Making Art in 2017: Annielille Gavino & Evalina Carbonell on Mujeres
Name: Annielille “Ani” Gavino & Evalina “Wally” Carbonell
2017 Festival Show: Mujeres
Past Festival shows: Fore-ign/Fore-out
Roles: Choreographers, Performers
FringeArts: Tell us a bit about your show.
Ani Gavino: The show is a split bill between Evalina Carbonell and myself. Both choreographers will present their woman centered dance works, hence the title, Mujeres. I will be presenting HERstory which is supported by the Small But Mighty Art Grant. HERstory is a story of ancestral memories and lost histories. This 40 minute work is an interdisciplinary performance, celebrating goddesses, priestesses, female chieftains, and matriarchal archetypes present in indigenous society. HERstory questions the authenticity of history, and challenges our formalized, biased education. HERstory celebrates ancient spirituality, its presence in ancient mythologies, and its absence after the rise of European colonialism.
As a Filipino artist, I investigate pre-colonial Philippines and the role of colonialism in the fall of my indigenous matriarchal culture. HERstory, began as a thought after the birth of my daughter in 2008. Over eight years, this simmered in my subconscious, waiting to boil. Until motherhood, I never thought deeply about my relevance as a woman. Questions arose as I analyzed western archetypes such as the damsel in distress, the virgin, the evil mother, the seductress and the hag. The thought of my daughter’s acceptance of these portrayals as part of cross-cultural convention triggered this resistance.
Evalina Carbonell: My new work, Milk, deals with give and take, as it relates to the female body and motherhood. Using rhythm, breath, effort, and flow, the cast of dancers pour themselves into dance, relating this movement to motherhood. This work was awarded the Ellen Forman Dance Award, which will allow me to further my exploration of the project with Drexel University’s dance ensemble.
FringeArts: How have your interests in or approach to art making changed in the last year?
Ani Gavino: I took the whole year to research and consolidate my thoughts. I also went back home to the Philippines to get close to my ancestors, which was important for the work. I am collaborating with other women to create this vision, such as female filmmaker Jasmine Lynae, poet Lenora Howard, and singer Maya Simone. I want this to be a communal experience not only for the artists, but for the audience members as well.
Evalina Carbonell: In October of 2016, I gave birth to my first child. This past year, learning to balance my career with motherhood has made me value love and efficiency more than ever. Time has become a precious commodity, love has been pouring more outward than inward, and I have learned to make choices more quickly.
FringeArts: Tell us about an instance from 2017 when your interaction with art provided some much needed solace or refuge from outside troubles.
Evalina Carbonell: In addition to creating my own work, I also dance for Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers. During our home season in April 2017, I was extremely sick. I had to perform four shows with a 102 degree fever. Only for art and with imagination was it possible to push through. The experience taught me how strong I could be in the face of trouble. The trouble came from inside me, but my strength also came from there. Going forward, I can remember that strength as I face troubles from the outside. I know that art can carry us all.
Ani Gavino: As a Filipino, an immigrant, and a queer woman of color, the election of Trump became a threat to my existence. Diving into creating art and being amongst artists became my sanctuary. Creating this work reminded me of my own divine power as well as that of my sisters’, giving us a piece of solace.
Gavino + Carbonell
$20 / 90 minutes
Sept 22-24 @ CHI Movements Art Center, 1316 South 9th street