

The format and presentation of Stories From Home is flexible; it can be performed as a full-length dance work for the traditional stage; as single, brief solos; paired with a keynote address for conferences or educational events; and outdoors, on proscenium stages, in blackbox spaces, digitally, or in classrooms. 

 

Montoya, a 23rd-generation Nuevomexicana, began to develop Stories From Home after her father’s passing in 2015; compelled to continue his storytelling tradition for her own child, she turned to dance.

 

Stories From Home is a vessel for personal and specific tales, while also offering a broader look at various cultural traditions throughout the Southwest. The grounded, sometimes incongruous choreography embraces abrupt shapes and connected, fluid shifts, balancing disarticulation with a moody softness.

 

The sections of the work -- solos, duets, and ensemble dances -- address issues such as loss of language, the embodiment of internalized racism, body image and beauty in the Latinx community, spiritual symbolism, and the experience of the Sefardim people during and after the Spanish Inquisition. 

 

The cast of Stories From Home originates from communities throughout Arizona and New Mexico, and features an all Latinx cast, including Nuevomexicana, Mexican American and immigrant artists. This intentional geographic spread addresses the isolation of Southwest-based dance artists, instituting a community of Latinx dancers. The far-flung group of artists also allows for an embodied sense of the array of landscapes that are integral to the work. Site-specific creation residencies played a key role in developing Stories From Home, providing spatial and historical context for the performers. 

Presenters

Sunset Series
Tempe History Museum | 2020

The Tempe History Museum’s Sunset Series presented Tempe Stories from Home digitally on October 6, 2020. Tempe Stories from Home was an evening of digital dance and storytelling that centers contemporary Latinx experiences while animating the city’s Latinx history.

The evening featured the Tempe premiere of three dance films from the film series, Stories from Home: COVID-19 Addendum, as well as a live dance performance inspired by historical Tempe photographs, and an audience Q&A. Tempe Stories from Home features work by Tempe-based dance artists Steve Rosales, Delia Ibáñez and composer Samuel Peña.

 

The MAP Fund

Yvonne Montoya is a 2020 MAP Fund Grantee for Stories from Home. She is among 171 performing artists and arts organizations grantees who received funding from all over the country in 2020. 

 

The MAP Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Thank you MAP for your support.

New England Foundation for the Arts 
National Dance Project

Yvonne Montoya is a 2020 NEFA National Dance Project Production Grant recipient for the creation and production of Stories from Home. She is honored to be the first Arizona-based artist to receive this award. Montoya and the Stories from Home team is very excited about what this means for Arizona-based Latinx dance artists, and Latinx stories from the Southwest being shared nationally. Congratulations to all of the grant recipients and finalists!

This grant is made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Thank you NEFA!

Funders

STORIES FROM HOME: COVID-19 ADDENDUM

 

Stories From Home was originally scheduled to premiere on stage and in person on Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage September 2020; this engagement has been postponed and will be rescheduled. 

 

Facing the realities of COVID-19 and its impact on the performing arts industry, along with postponed performances and residencies, Montoya evolved the presentation of the work.

 

She also identified ideological parallels with her 2016 piece Motherhood and the Performing Arts, a solo work that explored the joys and challenges of parenthood and a performing arts career, as her work as an artist was suddenly combined with new responsibilities as a home school educator. These ideas and circumstances were the catalyst for Stories From Home: COVID-19 Addendum.  

 

The Stories From Home: COVID-19 Addendum series is an evolution of and supplement to the full-length Stories From Home work, integrating new choreography and ideas.

 

This online series presentation is divided among two acts.

 

The first act encompasses five dance films, performed by Montoya and her son Buddy, that reflect upon the challenges of homeschooling and parenting while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The second act features the cast of Stories From Home in five dance films that feature the dancers’ stories from home during the time of COVID-19.

Presenters

Digital Connections

ASU Gammage | 2021

ASU Gammage presented four films from the Stories from Home: COVID-19 Addendum on April 6, 2021. The Digital Connections performance featured work by  dance artists Yvonne Montoya, Steve Rosales, Ruby Morales and Emigdio Arredondo- Martínez.

 

Arizona Drive-in Dance Film Festival

Methods of Madness Dance Theatre | 2021

 

Walking, an excerpt of Stories from Home: COVID-19 Addendum was presented at the inaugural Arizona Drive-In Dance Film Festival and produced by Methods of Madness Dance Theatre. The Drive-in and livestream showing were held in February 2021 at The Graduate Hotel in Tempe.

 

Walking was awarded the Arizona Creative Excellence Award at the 2021 Film Festival!

 

Thank you Arizona Drive-in Dance Film Festival with Methods of Madness Dance Theatre for presenting this event! Dance enthusiasts, film lovers and drive-in movie day dreamers came together for an evening of choreography for camera and community gathering through the comfort of their own cars. The Arizona Drive-in Dance Film Festival received submissions from all over the state. I was excited to share work along with so many fabulous Arizona dance artists. 

Choreographer's Showcase

Keshet Dance and Center for the Arts | 2021

Walking, an excerpt of Stories from Home: COVID-19 Addendum was presented at the virtual version of Keshet’s annual Choreographers' Showcase on February 20, 2021. 

 

This is the first time that Yvonne’s work was digitally presented in her home town of Albuquerque, NM!

