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PRELUDE Festival 2023


Indio Espinosa: A Multitemporal Charrúa Legend

Ciro Chonik Itsaj, Maria Litvan, and Edy Soto

Theater, Music, Performance Art, Other

English, Spanish, Charrúa

1 hour 30 minutes

7:00PM EST

Friday, October 27, 2023

721 Decatur Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11233, USA

721 Decatur Community Garden, 11233 Brooklyn, NY

RAIN DATE: Sat. Oct 28 at 12:00 noon

In case of rain, this event will happen on Saturday 10/28 at 12:00 noon

The Charrúa were the dominant tribe of indigenous people in the region known today as Uruguay. In 1831, Uruguay’s first president, Fructuoso Rivera, led the massacre of Salsipuedes (Get-out-if-you-can) in an attempt to exterminate the indigenous population. Most surviving Charrúas were sold as slaves to wealthy families in Montevideo, separating children from their mothers in order to eradicate their language and culture. Uruguay established itself as a country with no “indians.” Only in the 1990s did descendants of the Charrúa slowly start to reclaim their ancestry and associations were established to fight for recognition of Charrúa lineage and contribute to the recovery and preservation of indigenous culture and identity. In 2004, a group of artists led by Ciro Rodriguez created the Grupo Choñik (now Clan Choñik), a Charrúa collective seeking to recuperate the culture of their ancestors and defend their heritage through performance and ritual.

"El indio Espinosa" is a performance-ritual born out of the spiritual and artistic need to share the story of Ciro’s great-grandfather, a Charrúa. The knowledge shared in this performance-ritual comes from an oral tradition that spans from Salsipuedes (the time of Ciro’s great-great-grandmother) until today. The expression of this performance-ritual is an attempt to fill with presence the space of indigenous absence created by the hegemonic will.

The performance includes a Charrúa full-moon ritual and those in attendance are invited to participate.

Optional - Birthday cake for Stanford at 8pm ( that’s our saxophone player/rapper)

Content / Trigger Description:

The performance includes a Charrúa full-moon ritual and those in attendance are invited to participate.

Ciro Chonik Itsaj (performer) is a ceremonial guide, chief of the Choñik Clan, and president of the Council of the Charrúa Nation. He is also a musician, educator, performer, and actor.

Maria Litvan (director) is a theatre director, writer, and scholar born in Uruguay and based in New York. Besides developing her own work, Maria has collaborated with international companies such as La Fura dels Baus, Brith Gof, and The New Stage Theatre. She is a doctoral candidate in Theatre and Performance at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her dissertation explores the interrelation between absence and presence in performative transmissions in the Americas.
Her scholarly work has been published in TDR: The Drama Review, Performance Research, and BOMB Magazine.

Edy Soto (actor preparation) is a Uruguayan theatre director, actor, and teacher. He emerges within the independent theatre movement and trains in community theatre. He works in public schools, high schools, and cultural centers for the program Esquinas de la cultura (Cultural Corners) of the Intendancy of Montevideo.

Watch Recording

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