Nepantla: Between Worlds

Olga Loya performed at the the History Center last weekend.

Nepantla: Between Worlds

Nepantla: Between Worlds

Frank and Katrina Basile Theater at the HIS, May 1

4 stars

Olga Loya's lyricism is expressed equally in words and

movement. She has a magical ability to manipulate focus, zooming her audience

in for quiet moments and then snapping back to a wide angle shot for a joyful

dance. Nepantla means "between worlds" in the language of the Aztecs. Growing

up in East Los Angeles, Loya had to navigate that space between worlds: Mexican

or American? Subtly manifesting Nepantla, she blends Spanish with immediate

English translations, and she does it so smoothly that it begins to seem as if

the languages are being spoken simultaneously. She weaves in other stories: a

folk tale told by her grandmother; the story of her grandfather's political

exile, as he barely escaped Pancho Villa's wrath during the Mexican Revolution.

Loya collects from her audiences other examples of being in Nepantla. The

length of her growing list indicates why her story resonates so well. This

performance was produced by Storytelling Arts of Indiana.

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