In a year that’s been especially tough on immigrants, the arts can foster a sense of community that provides relief. Hairpin Arts Center is rising to the occasion with the monthlong LatinxArts festival, featuring free workshops, exhibitions, and performances—among them, the one-night-only Movements: A Show of Work by Three Immigrant Dancemakers.
“In Chicago, our Latinx community is very large, and it is important for these people and their kids to see themselves represented when they go see dance and arts events,” says Michel Rodriguez Cintra of Lucky Plush, who’ll perform a duet from a work in progress, Give and Take, with his wife, Jordan Reinwald.
Wilfredo Rivera, artistic director of Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, offers selections from his suite American Catracho, which expresses the trauma of an immigrant’s initial entry into the United States. “Dance can serve as a platform to bring about themes of equity and justice and acceptance,” Rivera says. “In our own artistic way, we peel back the layers of fear and not knowing each other.”
That sentiment is echoed by Hedwig Dances resident choreographer Victor Alexander, whose two pieces, Among Us and Neutral, explore ancestral connections and emotional repression. “[Dance] is a vehicle . . . to engage, communicate, and create possibilities for our society,” says Alexander.
In all, Movements “encourages the audience to look at each choreographer’s work with fresh eyes considering the ongoing national debate around the value of contributions by immigrants to our society,” says Hairpin’s performing arts director Kacie Smith. This free program makes it easy to discover the beauty that emerges when immigrants have the opportunity to create works that speak to their specific experience.
Movements: A Show of Work by Three Immigrant Dancemakers Fri 10/29, 8 PM, Hairpin Arts Center, 2800 N. Milwaukee, second floor, 773-661-6361, hairpinarts.org, free.