I have invited women, ordinary, amazing women to share their story. I love listening to stories about life. And we all have an extraordinary, ordinary story to share. Today a dear sister shares her stories. Please meet Aurora... <3
Aurora Lagattuta, 29 San Diego. Engaged. I am a dance and yoga teacher and creator of BodyBoca.
Heal: my confidence in myself as a dancer.
The Ordinary body holds expression.
I am a dancer, a choreographer, a teacher and a healer. Although, I can say that now with ease, it took me a long time to honor these gifts. As a child, I was so easily identifiable as a performer, a lover of play and an open channel to the unseen. Like so many, I had to think that I loss that part of myself to realize who I truly am and always have been, the extraordinary, ordinary me.
When I was fourteen, my parents hit some hard financial times. I grew up in a big Italian Irish family in inner-city Chicago. As second born of four children, I learned to eat fast so I could get seconds, how to live jammed into one room with two siblings and mostly how to not ask for too much. I loved to dance, loved, loved, loved it. And I excelled at it. By fourteen, I was asked to be in a professional training company, it was a dream come true. However, it was also very expensive and my parents where balancing tuition so we could go to private school as the inner city public school system in Chicago at that time was pretty rough and dangerous. We couldn't afford it. I quit. I auditioned for theatre shows at my show instead and was met with huge success, leads in various plays, theatre award and acceptance to a very prestigious theater university in New York City.
My university in New York had many opportunities for me move and I grabbed them all. I discovered yoga and Butoh and feel in love. I found safe places where I could express my body. All my work continued to revolve around the body and dance. I graduated only to teach yoga and find more places to study dance. I self taught myself most things and this got me surprisingly far, I danced for a few small companies in Portland, OR. Yet, I wasn't satisfied. I wanted to prove that I was indeed a dancer. I wanted a degree, a piece of paper, something to stop the insecure feelings from coming. Because for me, I still was just not quite good enough.
I applied for grad school to get an MFA in dance. Again, the financial situation of my family inhibited the credit on my school's account. I was unable to get a diploma or transcript released. No school. At this point in my life, really a lot of things were going well. I was working and living in Hawaii, I was dancing, I had great friends, but I wasn't satisfied. I was pissed at my family. At a lack, I starting performing my dancing live at open mics and although I was insecure about it, I was met with such positive feedback. I moved people. I did not have the best technique but I had a lot of heart.
This started to open me. Maybe my lack of training was actually a gift. Maybe a part of me chose this situation with my family, chose not to have degrees. Maybe I was enough, just my honest authentic moving self. I made a solo about this new found acceptance called Inside the Whale. I had a successful kickstarter campaign that funded me to dance in Europe. I toured the show throughout Europe and the USA, from Berlin to Barcelona to Chicago to Broadway in NYC. In fact, the show was just awarded a performance in Warsaw in June.
Now, let me tell you, Inside the Whale isn't your typical dance movement, it is raw, honest and from my heart and it has been accepted and loved by many! It's authenticity has moved people. Just me. My ordinary self and body! This whole process of surrendering to myself and honoring the ordinary body led me to make BodyBoca, my dance company that works with dancers of any age and ability. I realized that the part of me that needed healing, that anyone can dance and express themselves in performance regardless of their body type or background, I could share with others.
In BodyBoca I work with groups of diverse dancers for 6 months at a time, in classes and workshops, to empower dancers to honor that beautiful expression that their natural ordinary body holds. It's magical work and I see huge changes in people. Ex-dancers, people who have always wanted to move, people with body image concerns, dance lovers, all kinds of people step into their natural ability to move their body, to dance! As we build connection to our body, we also build a performance. The performance is an incredible opportunity for the dancers to step into owning just how beautiful, powerful and profound their bodies are as they allow themselves to be seen. It's an incredible journey that I have had and it's a joy and gift to now facilitate that for others.
I want to be clear that I'm not bashing trainings or schooling at all. Its all useful tools, but rather I'm promoting expressing your natural body freely, without a desired physical form and seeing what you discovery. Our bodies hold our pain, pleasures, fears, desires, sadness, joy, dreams and powers. A practice I truly love to do daily is to put on some music, breathe deep and listen in to how my body wants to move. And then I just move for sometime. What wants to be released? What insights does my body want to share with me? What does it want me to express? It's a playful moving meditation.
I have a wild big dream that one day people of all ages will gather together and dance for one another. Move their natural body freely and express what they need to. I desire to see more performances that include diversity of backgrounds and ages. I desire to see performance and the act of moving to be used as a healing ritual and rite of passage to help us along the path. Dance your day, dance your love for someone, dance for your ancestors, dance for peace. I want to see a world in which our ordinary body is empowered and seen for its sheer extraordinariness.
Aurora Lagattuta laughs loudly, dreams wildly and waves her hands rapidly when she excited. A choreographer, performer, teacher and creator of dances, interdisciplinary performances and films. She has created works ranging from community projects to ensemble and solo performances for site-specific and theatre venues across U.S.A., Europe and Asia.
She has found a multidisciplinary style that blurs the lines between theatre, dance and post-dance. Her highly embodied pieces often use multiple lanuages, poetry, song, abstract narratives, video and live scuplture with dance and theatrical movement. Her work has been described as being, “bizarre and beautiful” as well as “transformational” and “otherwordly.”
She has been awarded residencies at Bali Purnati in Bali, Indonesia; La Caldera in Barcelona, Spain; Palacio de Festivales and Espacio Espiral in Santander, Spain; and Forn de La Calc in Catalunya, Spain. She was a P.O.R.C.H. recipient at Ponderosa in Germany and achieved a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012 for her solo, Inside the Whale. Most recently, she was awarded the United Solo Europe Award and is being flown to Warsaw, Poland to perform her solo, Inside the Whale.
BodyBoca: Body + Boca (Spanish for mouth) is about honoring the creative expression that every body holds. BodyBoca was created by Aurora in 2013 in Santander, Spain at Espacio Espiral Movement Laboratory with a bunch of free spirited Spaniards making dance performance and video, and has since travelled here to San Diego with Aurora. BodyBoca's mission is to empower participants to listen to their natural body through the creation of authentic community-inclusive dance.
Upcoming show stand tall event page: