Director's Artist Statement
I'm the descendant of Indigenous Peoples (Taíno, Arawaks) from the Americas and the Caribbean by way of Borikén (colonized name Puerto Rico); of African people (by way of Central and West Africa) displaced to the Caribbean against their will, and Portuguese/Spanish. I identify as AfroIndigenous Borikua/ Puerto Rican.
I'm a dance theater artist. In 2007, I founded the dance theater company Danza Orgánica (DO) with a focus on social justice oriented performance and practice. Through DO we share experiences that are underrepresented, as we envision an equitable society free of oppression. Danza Orgánica excavates complex issues through intensive research and collaboration and embodies these findings to create challenging and honest dance theater.
My relationship with dance is filled with risk-taking, love, struggle, curiosity and surprise. I am intrigued by the subjectivity of movement; the way we embody our experiences, and how they become alive for others through our self-expression. I’m equally intrigued by the collectivity of movement, and the power that shared energy creates. My work explores not just the imprint of the world on our mind, spirit, and bodies, but also our agency – both individual and collective – to rewrite our narratives and reinvent our way of experiencing the world within an anti-racist and de-colonial framework.
My dance creations are a reflection of my eclectic training. I combine my training in Modern and Contemporary dance forms, Classical Ballet, Improvisation, Theater, and my deep-rooted influences of Afro Caribbean and Indigenous movement. However, what sets Danza Orgánica apart is that the movement is not easily codified. Our movement is organic; an embodiment of the experiences and emotions we seek to convey.
In addition to creating work for DO, I have created spaces for other artists to develop work and build community through the arts. I am particularly interested in developing containers for self-identified women and gender non-conforming artists as creators, and have consistently organized the annual multidisciplinary arts festival, We Create: Celebrating Women in the Arts.
Massachusetts- Aquinnah Cultural Center (Aquinnah, Martha's Vineyard), Institute of Contemporary Art, Bessie Schonberg Choreographic Residency at The Yard, Jacob's Pillow Dance Inside/Out Festival, Jacob's Pillow's Creative Development Residency, Brown University, Dartmouth College, Harvard School of Law, Museum of Fine Arts, Mobius, The Dance Complex, John Hancock Hall, Green Street Studios, Jose Mateo Ballet's Dance for World Community Festival, Cambridge River Arts Festival, Figment, Boston Center for the Arts, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Mills Gallery (through Boston Center for the Arts), Wellesley College, Roxbury Community College, Spontaneous Celebrations, Third Life Studio, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Hibernian Hall, and the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
NYC- The Brooklyn Museum, Judson Church (through Movement Research), Gibney Dance, Dixon Place, Mark Morris Dance Center, Cloud City, The Far Space, The Flea, SOB's, Spoke the Hub, the State University of NY, Djoniba Dance and Drum Center, Dance New Amsterdam, NYC Dance Parade, University Settlement, HERE, Clemente Soto Velez, Dance Theater Workshop (through Movement Research), and Downtown Arts.
Additionally, Marsha has performed in venues such as: Alvin Ailey, Symphony Space, DNA, New York University, Long Island University, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia), the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and Andanza, in Puerto Rico.