Armadillos (Little Armored Ones)
Performance + Installation

  • Sep 30 at 12:30pm; Oct 1 at 12:30pm
    Begins at Ho Plaza

  • juanmaldape.com

Armadillos is a trilingual participatory and large-scale puppetry installation performance that addresses the interconnected themes of migration, climate change, and indigeneity. Armadillos are typical of Latin America and have only recently been unpredictably traveling to northern United States because of warmer temperatures in the area. Audiences will be able to crawl inside colorful replicas of the armadillos and find a comfortable bed and pillow. They will hear a musical score that mixes sound of wind and people walking on various surfaces with stories about migrant workers who traveled to Central New York from Central America and the Mexican Yucatan peninsula. Migrants from these areas are also newly traveling to northern United States to seek out work in dairy farms. Armadillos explores the interconnections between what compels people and armadillos to seek out new places as the climate changes and in the face of a changing labor economy that continues to invisibilize indigenous migrant labor. 

Dr. Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University. His research is at the intersection of critical dance studies, illegality and citizenship, and (Afro)Latinx/Latin American cultural production. He’s the former managing director of San Francisco’s Festival of Latin American Contemporary Choreographers. He is also a choreographer and professional dancer whose work has been presented internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in performance studies from UC Berkeley.  

Marietta Synodis is a performative storyteller, telling stories through acting, dance, puppetry, and radio. She worked for the award-winning NPR show State of the Re:Union and is currently producing THIS is Ithaca—a podcast that explores community and the people who build it. Locally she has studied with the Actor’s Workshop of Ithaca and is a member of Lilypad Puppet Theatre. She lives at the Dacha Project, where she is building her own home. 

Lily Gershon, of LilySilly Puppets, is a puppeteer, singer, producer and puppet maker. She has an M.A. in Education  and has taught high school English, as well as Puppet Arts. She performs as part of a  jazz duo and sings in a number of languages. She lives at the Dacha Project, a collective homestead that she co-founded.  

Matthew Ocone is a musician based in Ithaca, NY. In addition to performing on solo classical guitar, he regularly plays with Isaac Sharp in The Dacha Guitar Duo, with violinist Bill Hurley in The Tarragon Duo, and with puppeteer Lily Silly. He lives at The Dacha Project, in Freeville, NY, a sustainable homestead, where he manages a small vegetable farm. For info on his various musical projects, The Dacha Project, and his passion for Hippopotami, you can visit his website, matthewocone.com. 

Azucena Campos Lopez is a clinical psychologist whose main focus has been prevention and intervention of child abuse and neglect. She was born and raised in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. Azucena graduated from the Universidad de Sonora with a B.S. in Clinical Psychology in 2006. After college, Azucena became an international Au Pair in the United States for one year. It was during her time as an Au Pair that she met her husband, and moved permanently to the US in 2009. She has worked mainly in nonprofit organizations involving children’s welfare. Azucena has been dancing from a young age, mainly in folkloric, and contemporary dance. She is involved with the Latino Civic Association of Tompkins County as one of the co-directors of Cultura. 

DJ ha-MEEN is an active performer and music event organizer based in Ithaca, NY, and originally from Detroit, MI. His musical specialties include hip hop, R&B, funk, soul, pop, house, dancehall, salsa, and much more. Being versatile for a wide range of audiences is something he prides himself on. He also recently launched “Between the Decks,” a podcast about DJ culture and community, on which he is a co-host and producer.

Melissa Montejo is a first-generation rising senior from San Diego, CA, studying Agricultural Sciences at Cornell University concentrating in Education and Society and minoring in Education and Latina/o Studies. Her interests include environmental/social justice activism, sustainable/regenerative food systems, and agricultural education. On campus she is active in social and food justice groups such as Anabel’s Grocery, Universities Fighting World Hunger, and the Cornell Farmworker Program. In her free time she plays the clarinet in the Cornell Big Red Marching/Pep Band and is also an active member in Cornell Votes, a nonpartisan voting rights student organization.

Community collaborators include the Latino Civic Association of Tompkins County.

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