PMA Podcast Episode 55: The Alien Commons with Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz

In this episode, Leah and Chris welcome back PMA assistant professor Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz to discuss PMA’s upcoming event, The Alien Commons: Dance and Performance Beyond Citizenship.
The Alien Commons is a two-day event bringing together seminal artists making performances related to themes of borders, citizenship, and (im)migration—both legal and “illegal.” Featured artists include Tanya Aguiñiga, Zoë Klein, Gabriel Mata, and Liliana Gomez. Activities include an artist symposium and performance showcase.

PMA Podcast · Episode 55 - The Alien Commons

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Chris Christensen  0:11 

Hello, I'm Christopher Christensen. Welcome to Episode 55 of the PMA Podcast. In this episode, Leah and I welcome back assistant professor Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz to discuss PMA’s upcoming two day event, The Alien Commons: Dance and Performance Beyond Citizenship. Welcome back. Leah. Good to see you again. Last time. Go ahead.

Leah Ingalls 0:32

Hello. Good to see you. Good to see both of you.

Chris Christensen  0:37

We've got Juan Manuel back.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  0:39

Thank you.

Chris Christensen  0:40

First time since The Wild Gather.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  0:42

In the fall!

Chris Christensen  0:43

In the fall.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  0:44


Chris Christensen  0:45

And the last time Leah and I convened with Fannie Massarsky we were both slightly sleep deprived. Is that true for today as well for you?

Leah Ingalls  0:54

I am actually relatively well rested.

Chris Christensen  0:57

I caught the last mouse in the house last night.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  1:01

Is that what kept you up?

Chris Christensen  1:02

Uh, yeah.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  1:03

Oh, I'm sorry.

Chris Christensen  1:04

No, it's all right. It, we got the proper Have a Heart Trap, and I think we've got the last one. I set it free far from, far from home this morning. So maybe better sleep tonight? Yes.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  1:15

I hope so. Like 30 miles or something, don’t you have to? Nine miles or something. There's something very specific.

Chris Christensen  1:19

Is it really that far?

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  1:20

I think it has to be a significant amount, cause they will ease around the corner.

Chris Christensen  1:24

Then I will be hearing the mouse again this evening.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  1:27

Yeah. Did you measure the distance?

Chris Christensen  1:29

It was not that far. I would say three miles tops.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  1:33 

Okay, maybe, maybe I'm wrong. I thought it was some, you know, astronomical difference between three and nineteen. Because they’re some smart beings.

Chris Christensen  1:43 

I should have gotten like a little tag for it to wear so I could know that it's the same one coming back because otherwise it might just look like the same mouse.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  1:50

Yeah, yeah.

Chris Christensen  1:52

I'll let you know tomorrow.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  1:53 

Yeah. Okay. Well, I hope I hope you let us know that you slept through the night.

Chris Christensen  1:58 

Okay. You certainly will. Moving right along. Leah, what are we doing here today?

Leah Ingalls  2:03 

Today we have Professor Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz discussing The Alien Commons. Profe, you do you care to share a little bit about, about this event? And just give an overview to the audience about it.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  2:19 

Yeah, so I'm really just, first, thank you for giving me opportunity to come in and hang out with the two of you. It's always good to be in the studio, the small studio.

Chris Christensen  2:25

Yeah, the small studio.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  2:26

The small studio. Yeah, I'm excited for this event. The Alien Commons is a two day, a two day gathering that includes a symposium and a performance of bringing in four artists whose work I really respect. Bringing in Tanya Aguiñiga, Gabriel Mata, Zoë Klein and Liliana Gomez. They are artists who are going to come and talk about issues such as immigration, citizenship, borders, and gender, and I want them to also just talk about from their experience. So the symposium is going to be featuring them. They’re, they’re artists whose work I followed for at least over 10 years. So I've known, I've presented some of their work. And then also I've asked two of them, Zoë Klein and Gabriel Mata, to actually do a showing or excerpts of some of the work that I've seen in the past that I think will invite people to just start to question or give, get new vocabulary about what the event is. But I wanted to have a talking component and a showing component because I think those are nice ways for people to engage content.

Chris Christensen  3:28 

So what's that going to look like? What's the talking component all about?

