An analysis of Latin perscussion and indigenous ancestry

by Jesús Muñoz

La Mama de mi Mama, a B2 Creative Residency in the Atlas Institute by Jesús Muñoz (MFA in Dance candidate) is intended to create a Latinx centered space that will highlight the wisdom of its vernacular/cultural dance & music as a decolonizing practice. In collaboration with Natasha Tia (Artist in Residence), Victor Mestas (Lecturer, College of Music), Brad Gallagher (B2 Graduate Creative Fellow), & Sean Winters (B2 Scholar in Residence), this project includes a multidisciplinary performance that explores live music, dance, and technology (motion capture, ambisonic sound, & lighting). Through movement, experimental musical making, and the use of technology, this project aims at integrating, alienating, and harnessing new ways of performativity in Latinx artmaking.

From the artist:

What’s behind? What’s below? To shake and be shaken, my body, more bodies, dressing for the occasion. To illicit tension, to take a chair and play, vibrations that spark something within. The thought of movement, the lack of thinking, keeps me on my feet, sound that makes the body tremble, difficult to stay collected. A limit story, images of anguish, of exhausted feet. Multiple faces in many spaces, a constant in-betweenness, mellow sounds of sunrise, urgency of a thundering storm, attempts to reason. To multiply human capacity, the ancestry of skin, the honoring of flesh, two wooden sticks, the drum, the honoring of the animal, the energy of the tree, the human ritual. To visit new routes, new ranges of motion, emotion. To claim the intricacy of song, of tradition, of culture, a new syncretism. A sense of constant death, taming faith, a shocking spectacle, notions of non-literate sensation. To enact transformation, to feel each other, and life around us. To regain what’s leftover, vessels of nuance, channels of the body. You are free to do anything as long as you know where home is, ¿Y Tú Abuela Donde Està?

This work was made possible through the B2 Creative Residency Program. Learn more here.


About the Artists

Jesus Muñoz

Jesús Muñoz (él) is a dancer, choreographer, educator, percussionist, and MFA candidate at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Born in Mexico, Muñoz functions within the contexts of Mexican Folkloric, Afro-Cuban, Cuban Folkloric, Cuban Popular, Cuban Contemporary, Ballet, Modern, and Jazz Dance and Latin Percussion. Through movement and experimental musical making, his research proposes a reclaiming of non-dominant aesthetics of native and vernacular cultures to integrate, alienate, and harness new ways of performativity: “I create music, I write and recite poetry, I sense my body, I question the foreign sense of human flesh, and augment my capacity to transcend on stage.”

Natasha Tia

Natasha Tia is a professional mambo artist, yoga instructor, and Ayurvedic wellness coach. Through her extensive and eclectic training and life experiences, she has nurtured a deeply rooted understanding of how mind-body awareness and longevity are woven together. In the last 18 years Natasha has performed and taught workshops with world class artists on some of the largest stages in the world in the salsa industry and continues to do so. Natasha crafts unique programs that promote longevity and well-being through movement and Ayurvedic practices via her app, Movewise Wellness.

Victor Mestas

Victor Mestas was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, and studied at the "J. A. Lamas" School of Music with Carmen Moleiro. He is an endorsement artist for YAMAHA keyboards in Venezuela (2001). His professional background includes more than 100 recording productions for national and international artists. Mestas has performed as a pianist and arranger for world renowned singers such as Soledad Bravo, Cheo Feliciano, and Julio Iglesias. He is currently a Latin Jazz Lecturer at the Thompson Jazz Studies Program, College of Music, CU Boulder, and performs locally in the Latin Jazz scene.