Teresa Cuevas: On Taino Calling and Ritualistic Healing

Choreography Fellow 2018-2019

ws_11282011_4129Teresa Cuevas began her training intensively at the Professional Performing Arts High School, where she performed with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She continued her education at Hunter College where she attained her degree in dance and was awarded a scholarship to attend the Corvino School of Ballet. Teresa has studied many forms of dance and has taught and toured throughout the United States. A few of her teaching credits include Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Hunter College, The Gateway School, The Department of Parks and Recreation and The Hudson Guild.

Teresa Cuevas is also the Artistic Director of the IndoRican Multicultural Dance Project. Formed in 2009, this nonprofit organization is dedicated to celebrating the cultural diversity of New York City and its inhabitants. The IndoRican Multicultural Dance Project believes that education truly is the key for worldly accord. They proudly present celebrations of multiple backgrounds, with family friendly concerts. The company were the recipients of a Partnership for Parks grant for 2018 to present their signature piece Taino Reign. The company’s performance credits include The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Theater, The Secret Theater, Pearl Theater, Kumble Theater, Wings Theater, Webster Hall, and a variety of workshops within the public and private sectors of education.

During her fellowship year, Teresa was able to perform her piece, “Taino Calling Song”, at multiple venues including St. Charles Jubilee Senior Center, Dixon Place, Hudson Guild. She was also the recipient of the Fort Tyron Trust Grant which led to the performance of this piece followed by a drum circle in the park for young children to also learn about the power of movement and music. 

What is the relationship between dance and medicine?

” There is movement in everything that is living. From the Earth rotating on its axis, to the wind that assists the leaves in the trees. Movement brings growth, circulation, and rebirth to vacant spaces. Medicine has the same capacity- whether its stem cell research, or the science that brings prosthetics to people who need them. Natives believe dance is “good medicine”- and dance is just movements around our own axis.”

– Teresa Cuevas

How do you believe dance can improve medical care?

” I teach seniors on a weekly basis, and many of my seniors are on medication. Traditional arts improve cognitive function, gross motor skills, promotes socialization and improves mood. Many individuals can benefit from arts and medical science combined.”

-Teresa Cuevas

Choreography Project: Taino Calling on Ritualistic Healing

Taino Calling song is a ritualistic folk dance that has been inspired by El Cordon. It is a community based circle dance lead by a female elder. When we enter the path into this world, we may come across hardships and illness. Taino Calling Song knits our communities together for healing, support and amends within individuals and groups. Participants in the dance wear red and white as symbols of faith, sharing and purity. All participants must first cleanse themselves by dipping their hands in an herbed water and placing themselves in the space. The female elder invites all to dance individually. The circles in the piece represent life, restoration and the common thread of connectivity as humans.

Tainopromo
Taino Calling Promo Video. Please click icon above.
Taino Calling: Final Dance Piece
Taino Calling Final Dance Piece. Please click on the image for the beautiful performance.

 

Dancer Testimonies on Creating This Piece

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