Josefina Baez

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Josefina Baez
Josefina Baez.jpg
Baez at a performance of Dominicanish. Harlem Stage (NYC), 2009
Born Dominican Republic
Occupation Performance artist, theatre director, educator, writer, Poet.
Years active Since 1986, as director of Ay Ombe Theatre
Website
http://about.me/josefinaBaezAyombeT

Josefina Baez (La Romana, Dominican Republic/New York), actress, writer, director and educator, is the founder and present director of Ay Ombe Theatre Troupe (estd. 1986). Baez is best known for her performance texts Dominicanish , Comrade, Bliss Ain't Playing and " LEvente no. Yolayorkdominicanyork.

Baez describes herself as "a performer-writer-educator-director whose work explores the present and its encounters with the past and future."[1] Baez has been involved with multiple theatre festivals and travels globally conducting Ay Ombe workshops and theatre retreats.

Works[edit]

Josefina Baez3.jpg

Written[edit]

  • Dominicanish
  • Comrade, Bliss ain't playing and its English and French issue, translated by Sophie Mariñez:[2] Comrade, Bliss ain't playing/Comarade, Le bonheur ne joue pas
  • Dramaturgia I & II
  • Como la Una/Como Uma (in Spanish & Portuguese)
  • Levente no. Yolayorkdominicanyork.

Baez's works have been published in Forward Motion Magazine (NYC), Brujula/Compass (Latin American Writers Institute (NYC), Ventana Abierta (University of California), Tertuliando/Hanging Out (Anthology of Dominican women writers in New York), Vetas (Dominican Republic), Caribbean Connections: Moving North (NECA/Washington, Dominicanish (NYC) and the Beacon Press 2001 Anthology. .[1]

Dominicanish has been performed several times internationally over the last ten years. The text has also been translated into Bengali.

Themes[edit]

Baez's works deal with themes like racial and ethnic identities, global concerns, spirituality and psychology. In her own interpretation:

Sound and silence movimiento y quietud

Movement and stillness sonidos silencios

All colors All textures las gamas de los colores

Swimming in all possibilities texturas melodias

en encuentros posibles

[3]

A review of Comrade, Bliss ain't Playing describes the work as "an intimate journey dressed up with a beautiful vulnerability"[4]

Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz has said of Baez:

Josefina Báez has been breaking open hearts and re-ordering minds for more years than I care to count. She is one of North America's finest artists and she is, without question, one of my favorite writers. She is a sword bathed in flame, she's a marvel. Levente no.Yolayorkdominicanyork is her finest work yet.

[5]

Performance Autology[edit]

Josefina Baez has also created a system of art, based on her own learning, called "Performance Autology". It has been described as:

"It approaches the creative process from the autobiography of the doer. Technically kept to the core, this path is developed in sobriety. The physical, mental and spiritual realms are researched and nurtured. Sources in this study includes theatre biomechanics, yoga, meditation, calligraphy, world dance, music, literature, theatre, popular culture, tea culture, video arts, social, health and healing sciences, among others."[6]

Retreats[edit]

Baez and Ay Ombe organize theatre retreats internationally. Ay Ombe Retreats have already been held at:

  • Christchurch, New Zealand: February 2004;
  • Pirque and Miravalle, Chile: February 2005, April 2006, November 2007;
  • Bangalore, India: January 2009;
  • New York State: August 2009.
  • Black Mountain, North Carolina 2013, 2014

Performances[edit]

Baez at a performance of Dominicanish. Harlem Stage, NYC. November 2009

Baez's 2009 performance of Dominicanish marked its 10th anniversary and took place at Harlem Stage, New York from November 6–8, 2009.[7][8][9]

It deals with issues of migration and absorption of new cultures. Baez draws heavily from her own experiences as an immigrant from the Dominican Republic. The one-woman play is directed by Claudio Mir and was accompanied by trumpet music by Ross Huff.

The performance, which went under the title "OM is 10" was followed by an academic symposium "Dialogue Dominicanish" organized and co-ordinated by Esther Hernandez (Brown University). Participants included: Conrad James (Birmingham University, UK), Arturo Victoriano (University of Toronto, Canada), Danny Mendez (Michigan State University), Sophie Mariñez (CUNY Graduate Center), Nestor Rodriguez (University of Toronto, Canada), Merle Collins (University of Maryland, USA) and Percy Encinas (Universidad Cientifica del Sur, Peru).[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.womenarts.org/network/profile_1398.html
  2. ^ "'Comrade, Bliss ain't playing'". blurb.com. Retrieved March 14, 2012. 
  3. ^ http://www.ayombe.webs.com/
  4. ^ http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewwork.asp?AuthorID=87481
  5. ^ "Levente no.Yolayorkdominicanyork – A Reading With Josefina Báez This Friday". The Uptown Collective. 
  6. ^ http://ayombe.webs.com/josefina.htm
  7. ^ http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Harlem_Stage_Presents_10th_Anniversary_Performance_of_DOMINICANISH_116_20091105
  8. ^ http://www.harlemonestop.com/event.php?id=7827
  9. ^ http://www.harlemstage.org/calendar/details/12-dominicanish
  10. ^ http://www.themagdalenaproject.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=1373