“I remember trying to travel to Singapore for my mother’s 70th birthday in February 2020—a trip that is grueling but routine for my body—I was growing alarmed that my flights kept getting canceled and moved around, especially in Asia because of the sudden drop in demand for air travel. It was unnerving, and COVID-19 was already causing upheavals in my patterns but not others. Wuhan was already locked down and there was already an official outbreak in Seoul, which locked down the day I transited through. My flight out of Seoul was one of the last to depart Seoul for Singapore for the next year.
I didn’t make it in time for her birthday. It was the first time in a long time I didn’t make it back for a big occasion. It was also the first of many more plans that got undone.
Why does something we have been experiencing for close to two years now still feel so uncertain, so limiting, so frustrating, so uncomfortable, so unfathomable, so temporary? In experiencing a different kind of time, what becomes foregrounded? What are we suddenly seeing / feeling / hearing when we didn’t have the opportunity before? What has been the effect on choreography aside from the obvious (not being able to experience choreography in the ways that we are used to)? How has this shift (in the ways that we are using and being with our bodies and people) moved us into spaces, modes, research and interests that we would not have previously envisioned or prioritized? As part of Choreographers’ Evening, I reached out to artists who have deep and varied relationships with choreography, from the Twin Cities and beyond, to make an offering as part of the annual evening of choreography in Minnesota.”
Valerie Oliveiro [flex pronouns] is a queer artist in the performance field, based in the Twin Cities and born in Singapore. She embraces complexity and transdisciplinarity in her practice and creates work using dance and movement as the primary motor for expression. She has performed for Rosy Simas, Jennifer Monson, Morgan Thorson, Pramila Vasudevan and Emily Gastineau. She is one of seven Co-Artistic Directors at Red Eye Theater, an ensemble member with Lightning Rod, and co-runs MOVO SPACE.