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  3:32 

Well, the talking component really involves with the artist coming to talk about 15 minutes, you know, they each get 15 minutes to talk about their work on Thursday. And to help us understand and how they situate their work. I think that's one of the important, you know, we invite artists, you know, we can talk about their work, but it's also have them talk about their own work. So they’re just going to talk about it. And then after that, I'm going to facilitate a 30 minute discussion about some common themes that I see in their work. So, their work is being featured in my current book project. And actually, The Alien Commons is the title, the working title for my book, and something that I hope to contribute to performance studies, Latinx studies, as fields. And so I'm going to ask them whether they agree or not, obviously, about this term, and if it makes sense for their work to be described as such. And in asking these questions, I hope to say, hey, look, these are some of the themes that I see that unite your work. For, you know, these are the parameters in which they fall. And do you agree with this term? Does it make sense? Because I also don't want to assume that me describing their work in a certain way, you know, feels appropriate, and that's probably what I'm trying to do. And then on Friday, you know, during the showing, they'll do their performance, Zoë and Gabriel, and then afterwards, the artists will just hang out and talk with the audience.

Chris Christensen  4:53 

Where's the name come from, Alien Commons?

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  4:55 

Well, The Alien Commons comes from me being unsettled for many years about how folks, we talk about immigration, both at a popular level or also at a very specific academic level. Oftentimes, folks talked about immigration, and folks who are specifically what are considered illegal or undocumented, and refer to folks as sort of living in the shadows. And I didn't, that kinda didn't make sense to me. Because, you know, undocumented workers are integral parts of the many, many economies, right. And so I was trying to find a way to describe the dynamic elements of way in which community members who are described as such are actually very much part of everyday life that we do, right, not separate. And so The Alien Commons sort of developed from an idea that I think says, like, yeah, folks are identified, you know, as either legally, you know, as alien, any, because any person who is not a citizen, by default has the term alien in the US for legal purposes, right. And in immigration discourse, there's oftentimes this sort of aversion to like, Oh, you don't want to call someone alien or illegal alien because it has a negative connotation. And so I want to work with that negative connotation, because some of these artists are actually, they're reclaiming that term. And it's not something that's new that's happening right now. And so, but working with some of the artists who have reclaimed the term, working through the negativity, and actually seeing it as a sight of affirmation. And the commons part just refers to the sociality, the way in which it's a multitude of people. When we talk about immigration, specifically undocumented, or illegal immigration, we know it gets represented as sort of an invasion of the masses. Undo cumented But I actually think that there's a sociality, because there are a lot of people who are. But it's, they're not just isolated communities. Some of those family members, some of those members have family members who are mixed citizen. You know, they're mixed status, meaning that they’re citizens, they're on visas, they’re permanent residents. And so the commons to me, sort of gestures towards that. The idea of the multitude, the idea of many people gathering, and I like the collectivity. And so that's where the term The Alien Commons comes together, as a way to, as a sociality of folks who are united to work within the confines of citizenship. And in, for some of those artists, like actually reclaiming the term alien. But also knowing that, you know, it's not an isolated people. It's folks who are, you know, who are us, who are among us. And hopefully, that,that term, helps gives us a language to talk about it, and especially, you know, at a time where there is an election coming up this year, a presidential election. So folks are referring to it as the immigration election.

Chris Christensen  7:47

haven't heard this.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  7:49

Yeah. And so, because it's such a contested topic right now. And both top, you know, running candidates, you know, President Biden, and then also former president, and, you know, and top, top candidate Donald Trump, you know, they want they went out to Texas, recently, and sort of competing for the public attention for how they're approaching immigration, right? And so that, the way in which those discourses or those conversations often get discussed, I think it's very binary. And so my contribution with the symposium and the, where everything comes, hopefully contribute and give folks some language. But then also, to identify that performance is so important, you know, for helping us think about new ways for discussing these issues. Obviously, I've chosen artists, who are themselves either formally undocumented, are citizens, or have temporary protective status, and who have various different categories of legality, to talk to those different experiences, not to assume that, oh, we know when we're talking about immigration work, you know, that each artist has the same experience . They don't. And so hopefully, by bringing these artists together, and talking about these different experiences will also help us think about the presidential election that might be coming up and hopefully have students here at PMA and at Cornell, develop some specific language for processing these discourses that oftentimes get very polarizing, and be able to look at performances and to help usher in those questions.

Chris Christensen  9:20

Okay, thank you.

Leah Ingalls  9:23 

And you mentioned that these are artists that are chosen very purposefully. Is there anything you want to share about the backgrounds and the differing approaches that these artists have to their work? Like individually?

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  9:35 

Yeah, for sure. Yeah. So one of the things that is remarkable is that there is just abundant field of what some folks called sort of undocumented cultural production. These are performances, drawings, visual artists, poets who are talking about undocumented experiences, right. And it has been covered extensively, popularly and academic settings, especially literature and poetry and visual art, but very few give attention to dance and choreography. And so, I chose to focus artists, focus on artists who centered dance as a primary experience for sharing their experience of coming across sort of different immigration statuses or citizenship. And these artists are very diverse in range and the type of dance, it's not just one genre or one form, you know. We have Tanya Aguiñiga, who is also principally, she's a craft artist. So she builds furniture. But she also builds sort of these wearable technologies, these wearable clothes, and so she emphasizes a lot on the way in which the body becomes a site for internalizing the material conditions, right? And how can you create new environments. So that's pretty exciting. But we also have someone like Zoë Klein, who trained in circus ,and so she does a lot of aerial work, and works with a lot of fabric. And Zoë Klein is an international indigenous adoptee, which means she was adopted in from Colombia, by Jewish US parents in New York. And so, she's using circus and dance in the modern dance genre, to talk about the precarity of that condition, not to be indigenous from Colombia, but not really quite fitting in to indigenous conversations in the US, but also not being fully citizen, to talk about those conditions. And quite literally showing that through a form that's inherently, you know, precarious. I mean, she's hanging, you know, fifteen, sixteen feet above the air to help tell these stories, right. And, you know, you have a couple of, you know, the other artists like Liliana and Gabriel, who work in dance forms that would be considered more concert, modern dance, contemporary dance forms, but they do it in such a way where they're bringing in multilingual, so they do talking dances, so they also speak in English and Spanish and multiple languages. And this range of artistic expression is both exciting because it means that you know, they share, they share a commitment to using dance, to talk about immigration or borders or citizenship, but it doesn't have to look the same. But what unites them, I think, for me, is their desire to help us think about how do we move with an attention to difference? And by that, you know, these artists sort of get, pay attention and invite us to pay attention to how people are allowed to move across borders. But quite literally, like when you come to a port of entry, are you asked, Are you a citizen? Are you an immigrant? How long are you staying right? Or if you choose not to go through the port of entry, and you go through a different route, like you come in on a visa, then you overstay the visa. Or in the case of Zoë Klein, where she didn't have a choice, she was adopted as a child, and came to the US but wasn't immediately given citizenship, even though she was adopted by citizen parents. They all compel us to think about, well, how does our, how do these legal labels from citizen to alien, and everything in between shape how we move every day? Right? And so, we're not you know, they're not just talking about our identities as something that is something we have a claim to. They also compel us to think like how we move says a lot about our identities and, and how we're allowed to move, right, depending on whether your immigration status says you can, or if you're a citizen, there are some liberties afforded through that label about movement where you can move, you know, leave the country easily. You can come in. So there's a choreographic component to the way that citizenship functions, and that's one of the things that I’m both going to present, do a little short introduction with all the artists, when they talk at the symposium is how can we use choreographic thinking, to help us think about immigration and citizenship? And these artists do it so well in their artistry, but they also ask pressing questions, right, about how our sense of movement is already dictated or mediated just by the fact that we have a passport or not. Right, and there's some choreographing going there that I think is helpful for us to think about.

Chris Christensen  14:16 

I'm really intrigued by the idea of wearable tech. Can you expand on that just a little bit?

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  14:21 

Well, yeah, so it's interesting because Tanya Aguiñiga, you know, works across different mediums. And so she uses wearable technology, both that is digitalized, but also not. For example, she did this piece called metabolizing the border, which takes rusted material from the border separating Tijuana and San Diego, and she churned the rusted material, and created this wearable, these wearable encasings that are all glass. And she puts it, she put this, the rusted material that she kind of churned into fine particles and covered her mouth, her eyes and her ears with it, to illustrate the point in which the border is quite literally internalized in our bodies, right. And she, she does this performance where she wears this entire regalia. And so the, the glass, she has a flashlight, she has these sandals that are made out of glass so that when she's walking, it breaks as she's walking. So that that way, it gives a sense of the fragility of movement that happens, you know, that immigrants experience specifically, you know, undocumented immigrants. And she also then, then the remainder of that, of those becomes an art exhibit. So she's working with wearable technologies, not necessarily digital, but in this case, technologies that sort of enter our bodies. And quite literally, she says metabolizing the border that we process. The idea of the border, whether it's symbolic material in a very lasting way, and how it enters the air, our ears and our mouth.

Chris Christensen  16:18 

When you say the glass breaks, does she experience injury when this breaks?

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  16:23 

Good question. So she developed, because she's a craft artist and material specialist, she developed a, a body suit that can withstand the breaking from the glass.

