Transformation: Luis's 30th Birthday


On April 16, 2015, I attended FSU Dance MA 15’ Luis Lopez-Maldonado’s birthday party, and graduating thesis exhibition/performance installation at the Museum of Fine Arts at FSU. Having the complete experience of the show in my mind, I have to say that I liked it very much, and through a series of choreographies and performance work, I am a little bit closer to understanding Luis’ mind.

The program started with “Abuso Bello,” a solo act choreographed and performed by Luis. He was wrapped in a semi-transparent cloth, that was loosely wrapped around his body while he communicated to the audience through dance moves. After that, “I Am Still Here,” a video installation, was shown to the audience. It consisted of Luis standing in the middle of a room, while strangers stuffed different accessories onto his body. In the end, he transformed into what seemed to look like a beast. It was both funny and scary.


Later on, “SOLA (O)” began, and it was a series of 3 parts, and it involved a lot more dancers. All the dancers were dressed in wedding dresses, which they flawlessly danced in. By the end of the 3 parts, all the dancers had taken the dresses off, and only wore slips and nude leotards. I think this was the most exhilarating and successful part of the show, because the music, the moves, and the expressions really captured the viewer.

The last part “Letting Go: Birthday Haircut” included an actual haircut, given by lucky members of the audience. This was the most astonishing part of the performance, as his physical look changed. At the end, Luis presented a poem that revealed a lot of personal anxieties and thoughts. It was a successful event, and his work fits into a contemporary context because he pushed the boundaries of performance by changing his own appearance and presented himself in a wedding dress. It was a shocking performance, and I enjoyed it. He presented himself very well to the audience, while not having fear of showing his ideas.

At the end of the party, everyone sang "Happy Birthday."

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ALL Photos © Melissa Artieda Photography

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Tallahassee, FL