Festival of Latin American Contemporary Choreographers was created in 2014 as a response by Elizabeth Duran Boubion to needing a venue to showcase the work of Guadalajaran-based choreographers Alariete. The space was generously donated by Temescal Arts Center, and the festival has grown exponentially. 2015’s ¡flacc! was featured in print is SF Weekly:IMG_20150925_140407

In traditions began by notables such as Gloria Anzaldua, this festival blurs the lines between the borderlands and asks us to inquire how geographic boundaries match emotional, physical and psychic borders. ¡flacc! 2015 found itself at Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco.

2713842The center is located in the famed Mission District which is home to one of the areas largest Latino populations. Gentrification is the contemporary context that was the commentary of this year’s festival. The themes of displacement were large- both abroad and domestically. In the wake of Syria and Donald Trump-isms our read on immigration is very diverse. Some hearts are more open for some people rather than others. Our festival definitely tackled these issues through the politic of the body and invited audiences to dig deeper than just dance for entertainment.

In contrast, 2014’s ¡flacc! was an avant-garde venture that displayed the experimental nature of Latin-American Choreographers. One such artist, Natta Haotzima constructed a set piece that was made of cardboard, and fit easily into her Toyota Celica. However, once erected the structure was well over 10 feet in length and 8 feet in width. It also appeared wood onstage. Similarly, Alariete brought a huge three-dimensional structure with them and since the festival took place in an intimate venue, the devices appeared other worldly. This festival is special, and hopefully, it will continue to be experimental and avant garde, pushing and redefining boundaries and borders of dance and theater.