Lilia Leon is a member of Aluna’s family of artists, and we’ve been supporting the development of her work, Perdida, over the past several seasons – through our residencies and our CAMINOS festival.We couldn’t be more thrilled to now support the culmination and premiere of her work as part of the double dance bill ‘Prevailing Voices’ (alongside Aria Evans’ piece link).
We asked Lilia to speak more about her journey toward the production of Perdida:
You’ve been developing Perdida for several years. What’s this process been like for you?
It’s been an epic journey, and the most challenging project I have ever done, which is why it’s taken four years to develop. I had to learn how to work by myself, how to apply for grants, how to self-produce, and find the right collaborators in order to bring my full vision to life. This piece is the first deep personal excavation I’ve undertaken that digs into my fears and my dreams while reaching for the ancestral wisdom of my Grandmothers. I can’t believe it’s really happening, and I am so thankful to all my mentors and friends who have believed in me along the way, like Aluna Theatre.
Photo of Lilia Leon by Aria Evans
What’s the most challenging part of this piece for you? The most rewarding?
The most challenging is building up the stamina that I need in order to perform the 40 mins of dance and spoken word/ text. I am doing daily work to build up this capacity not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually. What helps me ground myself is my knowing that the spirits of my ancestors will be with me every show, so it’s not about me being “good” but about channeling their power. The most rewarding thing is getting to the culmination of this journey and finally sharing these stories with an audience. A piece is not complete until an audience bears witness to the transformation, and I look forward to this exchange.
How did your collaboration with Aria Evans come about? How has working together on this project informed your work?
I reached out to Aria in a moment of frustration and fear that I wouldn’t be able to go on by myself. I needed support and a partner in crime in order to produce and present my work. Aria was about to embark on the same journey of self-producing her solo work- link, so we decided to join forces and support each other. It has been a dream-partnership. Aria and I work like fire and water. We have an amazing chemistry and our work ethic is strong and passionate. We respect and appreciate each other and want each other to succeed.
A double bill featuring: link by Aria Evans & Perdida by Lilia Leon
A DanceWorks CoWorks Series Event
Thursday February 15 – Sunday February 18, 8pm nightly
Scotiabank Studio Theatre, Pia Bouman School
6 Noble St. (Queen & Dufferin)
Arts Worker/CADA/Student $18
General Admission $22
Book online at prevailingvoices.eventbrite.ca
Read more about Lilia on her website.
Photo of Aria Evans & Lilia Leon by Phoenix Rising Studio