Black Lives Matter. Voting rights, climate change. Trans athletes, abortion laws, anti-vaxxers. As political and social unrest continue to sweep across the country, the lily-white fields of big budget cinema, classical music, ballet, and theater are, like it or not, exploding with new energy. These industries and performing groups may traditionally carry with them the institutional support of the donor class in America, but those dollars are now being offered with strings. Requirements like racial diversity, social justice, and gender equity are increasingly the norm.
Santa Fe is about to get the opportunity to put its time and money behind this new social movement. The inaugural Moving Southwest Festival, a pop-up event being produced by the International Museum of Dance, is not a dance performance series at a theater. It is dedicated to the experience of BIPOC artists (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). From Monday, June 27, through July 12 there will be dance parties at SITE Santa Fe shepherded by a Black local DJ; workshops like ritual mask-making and movement with Tigre Mashaal-Lively (whose sculpture The Solacii outside Form & Concept gallery on Guadalupe Street was set ablaze last summer); dance classes like Body Percussion and Root Work: Explorations in Radical Movement; along with performances by Molodi, a dance/theater group founded at the University of New Mexico; New Mexico-based Native dance company Dancing Earth; Earthseed Black Arts Alliance; hoop dancer Shandien LaRance; and local flamenco dancers La Emi and Jesus Muñoz.
Hilary Palanza stood outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art one day a few years ago, watching throngs of people interacting with a giant sculpture there. “You could see that people were hungry for art,” she said. As a dance artist, her next thought was, “Where is there a space like this for dance?” The International Museum of Dance was born soon after. “A Museum without Walls. Movement Without Limits,” the IMOD website declares.