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KYL/D Honors Immigrants at Teatro Esperanza

Creating dialogues among Latinx communities on immigration, displacement, and identity

On Friday, March 15, the Kun-Yang Lin Dancers performed excerpts of their acclaimed production “Home Project – Immigrant Journeys” on the Teatro Esperanza stage. The performance was followed by a Q&A where the cast described the inspiration drawn from immigrant stories in South Philadelphia, as well as the creative process behind “Home Project – Immigrant Journeys.”

“Home Project” explores themes like home, identity, and diversity in relation to the immigrant experience. The excerpts on Friday focused on various immigrant journeys including Kun-Yang Lin’s. The performance did more than just display beautiful skill and technique, it also transcended the barriers of language and space that typically exist within the arts, bringing a high caliber of art to a community that is typically denied access to it.

During their time at Esperanza, the Kun-Yang Lin Dancers also led master classes for dance majors at Esperanza Academy. Along with teaching technique, Kun-Yang Lin and his dancers also spent time dialoguing with the students about their concept of home, and had the students engage in the Chinese practice of writing letters to ancestors, which were then included in the performance. Their inclusion in the performance was powerful, helping the students recognize that their stories are important and worth sharing. The students were also able to watch Puerto Rican dancer Keila Pérez-Vega on stage.  Watching her in the spotlight showed the students that they too deserve a spot on center stage.

“I just spoke to an audience member, I felt at home,” said Pérez-Vega.  “Me being Puertorriqueña, I mean you guys were well represented in the house.”

She also took the time to speak with us about the importance of art in communities, and why accessibility is important.

“Art is one those things open to interpretation, it’s accessible to all people,” she explained. “And especially if there’s a theater in your area, there’s no better reason for you to experience art. Art across all mediums speaks about life, it speaks about experience. The world would be a better place with art. If everyone would experience art a little more, there would be more productive discussions and peace.”

Teatro Esperanza seeks to continue providing space for dialogue. If you want to join the conversation, check out our upcoming events at teatroesperanza.us

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