‘Andares’ explores the realities Indigenous people face at the crossroads of modern life and tradition
Woven from ancestral myths and traditional music, Makuyeika Colectivo Teatral’s “Andares” reveals the extraordinary spirit of Mexico’s remote corners and its humblest of inhabitants. With a live musician and inspired actors, the play shines a light on a range of realities — land usurpation, widespread violence, community resistance — that Indigenous people face at the crossroads of modern life and tradition.
In conjunction with Indigenous Peoples Day, the Moss Arts Center presents two performances of “Andares” on Wednesday, Oct. 12, and Thursday, Oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m. Co-sponsored by El Centro-Hispanic and Latinx Cultural Center and the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, the performances will be held in the center’s Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall. The work is performed in Spanish and Indigenous languages with English supertitles, and audiences will be seated on stage.
Three characters detail stories of Indigenous youth growing up in rural Mexico. At times hopeful, other times heartbreaking, they navigate cultural changes and its effects on their families. One character, Maychi, reminisces about tending to the crops with his father, admitting that he never felt a connection to the land like his father and brothers did.
“Even so … I don’t know why, but in my dreams I sometimes see myself returning to my village — once I’m old with a house next to the fields, rocking myself in my hammock, watching how the growing bean plant embraces the corn, tracing drawings on the soil with my finger,” Maychi says. “And dying there, in my hammock, with the scent of the rain over the last embers of the burning field.”
Makuyeika Colectivo Teatral is a theatre company dedicated to creating original works inspired by the narratives and theatricalities of Mexico’s Indigenous people, touching themes of social, cultural, and human value. Héctor Flores Komatsu founded the company after a year-long theatrical search across Mexico’s Indigenous communities as part of his work as an inaugural recipient of the Julie Taymor World Theatre Fellowship.
“Andares” premiered in September 2017 in Cuernavaca, Morelos, and has been featured in dozens of cities, festivals, communities, and villages across Mexico. Internationally, “Andares” has been invited to perform at the Wuzhen Theatre Festival, China; the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan; at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; and New York City’s Under the Radar Festival at The Public Theater. The work was nominated for several honors, including “Play of the Year,” at the 24th ACPT Awards (Agrupación de Críticos y Periodistas de Teatro - Association of Theater Critics and Journalists), and received a grant from the National Fund for the Arts and Culture.
Immediately after the performance of “Andares” on Wednesday, Oct. 12, speak with Makuyeika Colectivo Teatral in a post-performance question-and-answer session moderated by Jacqueline E. Bixler, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures.
Explore where, why, and how campaigns of displacement have taken place, globally, and how Indigenous communities have fought back to preserve their material needs and cultural anchors, during a pre-performance talk, “Land Grabs and Indigenous Resistance” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13 in the Moss Arts Center Cube. Bikrum Singh Gill, assistant professor of political science whose expertise includes global political economy, decolonial theory, and imperialism, leads the discussion. The talk is free, but registration is required.
During their visit to Blacksburg, members of Makuyeika Colectivo Teatral will conduct workshops with high school students and a local nonprofit organization serving Hispanic and Latinx communities and will engage with Virginia Tech students through class visits in programs including Spanish, theatre arts, women’s and gender studies, and the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought.
Tickets for the performance are $25 for general admission and $10 for students and youth 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours.
Paid parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Virginia Tech has also partnered with ParkMobile to provide a convenient, contactless electronic payment option for parking, which may be used at any parking meter, campus parking space, or lot with standard F/S, C/G, or R parking.
If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Jamie Wiggert at least 10 days prior to the event at 540-231-5300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org during regular business hours.