Walking was presented along with a collection of dance works by choreographic voices from throughout the country.

Build from Here: The Future of Ensemble Theater

FoolsFURY Theater Company | 2020

FoolsFURY Theater Company presented its national convening of ensemble theater makers digitally on September 12, 2020 titled, "BUILD from Here: The Future of Ensemble Theater." Before the pandemic, an excerpt of Stories from Home was set to be presented at the festival in San Francisco. Due to COVID-19, the performance was pivoted, and the dance film Walking was shared from the Stories from Home: COVID-19 Addendum. 

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Available for Online Programming

The MPA Project

The MPA Project
The MPA Project

photo by Dominic AZ Bonuccelli Featuring Yvonne Montoya and Buddy and Loula

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MPA Project
MPA Project

photo by Dominic AZ Bonuccelli

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The MPA Project
The MPA Project

photo by Dominic AZ Bonuccelli Featuring Yvonne Montoya and Buddy

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The MPA Project
The MPA Project

photo by Dominic AZ Bonuccelli Featuring Yvonne Montoya and Buddy and Loula

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Yvonne and her son Buddy created the Motherhood and the Performing Arts (MPA) Project in 2016 as a reflection of the challenges and joys of juggling motherhood and a career in the performing arts.

 

The original  MPA Project encompasses 3 components: 1) the dance film Reflections, a collaboration with film maker Dominic AZ Bonuccelli, 2) a blog, and 3) a handmade upcycled earring collection.

In 2021, the mother and son duo decided to transition the project to reflect their love of dance, family, and travel. A new blog is coming soon!

 

For more information, visit www.mpaproject.com

Safos Dance Theatre

"Earth" 4 Elements Photo Shoot 2013
"Earth" 4 Elements Photo Shoot 2013

photo by Dominic AZ Bonuccelli photo courtesy of Safos Dance Theatre

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Puddles on the Floor 2013
Puddles on the Floor 2013

photo by Dominic AZ Bonuccelli choreography "Puddles on the Floor" by Yvonne Montoya photo courtesy of Safos Dance Theatre

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Ojos Negros
Ojos Negros

photo by Dominic AZ Bonuccelli chreoography "Ojos Negros" by Yvonne Montoya photo courtesy of Safos Dance Theatre

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"Earth" 4 Elements Photo Shoot 2013
"Earth" 4 Elements Photo Shoot 2013

photo by Dominic AZ Bonuccelli photo courtesy of Safos Dance Theatre

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Yvonne Montoya is a co-founder and founding Artistic/Executive Director of Safos Dance Theatre, a non-profit, multi-disciplinary performing arts organization based in Tucson, AZ.

 

Since 2009, Montoya directed and produced six showcases for Safos, led six arts education residencies for youth and seniors, and staged 17 new pieces of choreography.

 

Under her direction, Safos won the Tucson Pima Arts Council’s Lumie Award for Emerging Organization in 2015.

 

For more information about Safos, visit www.safosdance.org

Las Fronterizas

Las Fronterizas with Paula Acevedo
Las Fronterizas with Paula Acevedo

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with Douglaprieta in Agua Prieta
with Douglaprieta in Agua Prieta

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Festejando
Festejando

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Las Fronterizas with Paula Acevedo
Las Fronterizas with Paula Acevedo

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Yvonne Montoya, along with M. Jenea Sánchez, Isis América Tovar, Ammi Robles, Paula Ortega, Xanthia Walker, Rising Youth Theater, Border Arts Corridor and Safos Dance Theatre comprise Las Fronterizas ensemble.

 

Las Fronterizas Ensemble engages the communities of Douglas, AZ, and Agua Prieta, SON to develop a public performance that blends dance, music and theatre, presented on both sides of the US/ Mexico border fence.

 

The ensemble is made up of youth and adult artists from Arizona, USA and Sonora, MEX. Las Fronterizas have participated in border exchanges with artists at the Mexican/Guatemalan border.

 

"Mis amores fronterizos," binational performance was postponed due the pandemic.​

Color the Mural

Dancing the Mural

Dancing the Mural
Dancing the Mural

photo by Dominic Bounccelli choreography "La Troquita" by Yvonne Montoya photo courtesy of Safos Dance Theatre

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Youth Painting the Mobile Mural
Youth Painting the Mobile Mural

South Tucson youth painting the mobile community mural in 2015 photo courtesy of Safos Dance Theatre

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Seniors Painting the Mobile Mural
Seniors Painting the Mobile Mural

Seniors painting the mobile mural. photo courtesy of Safos Dance Theatre

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Dancing the Mural
Dancing the Mural

photo by Dominic Bounccelli choreography "La Troquita" by Yvonne Montoya photo courtesy of Safos Dance Theatre

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Color the Mural/Dancing the Mural was a two-year community based multidisciplinary arts project that took place in the City of South Tucson, 2013-2015.

A brain child of Yvonne Montoya, Color the mural included 264 community members who voted on the theme and design of the mural, 290 community painters from ages 0-88 , and over 30 visual and performing artists, arts administrators, community members, donors, and volunteers worked on the project.

 

Under Yvonne’s direction, choreographers created seven new pieces of choreography inspired by the images of the mural.

 

For more information about this project, visit www.safosdance.org/color​