Create Culture interview with:
La Romana, Dominican Republic
Writer, actor, theatre director, educator, & Director of Ay Ombe Theatre since April 1986.
CC: Tell us a little bit about yourself
A bit of me…ummmm.
But that’s half of ME
I was Born and raised in La Romana, Dominican Republic. I moved to New York in the early 70s and I feel quite at home in many places on this earth.
I am a working class, black woman, migrant devotee. Formed as an artist by Dominican popular culture and an unending inner-stubborn drive. This journey, this craft, this path, is my religion. This is my sacred way to make sense of this world. My work is a commentary; it’s my side of the dialogue.
I am an independent artist, depending solely on my craft. Needless to say that to continue creating is the everyday miracle. I am so slow in my creative process. And the pace of the so-called art market-art scene-art whatever… is way too fast or not quite of interest to me. Gladly, the constant work on my soul has provided me with an equanimity level to be sane, survive, strive continue and meet others in the similar searches.
CC: What has been a defining moment in your artistic career?
The most amazing moment in my artistic career has been the honor to be selected as teacher. Some professional artists have decided that I am their teacher. They are studying with me the methodology that I have developed, that of the Performance Autology©, which consists of an approach to the creative process from the autobiography of the doer, where the physical and spiritual realms are researched and nurtured. It is simple, profound and concrete: creating from the self, performing the self; an alertness with/of the self, a self-unit of the community. Results, such as performance and dance theatre pieces, videos, and visual arts projects, are already being shared on the international circuit. The work is developing a community –without borders- of independent artists, from various countries, different disciplines, from emerging to seasoned.
In this phase of creation, I received a level of alertness that is about the best in me, and all for the others.
I am teaching what I need to learn. I learn teaching.
CC: How does this manifest itself at your Ay Ombe Theatre retreat?
The classes at the retreat are all imparted by me, unless we have guests teachers for specific forms that I would like the group to explore. These classes are part of my personal training. They have been part of my creative process for almost three decades and make up Performance Autology©. By imparting these classes I revisit the subject with more objectivity. And in the process, I am able to see other awesome possibilities in the body, moved by the soul of the others.
CC: What are you artistic dreams?
Dreams, dreams dreams…I don’t have any.
I dream during the day.
The day is the dream.
I am quite grateful to every person who has made my everyday utopia a very concrete present. Then, the “dream” is very concrete (with faces, names, emails…). I call them Los Constantes! They are always present (even in great physical distance).
Thanks to you (old, new and friends to be), keepers of the dialogue!.
Learn more about Josefina here
Check out the Performance Autology / 6th International Ay Ombe Retreat starting August 20, 2009 in Upstate NY
Profile photo by Jorge Vismara
Photos from the retreat at Infinite Souls Bangalore, India, featuring Andrea Lagos (actor, Chile), Alejandra Nettel (actor/photographer, Mexico/Holland), Ana Maria Cortes (dancer/writer, Chile), Lotta Lagerstrom (choreographer/dancer Sweden)