Photo collage by Moréna Espiritual of some of the different Afro-Latinx musicians highlighted in Stardust en el Sur (Kafu Banton, ChocQuibTown, Apache, Tego Calderón, El Alfa, Daymé Arocena, Susana Baca, Liniker, Celia Cruz, José Pepe Sánchez, and Mario Bauzá)

A dancer, artist, and organizer, Moréna Espiritual roots their practice in movement. A Dominican artist raised in Harlem, their work draws on their African and Taíno heritage to emphasize themes of ancestral healing, ritual, and the communal. Through their movement, music, and art-making, Espiritual challenges traditional (i.e., Hispanicized and colonial-inflected) notions of Dominican identity.

As part of the online exhibition Cyber Healing, curated by Kiara Cristina Ventura for New York University’s Latinx Project, the artist will be presenting a dance workshop that builds on their movement series Stardust en el Sur. In the past, installments of Espiritual’s series have doubled as music history classes, which link the act of dancing to Afrolatinx music with an exploration of its roots and evolutions. As Espiritual has explained, they started Stardust en el Sur in 2019 “to combat the erasure of Black history within Latinx culture […]; people dance to our music, but they don’t know Black Latinx music.”

Moréna Espiritual, creator and facilitator of Stardust en el Sur (photo by Jendayi Omowale, @caribbeanpoet)

Their workshop will highlight these under-explored Afrolatinx narratives and encourage participants to learn to move with intention. As Espiritual urges, now is a time to consider an urgent question: “How can we participate in [the] care of + through the body in moments of isolation?”

When: November 3, 7–8:10pm EST
Where: online, via the Latinx Project

More info at the Latinx Project  

Dessane Lopez Cassell is a New York based editor, writer, and film curator, as well as the former reviews editor at Hyperallergic. You can follow her work here.