CHOREOPOLITICS: 

BRENDAN FERNANDES & nibia pastrana santiago

Exhibition at MASS MoCA ____________________Curated by McClain Groff______________________On view beginning April 9

Choreopolitics juxtaposes the work of multidisciplinary artists Brendan Fernandes and nibia pastrana santiago, who use dance to resist, heal, and connect. Both previously trained in ballet, yet now they invert the style’s demands for spectacle, grace, and the illusion of ease. Fernandes reshapes and expands ballet through classical technique and experimental movement that challenge social and political spaces of hegemony. pastrana santiago, on the other hand, harnesses slowness, laziness, and exhaustion as a means of critiquing labor practices and training structures in ballet and the dance field more broadly. Together, their works exemplify what performance studies scholar André Lepecki calls “choreopolitics,” or planned and persistent movements of freedom. They confront dance’s histories of colonialism and marginalization, while pointing to dance’s potential for resistance. In Choreopolitics, Fernandes and pastrana santiago oppose conformity; refuse erasure; and strive towards freedom.


nibia pastrana santiago, Baliza, 2019. videostill.


Using Format