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Arts Eclectic turns the spotlight on happenings in the arts and culture scene in and around the Austin area. Through interviews with local musicians, dancers, singers, and artists, Arts Eclectic aims to bring locals to the forefront and highlight community cultural events.Support for Arts Eclectic comes from Broadway Bank.

'A nice invitation': Angelica Monteiro's 'Narratives of the Migrant Body'


Narratives of the Migrant Body, the new dance and storytelling work from Brazilian-Amazonian interdisciplinary artist Angelica Monteiro, is the first installment of a three-part project called In Between. “This series talks about the relationship between our bodies and borders,” Monteiro says. “And this first part specifically dives into this idea of home and the concept of immigration as an institution in the United States.”

Monteiro says Narratives of the Migrant Body is universal but also very personal. “It comes from, of course, a personal drive and also from everything that we've been hearing and learning about immigration in the United States specifically,” she says. “And there are a lot of stories that are important to share. And everything about me is about storytelling. My work is dance and storytelling and those stories – stories of migration – are important to share, to create allyship and also to dismantle some of those fictions and myths that we have around immigration, specifically here in the United States.”

The upcoming show is produced in partnership with Austin’s ARCOS Dance. “We are a company that works with video, photography, sometimes dance, theater, text, music, [and] interactivity,” says ARCOS co-director Eliot Gray Fisher. “And we put all of that together into a sensorial experience. And that's what Angelica is doing with her work as well.”

Monteiro is also working with a few UT dance majors in Narratives of the Migrant Body. “Some of them are immigrants themselves, others are first generation, and some have almost no connection with immigration aside from generations behind, you know?” she says. “So it's interesting to put all of those perspectives in the same show because… we find similar experiences that [the audience] can hold on to and be like, oh, I connect with this and because I connect with this, I can start expanding my ideas and I can start becoming an ally, becoming an advocate for the health of my community. And the health of our communities is also the health of the immigrant communities.”

One of Monteiro’s goals with this first installment of In Between is to foster more connections between people. “And one of the ways we did that,” she says, “was by breaking the boundaries between the audience and the stage. And we will have a couple of action cards and those action cards will have some prompts. And if the audience sees a certain thing happening on the stage, they have to act based on what their card is saying. So if the card is saying 'move forward,' the audience moves forward. If the card is saying, 'come sit on the table with me and let's have a conversation'… you will do that too. So there are different ways that the audience will be participating in the performance, which means that they will be performing with us. It will be a nice invitation.”

“We are crossing borders,” Fisher adds, “quite literally, between the audience and the stage.”

'Narratives of the Migrant Body' will be performed December 2 and 3 at Motion Media Arts Center.


Mike is the production director at KUT, where he’s been working since his days as an English major at the University of Texas. He produces and hosts This Is My Thing and Arts Eclectic, and also produces Get Involved and the Sonic ID project. When pressed to do so, he’ll write short paragraphs about himself in the third person, but usually prefers not to.
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