The Commons Crit: Megan Yankee Embodies the Agonies and Ambiguities of Assimilation published 6.3.19, written by Stephanie Elizondo Greist and Victoria Bouloubasis
The Commons Crit: Megan Yankee Dances Through the Meanings of Mestizx published 5.28.19, written by Victoria Bouloubasis
The Commons Crit: Megan Yankee Lays Bare the Open Wounds of Border Policy published 5.21.19, written by Victoria Bouloubasis
Inspired by Sandra Cisneros, Gloria Anzaldua, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, and Arnoldo de Leon, Megan is currently developing an autobiographical, evening-length solo work titled, Qué gringa, que gringa which loosely translates to What white girl, that white girl. The dancework is helping her develop movement rituals that reconnect her to her unknown ancestry, as well as explore her adoption, identity, and mixed heritage within the current political climate in the United States. With her story as an anchor, the dancework will also engage audiences in simple, no-stakes choreographic tasks that encourage them to consider and be in dialogue about immigration, heritage, belonging, privilege and power.
Currently this work is made up of three sections:
Billions/Mockingbird (2018) – An arresting excerpt set to a jarring sound score that incorporates the voice of Donald Trump repeating the word “billions,” text in English and Spanish from Gloria Anzaldua’s Borderland/La Frontera, mockingbird songs and poetry from the nauhatl tradition. This excerpt is part durational performance art and part spontaneously composed dancework. In it, the dancer juxtaposes whiteness through restriction of movement and chicanisma through fluidity in order to negotiate her mixed heritage in real-time. In reference to Donald Trump’s visit to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island territory, the dancer produces and hurls paper towel roles into the audience.
Llorona (2018) – A durational performance work in which the dancer prepares and shares guacamole and chips for audiences set to Chavela Vargas’ haunting interpretation of the Mexican folk song Llorona and additional text by Donald Trump.
On the Wretched Narrow (2019) – A relational evening-length solo work in which the dancer invites audiences to reflect and act upon topics including immigration, local politics, assimilation, whiteness, and privilege.
Megan began working on Qué gringa, que gringa in August of 2018. It is designed to become an evening-length interactive solo that incorporates action dialogue with commissioned choreography, and spontaneous composition (improvisation.) Upon completion, it will be presented for Spanish- and English-speaking audiences, only revealing its full form to bilinguals. The goal of the work is to increase dialogue between the two populations as a small-but-mighty antidote to our politically polarizing times.
North Carolina Dance Festival Fall 2019
October 19 in Durham and November 9 in Greensboro. Reserve your tickets here.
The Commons Festival May 30, 2019 Chapel Hill, NC
Excerpt: On the Wretched Narrow
CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio, Carolina Performing Arts
This excerpt is a direct response recent ICE raids in NC and to Sandra Cisneros: “Maybe my job is to be an amphibian so that the water people and land people can understand each other…who better to travel between these two worlds than those of us who are mixed race, or mestizos. We’re the diplomats, the ambassadors, so to speak, during the age of susto [fear].” By contrasting solo dance performance set to text in English and Spanish with simple movement prompts for the audience, Yankee aims to weave an abstraction of her Mestizx story with viewers’ reflections on immigration, borders and mixed heritage. No previous dance/movement experience is required to attend, only a willingness to be in dialogue about these topics.
ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT ERIN BELL OF BULL CITY PHOTOGRAPHY
PROMPTS February 2019 Durham, NC
presented by Justin Tornow
Texas Dance Improvisation Festival 2018 Durham, NC
Columbia Dance and Improv Festival 2018 Columbia, SC