Performing Queer Latin@ Loisaida: A Cabaret

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On Friday, May 22, the Losaida Center presents “Performing Queer Latin@ Loisaida: A Cabaret.” This event—curated by Dr. Arnaldo Cruz-Malavé and hosted by Dr. Larry LaFountain-Stokes (aka Lola von Miramar)—will take place at the center at 8:00pm.

From 8:00-8:30pm, the event will feature continuous video clips of performers such as Mario Montez, Holly Woodlawn, Miguel Piero, Miguel Algarín, Carmelita Tropicana, and Marga Gómez. At 8:30 pm there will be live performances by Lola von Miramar (Larry LaFountain-Stokes), Emanuel Xavier, Susana Cook, Jorge Merced, and Karen Jaime.

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Description: Loisaida has a long tradition of LGBTQ Latin@ artistic expression, experimentation and activism, which developed from encounters among racially, ethnically, generically and sexually diverse folks in the streets, parks, restaurants, cafés, theaters, galleries, bars, and cabarets.  Some of New York’s most legendary queer performance artists pay tribute to this tradition and kick off the Loisaida Center’s 28th Annual Loisaida Festival.

Performances by:

Emanuel Xavier is a poet and performer of Ecuadorian/Puerto Rican heritage and an iconic figure of the Loisaida spoken word and performance scenes. He is the author of the poetry books Nefarious (2013), Americano: Growing up Gay and Latino in the USA (2012), Pier Queen (2012), and If Jesus Were Gay & other poems (2010), the novel Christ Like (2009), and the audio spoken word album, Legendary (2009). He is editor of Me No Habla With Acento: Contemporary Latino Poetry (2011) and Mariposas: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry (2008). He appeared on Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry on HBO and has performed in cities throughout the United States, Buenos Aires, Ghent, London, and Paris.

Susana Cook is an icon of the Lower East Side lesbian underground. Born in Argentina, Cook is a New-York-based playwright, performer and director of works in political theater. She has staged 16 original plays, including Hamletango100 years of AttitudeDykensteinSpic for Export, and The Values Horror Show, in venues such as Dixon Place, P.S. 122, W.O. W Café Theater, Ubu Rep, and The Kitchen.

Jorge Merced is an award-winning actor, theatre director, and queer scholar and activist. He is associate artistic director of the Pregones Theater where he has directed plays and performances such as Baile Cangrejero, El Apagón, Blanco, Aloha Boricua, Migrants!, Las facultades, Neon Baby, and Marchers Trilogy and the readings and workshop productions for the Asunción Playwrights Project. His New York directing credits also include Fellini’s La Strada with René Buch, El huésped vacío and The Smell of Popcorn (IATI). As an actor, he is acclaimed for his role as Loca la de la locura [The Queen of Madness] in Pregones’s play based on the writer Manuel Ramos Otero’s short story of the same name, El bolero fue mi ruina [The Bolero Was My Downfall].  He has trained, performed, and directed throughout the U.S. and abroad in Brazil, Chile, Cuba, France, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, and Spain.

Karen Jaime is an acclaimed spoken word/performance artist and poet, an accomplished scholar, and a postdoctoral research associate (2014-2015)/Assistant Professor (2015-) in the Department of Performance and Media Arts and the Latina/o Studies Program at Cornell University. As a performer, she has served as the host/curator for the Friday Night Slam at the world-renowned Nuyorican Poets Cafe, participated in the spoken word documentary Spit!, and was featured in the Emmy-award winning CUNY-TV program Nueva York.  As a poet, Jaime’s work is included in The Best of Panic! En Vivo From the East Village, Flicker and Spark: A Queer Anthology of Spoken Word and Poetry, and in a special issue of Sinister Wisdom: A Multicultural Lesbian Literary and Art Journal, “Out Latina Lesbians.” Her critical writing has been published in Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, in the online journal of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, e-Misférica, and in Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism. Karen is currently working on a book manuscript entitled Queering Poetry in Loisaida: Language, History, and Performance at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.

Larry LaFountain-Stokes (host) is a distinguished creative writer, scholar, and performer. He is an associate professor of Spanish and American Studies at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and author of the bilingual book of short stories and personal essays Uñas pintadas de azul/Blue Fingernails, the performance piece Abolición del pato, and the scholarly study Queer Ricans: Puerto Rican Cultures and Sexualities in the Diaspora. He is well-known for his performance persona Lola von Miramar.

Arnaldo Cruz-Malavé (curator) is professor of Spanish and comparative literature, and director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Institute at Fordham University in New York. He is the author of Queer Latino Testimonio, Keith Haring, and Juanito Xtravaganza: Hard Tails, a book about art and queer Latino popular culture in the gentrifying New York of the 1980s, and coeditor, with Martin Manalansan, of Queer Globalization: Citizenship and the Afterlife of Colonialism. He has been a recipient of the Ford Foundation and the NEH fellowships.

For more information, see http://www.loisaidafest.org/events/event/friday-may-22-performing-queer-latin-loisaida-a-cabaret/

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