Fire in the Mountain (2019) is a film and performance installation created in collaboration with the Redwoods, rollings hills and river of Tilden Park in Berkeley, CA. The film was directed and performed by Rodrigo Esteva and Mirah Moriarty with the director of photography and editor Eric Koziol. Additional photography by Cliff Traiman & Chris O'Dowd.
Made possible thanks to Berkeley Civic Arts Grant
Photo Credits: Eric Koziol
The Tree and Me (2019) was a duet we created in collaboration with a large, old Acacia tree on-site at the currently endangered public space, the Albany Bulb. We began by listening to the stories that were held in the land while asking the question- what wishes to be spoken and what wants to remain in silence?
Commissioned by Bulb Fest 2019
Photo Credit: Edward Grylich & Sarah Lin
The Wall Between Us (2017) was based on a collection of real stories of families currently separated by the US-Mexico border. The duet was part of an ongoing interdisciplinary exchange between US and Mexican artists to deepen relationships and hold necessary conversations, especially during the current political climate.
Premiered at the D.I.R.T Festival, San Francisco.
Photo Credit: Esteva Family
TLAOLI: People of the Corn (2016) was an interdisciplinary vision of corn as essential to Mexican cultural identity; the mythical relationship between people and plants, traditional sacred farming, food and agricultural rituals. The artists asked essential questions about cultural displacement and amnesia while observing the potential of the arts as seeds to restore soul memory. In times of forced or voluntary migration, what happens to the old stories and traditions that unite people with the earth? How can we, as immigrant artists and cultural centers, create a refuge or a fertile ground for this wisdom to continue to grow for future generations? DANCE MONKS initiated a series of Tiangis (markets) for Mexican immigrants as an essential piece of this project that continues to date.
Made possible thanks to Doris Duke Foundation with the additional support of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and the Zellerbach Family Foundation.
Photo Credits: Robbie Sweeny
NOMAD: The Blue Road (2014) was a site-specific ritual performance that followed the (now mostly) underground Strawberry Creek in Berkeley, California. In response to the California drought and current water crisis around the world, NOMAD invited the audience to remember our vital, often forgotten relationship with water. The event was also held in continuous support of the current international movement to "daylight" rivers in urban places.
Directed by Rodrigo Esteva and Mirah Moriarty in collaboration with José Navarrete, Debby Kajiyama, Dohee Lee, Adria Otte, Pauchi Sasaki and Jennifer Curtis.
Made possible by the Open Circle Foundation.
Photo Credits: Ambre Murard
Muru (2012) signifies Seed in Quechua and Endless Dream in Japanese. This interdisciplinary performance included live dance, an orchestra and video mapping. The work was directed by OIE Collective with Pauchi Sasaki (Peru), Jennifer Curtis from ICE (NY / SF), Dohee Lee from Puri Project (Korea / SF) and Zulu Tsuruyama (Japan).
Festival de Artes Escenicas (FAEL) at Municipal Theater of Lima, Peru.
Photo Credits: Edi Hirose
Star Rider (2012) was a site-specific presentation on the site at Woodstock Public Library, NY created by DANCE MONKS in direct collaboration with young artists Aki Densmore (at age 7) and their son, Sebastian Esteva (at age 9). This whimsical production was inspired by an original song of the same title by Sebastian.
Commissioned by the Woodstock Public Library, NY.
Body & Sound Festival (2012) was curated by DANCE MONKS with movement/practice workshops and live music performances by internationally renowned artists Pauchi Sasaki (Peru / Japan), Laura Inserra (Italy), T-Bird Luv (Brooklyn) and Dohee Lee (Korea).
KUNST STOFF ARTS, San Francisco.
Photo Credit: Pauchi Sasaki
Road (to Remembrance) (2009) was a solo created by Mirah and inspired by the process of "descansos" or "to put to rest" by Dr. Clarissa Estes, a ritual process that marks the passages of life. She performed inside a tent she made of more than 1,000 pieces of paper with projections of her ancestors and a sound landscape by the renowned musician, Pauchi Sasaki.
Photo Credit: Rodrigo Esteva
Origins (2009) was an in-process sharing of a multimedia creation directed by DANCE MONKS in collaboration with Tawera (Rodney) Bell (formerly of AXIS Dance) and Olivia Eng with live music by Laura Inserra, Pauchi Sasaki and Claudia Cuentas. The artists investigated and chose the mythology of the old world connected to their ancestral origins (Maori, Mexican, Chinese, Slavic) as a starting point.
Made possible by the East Bay Arts Center / Center for Cultural Innovation, The Open Circle Foundation and the Artists Residence Program of NOHSpace, SF.
PERFORMANCE ARCHIVES 2000-2009