Events

A Roving Performance Art Festival Works to Break Down Binaries

The 2018 edition of the Itinerant Performance Art Festival features works that imagine alternatives to conventional, binary identities and categories.

Jana Astanov (photo courtesy of the artist for ITINERANT 2018)
Jana Astanov (photo courtesy of the artist for Itinerant 2018)

The 2018 edition of the diverse, cosmopolitan, and — true to its name — roving Itinerant Performance Art Festival is in its second and final week as it makes its way across all five boroughs. After Sunday’s program at Staten Island Arts and yesterday’s symposium at La Guardia Community College, the festival continues at the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (today), Smack Mellon (Wednesday), the BMCC Theater Program (Thursday), and the Kockdown Center (Friday).

The Itinerant Festival’s varied programming (curated by artist Hector Canonge) boasts a unifying motif befitting a year that thus far has been defined by political divisiveness and seemingly unbridgeable chasms between  this year’s works all explore alternatives to binary identity constructions, whether pertaining to gender, identity, nationality, or other categories.

Through live performances and videos, the festival boasts performing artists working in a range of idioms, from pieces informed by the aesthetics of experimental theater, contemporary music, clowning, and more. As Hyperallergic critics noted last year in writing about Itinerant, “such series are often impossible for any one person to write about and see in their entirety. The sheer scope, on the other hand, allows for an impressive showcase of expression.” This year’s program is no less sprawling, but for my money the most alluring program is Thursday evening’s at BMCC, which boasts pieces by the US artists Irene Chan and Sierra Ortega (United States), Taiwanese performer Pei-Ling Ho, Qinza Najm from Pakistan, and the Puerto Rican artist Kevin Quiles Bonilla dealing with identity, power, and violence.

When: nightly through Friday, May 25
Where: Various locations

Verónica Peña (photo courtesy of the artist for ITINERANT 2018)
Verónica Peña (photo courtesy of the artist for ITINERANT 2018)
Carl Lawrence (photo courtesy of the artist for ITINERANT 2018)
Carl Lawrence (photo courtesy of the artist for ITINERANT 2018)

More info at the Itinerant Performance  Art Festival.

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