Aurora Lagattuta is both childlike and witchlike. Lagattuta has choreographed and performed across The U.S., Europe, and Asia and is presently based in Southern California. Her work has been described as being, “bizarre and beautiful” as well as “transformational” and “otherworldly” by the Huffington Post. Lagattuta has been presented at Theatre Row in New York City, Electric Lodge and Highways Performance Space in Los Angeles, Cindy Pritzker and the Chicago Public Library in Chicago, k77 in Berlin, The New Space in Brussels, La Caldera in Barcelona, Café de las Artes in Santander, Spain and by Malashock’s Engagement Ring, Vanguard Culture and the Mingei Museum in San Diego. She has been awarded residencies at Bali Purnati in Bali, Indonesia; Palacio de Festivales and Forn de La Calc in Spain, Ponderosa in Germany and most recently at Shiro Oni in Japan. She was a P.O.R.C.H. (Ponderosa Ongoing Research Collaboration Happenings) recipient at Ponderosa in Germany and achieved a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012 for her solo, Inside the Whale. She danced for various companies in NYC, Portland, Germany and Spain, most notably with Meg Stuart and Marta Carasco and she holds a B.A. in Theatre from Fordham University at Lincoln Center, NYC. Her solo, Inside the Whale, toured throughout Europe, Chicago, Los Angeles and at the United Solo Festival on Broadway in NYC, where she was awarded, The Best Multi-Media Solo Award and the United Solo Award. The United Solo Award hosted Lagattuta’s solo performance at the United Solo Europe Festival in Warsaw, Poland. She is an Academy Member for United Solo, NYC, a member of the New Space Collective in Belgium and a member of San Diego Dance Connect. She currently is a M.F.A. Contemporary Dance Making and Performance candidate at University of California, San Diego, where she has received the prestigious San Diego Fellowship.
Lagattuta’s highly embodied pieces often use multiple languages, original poetry, abstract narratives, intricate soundscapes, and live sculpture with dance. Her aesthetic vision provides a trancelike dream language that expresses the unique, repressed, and shape-shifting aspects of the awkward, fragile, and permeable individual.
Lagattuta’s current research centers around redefining a collective interactive identity through movement and “re-mything” stories in a modern context. Her dance emphasizes uniqueness and difference as a means to unite, as opposed to divide, her community. She is a dance-maker because she craves creating performances that are a place for personal and communal honoring and in turn, renewal.
Artistic Philosophy and Statement
To dance is to hear our hearts speak – Hopi proverb
I am an experimental, post-modern and interdisciplinary choreographer. I come from an artistic heritage that bears homage to the Judson Theatre Church Group, European TanzTheatre and ConceptTanz Makers, Physical Theatre, Butoh, Commedia Del Arte and Performance Art. I also come from an Italian-Irish heritage and my first performances were Catholic masses that I was apart of as a young girl growing up in inner-city, Chicago. My studies in Dance and Theatre have been coupled with Yoga trainings, research in Hawaiian Shamanism, a residency in Bali to study Balinese Dance, various Vipassana Meditation retreats, Earth-based spirituality practices, Ecology and Energy Work. These contexts have shaped me as an artist and my questionings around the boundaries between performance and ritual, transformation and worship, community and individual.
I agree with physicist, Carlo Rovelli’s concept that a human is more of an “interactive happening” than a separate definable thing and therefore, my work aims to create performances that serve as an intersection of art and inner understanding, albeit abstract, beautiful, and playful. It is act of compassionate exchange, it is generous, it is an offering, it is a communion. It is an act of acceptance, change, and compassion towards our planet and our selves.
My body is of this earth, it is a storyteller and it is my witness. I see the performer as not just someone seen but also as a seer: an observer of the audience and their own “plural identity,” and I play with these roles in the audiences’ interaction and co-creation within the live performance. From this plural sense of identity, my work unfolds with visual and aural textures, trance-like and repetitive dream states, shape-shifting characters and otherworldly environments. Ecology, re-mything, and magical realism often inspire but are not limited to the sources of my subject matter. The poetry of my work stems from a process of becoming rather than escaping my body, my community, and my planet as a human and artistic necessity, ultimately asking how to love again and again.
“ We are born to love as the enabling condition of our best bodily becoming. Dancing is the art, the action, and the practice that teaches us how. Dancing we learn to be the nature that creates through us, and to do so in ways that are responsive to the challenges we face in our personal, social, cultural, natural environments. In all realms dancing teaches us, as much as we can, to let others live as the enabling condition of our best bodily becoming. Dancing is thus an ecological necessity.” Kimerer L. Lamothe, Why We Dance
“We be ice cream and we be screams. We be summer and we be ghosts.” –
Aurora Lagattuta, Inside the Whale