(HERE Artist Residency Program)

The Meal Ximena Garnica & Shige Moriya

Show Description

Multidisciplinary artists Shige Moriya and Ximena Garnica will create The Meal. Part performance, part installation, part concert, and part dinner, The Meal is a choreographic ritual of preparing, serving and eating together. The Meal juxtaposes the minimalism of a Japanese tea ceremony against the imagined excess of a Dionysian rite. It exposes the audiences to a barrage of sensorial stimuli while creating a space for silence and mindfulness. It is a poem for the senses, a quest to endow a meal with meaning. The Meal is directed, choreographed, and designed by Ximena Garnica and Shige Moriya featuring the LEIMAY Ensemble with music composed by Thea Little. 

Work photo by Jaul Jalube
Artist Headshots by Jonas Hidalgo

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Artist Bio

Colombian-born Ximena Garnica and Japan native Shige Moriya are a multidisciplinary duo creating collaborative works ranging from sculptural, video, light and mixed-media installation art, to contemporary performances, publications, and research projects.

Since 2001, Garnica and Moriya’s works have been presented at leading arts venues such as BAM Fisher, HERE, The Brooklyn Museum, Japan Society, The Czech Center, The New Museum in New York City; Robert Wilson’s The Watermill Center; The Asian Museum of San Francisco, and The Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, among many other institutions in the US and abroad in Japan, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Mexico and Colombia.

Ximena and Shige are based in Brooklyn at their live-work space, CAVE. They are the co-founders and artistic directors of LEIMAY and the LEIMAY Ensemble. Through LEIMAY they spearheaded a variety of programs at CAVE including international and local performance festivals, residencies, fellowships and educational projects. The LEIMAY Ensemble, is a group of six dancers and performers who work throughout the year with Ximena and Shige to create body rooted performances and develop LEIMAY LUDUS, the theory, practices and aesthetics behind Shige and Ximena's works. The current members of the LEIMAY Ensemble are Masanori Asahara, Derek DiMartini, Omer Ephron, Mario Galeano, and Krystel Mazzeo.

Thea Little (Composer) is a Brooklyn-based performer, choreographer, musician, and composer. Thea has been composing music since she was 5 years old and she has made music for her own choreography as well as for Joya Powell: Movement of the People Dance Company, Gerard and Kelly, Karen Harvey Dances, and LEIMAY. Although Thea is a self-taught composer, she advanced her studies in New York with Michael Wall in 2000 and Huang Ruo in 2010. Thea received her BA from Columbia University and a MFA from Hollins University, Thea attended the School of American Ballet for six years where she performed in ballet productions with The New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and The Royal Danish Ballet. Thea was Music Director to Shen Wei Dance Arts during the making of the internationally acclaimed Map for the Lincoln Center Festival, set to Steven Reich’s The Desert Music a intricate and layered 43-minute score.  

Artist Statement

Cultivating a space for self-transcendent interactions within social practices is very important to us, especially at this moment of political tumult and broken self-ethics. For us as Japanese-born and Colombian-born artists, as a working couple, and as domestic partners, sharing a meal together has been vital to our relationship. Many times through a meal we transcend our cultural, religious and political backgrounds, and we find the ambiguity and sense of harmony we often look to expose in our artistic works.

In our work, we consider the body, at times dancer, actor or performer, to be a material entity along with other materials such as light, strings, and objects. We create work to expose the body as a material entity, as a presence full of dualities and ambiguities. A presence that can transcend the self to give us a glimpse into a hidden domain of infinite potential that is ultimately inexpressible. And yet, it is full of force and power. Václav Havel once spoke about self-transcendence as the only path to coexistence in today’s multicultural world. “Transcendence as the only real alternative to extinction;” his words resonate deeply with us. We are interested in what lays beyond our personal self, beyond the individual with a social identity. We often question how a body can exist and connect with its environment when it is stretched out of its social existence. Our work is rooted in questions of being, perception, and relationships, and aims to unveil moments of connection – between bodies, materials, sound, and light – by illuminating the in-between. The Meal hopes to manifest the in-between in the perceiver as an experience of spatial and temporal connections.

People around us increasingly eat alone, no longer adhering to specific times where families or communities would gather together. Recently, the rhythm and communality of sharing meals has been replaced by fast meals. We aim to create an experience that heightens the audience's perception and nurtures a spirit of communality. The human is the only animal species that surrounds its food with rituals and takes account of hunger among others who are not direct relatives. Eating together around a specific area makes us human. We aim to elevate this sense of humanity in a world with much need for compassion and mindfulness. 

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