Bakani Pick-Up Company My dear, time has passed
bun and keity Peeling dough off the floor
Vanessa Guevara XIPETZA
Death and the afterlife are highly complex concepts to represent onstage; particularly in terms of dance which, without getting too morbid here, is temporary, fleeting and always very aware of its own end. Bakani Pick-Up Company’s My dear, time has passed creates a space to explore the events and emotions closest to the human experience, which we only seem to reflect on when nearing death. The choreography fluctuates between moments of lightness and darkness to balance the tone between death and afterlife; dancers meet but rarely touch, their bodies’ last living cells moving erratically, without consciousness before the lights go out.
From death we move onto dance dystopia. Bun and keity’s Peeling dough off the floor is a bricolage of pastel silks, army paraphernalia and a self-destructing washing machine. The work plays two separate realities off one another. On the one hand, it is a comedic dance duo throwing the illusion of performance into the wings; on the other, it is parodying military dress and movement to draw attention to the army’s impenetrable masculinity. This random, pop-culture mash-up is, quite clearly, changing the orders of power. Peeling dough off the floor certainly makes its audiences re-evaluate what ‘dance’ can be.
The final performance transports us to a material reality. What does it mean to be Mexican in the age of Donald Trump? Vanessa Guevara’s solo XIPETZA goes deep into the traditions of Mexico. Her clean, well-documented narrative takes her from proud Mexican, to alienated immigrant mistaken by an innocent child as a maid, a cook, a slave. But her movement fights against these harsh stereotypes. Intricate footwork, staccato positions and fluid turns create this rich dance identity that is wholly Mexican – and not Spanish. Guevara’s feet bring her back to her roots in what is a stunning first solo work that leaves you with an intense feeling of wanting to see, experience and understand more.