Farah Figuereo is a dancer and a performance artist, as well as a resident here at As220. In preparation for the Modern Movements Dance Festival in April, we were able to sit down with Farah and talk a bit about As220 and Dance, as well as Farah’s take on the message behind the Festival.
What was your first experience with As220?
My first experience with As220 was when I went to a poetry slam about a year ago. At that time I didn’t really know what As220 was as a whole organization, but I was first affiliated with the main stage and the diner. I thought the venue was really cool so I just kept going to different events and shows because I wanted to be a part of the community.
How long have you been a resident?
Only from the end of October 2017, so I’m fairly new here by about four or five months. It feels like it’s been longer in the best way possible.
What moves you to dance?
I am a very expressive person, and a very active person, that is why I choose to express myself emotionally through the kinetics of my body. In this way I strive to invoke a visceral reaction from my audience. What defines a performer is someone who can build that connection between their audience and themselves, whereas a dancer might just want to be kinesthetically appealing. I dance to achieve both of these aspects as performer. If my heart isn’t in my performance then it stops being fulfilling for me.
What is the Modern Movements Dance Festival?
The Modern Movements Dance Festival is a month-long festival that will take place in April. It’s going to be from the 9th until the end of the month. There will be workshops as well as artist’s talks for people in the local dance community. Performances will be included which I will be a part of.
You have said before that everyone has their own particular movement that they use to communicate with the world. How are these individual expressions like a dance?
That idea stemmed from trying to figure out what our personal movements mean. There are a lot of types of modern movement which can be seen as a new form of dance. Each of these movements are often hard to categorize, so part of the Modern Movements Dance Festival will be to help better define these movements and translate them in a way that community members and spectators can easily identify. I find in performance that the technique of dance is quite important, but overall it’s the reactions that a performer gets from their audience that are incredibly valuable to achieve. The ways that someone holds themselves is their own movement and their own form of dance. Piecing it together in this way is inclusive for the dance community and draws outside people in which is our overall goal.
Words by Dave H.