Choreographer/s | Vanessa Goodman
Name of piece | Edictum (excerpt)
Venue | Firehall Arts Centre
I commissioned Vanessa Goodman to direct and choreograph ‘Edictum,’ Latin for order or command. We collaborated to create this solo about my Sephardic Jewish ancestry, but it was only recently that my family in Colombia and I discovered who our ancestors are. I was surprised and touched to hear about my ancestor's story because they were Spanish Jews who, following the Alhambra Edict of 1492 and the persecution of Jews by the Spanish Inquisition, sought refuge in Colombia and were eventually forced to convert to Catholicism. My ancestors and I lived centuries apart, and our experiences vastly differ; however, we both left our homes to escape conditions of persecution, with the hope of finding better lives for ourselves somewhere else. These intergenerational traumatic experiences repeated and took different forms many generations apart. Through this work, I am exploring how I can connect to that past so that I can also connect deeper to myself in the present; like me, there are many others who also left their home in search of new, better opportunities and had to immerse themselves in and adapt to other cultures. This dance is dedicated to them, my family, and ancestors.
Performer: Juan Villegas
Director and Choreographer: Vanessa Goodman
Lighting Designer: James Proudfoot
Costumes: Carlos Chaverra
Juan Villegas respectfully acknowledges that he works on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. He is a Colombian Canadian artist who works in dance, design, and video. He holds a degree in Contemporary Dance from Simon Fraser University and in Industrial Design from Emily Carr University. He currently performs with Kinesis Dance Somatheatro in Vancouver and Blue Ceiling Dance in Toronto. Juan has performed and toured throughout Canada and his choreography has been presented in Vancouver, Toronto, and Saskatoon. Juan also teaches movement online, locally, and abroad.