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‘In-Between’ a performance on being an international citizen

The UTEP Theater and Dance department has a new production titled “In-Between,” stylized as such. The production is a dance concert reflecting on immigration, choreographed by Daralyn Sourlock  and Sandra Paola Lopez-Ramirez, who is also the director.

With this production, Lopez-Ramirez explained how it means to be an immigrant living in the U.S. but going back to the previous life before becoming an immigrant. Elaborating on being an immigrant and migrating to the U.S., one may feel  they live “in between” their home  country and the U.S.

“I’m not from here,” said Lopez-Ramirez. “As an immigrant, you always feel you are in between cultures, in between lifestyles, and ways of being.”

Like every production that Lopez-Ramirez creates, “In-Between,” is very personal to her. While getting the production together, she became a citizen of the U.S. Applying for citizenship and going through the interview was a satisfying experience in relation to the production.

The November show is based on the in-between feelings that many individuals have with life experience. Lopez-Ramirez’s goal is to let the audience have an experience with how it feels to be in middle of personal feelings and life experiences; not quite conquering them or without problems at all.

The cast was a target of intergenerational members in order to bridge the gap between older and younger generations, which is what is lacking in today’s society. Members of the cast range from high school students to a 60-year-old actor, with UTEP students making up the majority of the cast.

Each member was picked in the spring and began working in the summer. The cast members were asked to interview family members or friends about what immigration means to them, writing their answers down in a journal. Lopez-Ramirez wanted the cast to be fully in-tune with their performance.

“To me, the topic of immigration, affects everyone in a particular way,” Lopez-Ramirez said.

The production consists of eight movements which are known as sections. Each section is created with different elements of what the director wanted to leave in the audience’s imagination. The show not only talks about the topic of immigration but many other topics that individuals may struggle with such as gender, race and our self-identification.

There are actors that dress up in drag to give a real life feeling out what it means to be “In-Between” with gender identity. In another movement, there are women, with mustaches, representing the strong woman in society. The main goal of this section is to let the audience know that just because they are women does not mean that they are weak but can be as strong as a male.

The production deals a lot with contrast. For example, many of the dancers are traditional dancers such as ballet, tap and some jazz. In this production, the director didn’t want traditional dancing but a contrast type of movement that displays the weirdness of the dance concert.

“I think it’s really important to celebrate weirdness in everything we do,” Lopez-Ramirez said.

Lopez-Ramirez collaborated with Christopher Reyman of the UTEP Music Department to have sound throughout most of the performance, adding contrast with non traditional choreography.

This production appears that it may relate to everyone in the society. with performances that focus on important topics in the world today.  Such as immigration and gender identity, it gives the audience a chance to relate other individuals that may not be like them.

The concert premiers at Studio Theatre on Nov. 1, with shows through Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. There is a double show with times at 2:30 p.m and 7:30 p.m and a 2:30 p.m. show on Nov. 6. Tickets can be purchased the day of the show or at the box office at 915-747-5118.

Shericka Lawrence may be reached at [email protected].

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‘In-Between’ a performance on being an international citizen