ESTIA Day Fest | Evaluation

Phrases by Rachel Ha-Eun Lee

Look behind you. I’m constructing a house.

Earlier than strolling by the door, the primary set up started on the sidewalk. Dancer Jenna Charko moved effortlessly, luring you to enter the Salvatore LaRussa Studios in New York Metropolis. In contrast to typical efficiency venues, this house resembled a house with its brick partitions, storage door with a dangling basketball hoop, and an out of doors archway. Utilizing the house to its fullest, each hallway, staircase, room, and wall was adorned with imagery, poetry, projections, dance, and visible artwork by native artists. 

ESTIA Day Fest on Might 21, 2023 showcased over 30 artworks, predominantly dance works however different mediums as effectively. It provided a full-day museum-like expertise that allowed attendees to immerse themselves within the intimate work these artists shared.

The primary two hours consisted of assorted interdisciplinary motion installations and dance movies that have been organized all through LaRussa. Many works felt linked to nature and nostalgia resembling Eco-locate by Maxine Flasher-Düzgünes, Edited World by Angelina Laguna, and I Breathed in that Place at That Time by Mayu Nakaya. Some artists showcased a number of works resembling Good to Know We All Don’t Know What’s Taking place by Jenna Charko, who additionally had her portray sequence, The Dancer: Physique As Artwork Object and her movie Precipice on show close by. Archival Log by Ari Lamora was one other artist who showcased a number of mediums, dancing in an entryway subsequent to their portrait photographs titled Purple, captured by Kenneth Osborn. Different notable works that misplaced me in time, included a dance duet within the out of doors house titled Decide Up the Items by Meredith Baughman and Maggie Pleasure, and the set up Pores and skin to Pores and skin by Haley Morgan Miller, who sat on the ground for 2 hours, using their naked again as a projector display for a loop of photographs by Raine Roberts, in collaboration with Kaegan Casey. Nonetheless, the set up that took my breath away was House is… by Kat Almirañez.

The out of doors archway was coated in art work that visually represented responses Almirañez collected to the immediate House is…. The art work included expressions resembling “House is the place I may be myself,” “House is my most popular location,” “Dwelling isn’t right here,” and rather more. On the finish of the archway, the phrases leaped out from the paper, Look behind you, I’m constructing a house. Once you rotated, there was Almirañez stitching photographs, tissues, books, sport controls, and different nostalgic objects onto themself and the paper that they have been coated with. To me, this was the theme of all the competition and ESTIA as a corporation – a house constructed by founders Lydia Perakis and Lola Selsky for artists who want a protected and welcoming place to share their artwork.

After the installations, the out of doors stage house grew to become the middle for the remainder of the day. Opening with three artists, Efrén Olson-Sánchez spoke and sang in English and Spanish in Voces together with Dex McBean and JROSE who delivered spoken phrase performances. All three performers inspired the viewers, however I used to be particularly moved by JROSE’s deep-cut phrases and the repeated affirmations that she had the viewers say along with her.

The stage works present at 3:00 pm introduced twelve various dance performances that ranged from comedic theater to avenue types, up to date dance, and Classical Indian dance. This drew out a large spectrum of feelings for myself and the viewers. Laughter stuffed the air once we watched Ana Moioli eat clementines in What Desires Are Made Of, with Devlin Stark dressed as Hilary Duff in Fanny Unpacked by Ana Moioli, Devlin Stark and Marina Zurita. Love and grief have been felt watching tender actions and listening to sound bites of an interview a couple of cherished particular person in Whereas I used to be Homegrowing by Lucia Gagliardone. Smiles appeared on each face from dancer Jovanna Parks’s chip-eating antics and radiant character in addition to dancer Peter Cheng’s expansive and exquisite solo in We Simply Appear to be Right here choreographed by Jordan Miller and Konverjdans.

After the performances, the artists gathered collectively for a Q and A session with the viewers. 

“ESTIA means dwelling in Greek,” stated Lydia Perakis. “The world wants extra connection. We are able to’t anticipate establishments to offer it to us.”

ESTIA Inventive Dwelling’s Day Fest did precisely what their title entails, they’ve taken issues into their very own palms and have constructed a house for artists to share, be empowered, and create a brand new household.

“Group has been this complete course of,” stated artist Lucia Gagliardone. “That is group.”

Header picture: Ziru Wang. To be taught extra about ESTIA Inventive Dwelling, go to their web site at or Instagram at