Amerindians: the return is a multimedia performance exhibit in which Cortes — as author, director and primary choreographer — "envisions a future of cross-cultural empowerment, mixing passages between myths, legends and historical events past, present and future," according to production notes. "Composite animated illustrations mix with still images and video, movement on stage generates after effects images, text and sounds on screens. Similarly, still images or video trigger the appearance of live elements and characters on stage. A totem is deconstructed and its parts - masks, symbols and costume - will be worn and manipulated by the dancers. The resulting assemblage of movement intertwining with images is referred to as 'a journey of recovery.'"
The two-part work is based on the Meso-American and Native American calendars that end in 2012 during a major astrological alignment. Many of the cultures also believe this is the time of a "return." For the Aztecs it signals the coming of the Quetzalcoatl, Aztec sky and creator god; while an ancient Cherokee legend tells about the coming of the "Pale One" once again. Incan prophecies say that in this time the Earth will awaken.
Cortés will debut the first part of Amerindians: the return, On the land of the Eagle, Jan. 17-20, 2008. The second part of the project, On the land of the Condor, is slated for a winter 2009 bow.
On the land of the Eagle features original music, spoken word and lyrics by Tiokasin Ghosthorse, John Trudell, Blackfire, Aztlan Underground and opera singer Barbara McAlister.
The multi-disciplinary creative team for On the land of the Eagle includes Lance White Magpie and Gustavo Arias (choreography); Elaine Benavides (lighting, costume and stage design); Luis Garay (illustrations for multimedia); Alessandro Blini-Massiah (totem, objects for stage, masks/body-art design); Kleoni Manoussakis (dancers video and editing); Tristan Ahtone (still images); and sound and video production by Alejo Gordillo. Tickets for Amerindians: the return are available by calling (212) 254-1109 or by visiting www.theaterforthecity.net. The Theater for the New City is located at 155 First Avenue in Manhattan.