Chris Christensen  16:34


Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  16:35

So she doesn't get injured in the sense that there's, you know, any blood from her feet, but obviously she does feel the impact of the glass shattering underneath her feet.

Leah Ingalls  16:44


Chris Christensen  16:45


Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  16:46

It's a pretty powerful performance. Yeah. It's actually, there is a, an Art21 feature that focuses on her work that is available.

Chris Christensen  16:55

And where would people see that?

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  16:57

Well, what I can do, we can maybe put a link in the bottom of the description if that’s helpful.

Chris Christensen  17:00

Sure. Absolutely.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  17:01

And if you go, it's a PBS, Art21 is a PBS series. And if you go to Art21, yeah, if you look up Art21 on any search engine, it'll pop up and, and they can look up that series that they did on different artists focusing on the key word called Borderlands.

Chris Christensen  17:18


Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  17:19


Chris Christensen  17:19

Thank you.

Leah Ingalls  17:20

So these individual pieces that these artists are putting on, are these solo performances?

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  17:25 

Yeah, good, good question. So we're bringing in four artists, I’ve invited four artists, but only two of them are going to be doing the performance showing. So that'll be Zoë Klein and Gabriel Mata. Zoë Klein will actually be sharing a group piece, she's going to be talking about the experience of adoptees who come in from outside of the country and are brought in at a very young age, right. It’s, the title is called Born Never Asked, right. And so that sort of gestures towards the experience of young children, newborns, who don't even have a say in how they move, and already their body has been displaced, right, from one location to the other. And so she's working with a group of four dancers. And that group work involves acrobatic, you know, acrobatic circus. So I wanted to kind of illustrate some of the collective experience. And also they're just amazing to watch, you know, they're kind of doing head spins and doing all remarkable things. So that's a group work. And Gabriel Mata is going to be doing a solo work. He's going to be doing This Is - Where I Begin. And this is a solo that documents his experience of being formerly undocumented and the transition to applying to be getting a green card. And he draws on his experience, to tell the audience, to share with the audience through the solo, what it’s really like emotionally, physically and socially going through that transition. And I thought it would be helpful to have both a solo and a group work for an evening. And so hopefully it gives a different experiences.

Leah Ingalls  19:06 

Absolutely. And so where are those going to be taking place again?

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  19:10 

Yeah, so the, the symposium is going to be taking place in the film center, a film forum here, film forum here in PMA. That's on Thursday at 5:30. And the performance is going to be taking place also here in the Schwartz Center in the Flex Theater at 7:30 on Friday.

Leah Ingalls  19:28 

And it just caught my attention when you mentioned the acrobatic performance, is that the technical process of preparing for that, is that going on here as well, or?

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  19:38 

Yes. So, Zoë, and myself and the wonderful PMA production crew has been working behind the scenes in advance of their arrival to make sure that they're in a space that can adequately support this type of performance. And so we've been talking about rigging, and they have all the resources here to be able to support that. But also, Zoë is a specialist. And so she's gonna bring her own equipment. But yes, it is something that is unique, you have to make sure that you have the adequate grid and the support beam to be able to support that level of work.
Leah Ingalls  20:11

Right, right.

Chris Christensen  20:12 

One thing we keep forgetting to mention is that tickets are totally available, and they are free. So if you want tickets to either of these events, any of these events, just visit And you can get yourself a ticket. Yeah, to attend. Yeah.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  20:31

Show up!

Chris Christensen  20:32

Speaking of attending, what, what sort of things are you hoping the audience walks away with, from their experience in any of the events?

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  20:40 

Well, at the most basic level, it's just to know these artists. I mean, these artists are amazing. I mean, that's the first, the first part, for them to get to know who these artists are, you know, some of these artists are, well, all these artists are seminal artists, they've established, you know, illustrious careers. And they've also given us new language for talking about the role of performance in describing these complex issues, right for how we define belonging. And, and so because of that, you know, that both the symposium and the performance I hope it gives, you know, the those attendees an opportunity to say okay, they're giving us new language to talk about their work, but also, they're also showing us and hopefully, it will invoke some type of feelings and sensations. Because one of the things that, you know, that I mentioned earlier that is worth repeating, is that they're compelling us to also think about how we move and part of that involves hearing about the discourses and then on, but also just being present. And choreography is wonderful for that capacity, for its capacity to be able to compel us to move to see something and to say, this is help, this compelled me to move and feel in a way that I'm not accustomed to, that might be a little bit different than talking about it. And so that would hopefully, spark a desire to watch more performances about these things, whether it's these artists or others, but that would be an invitation to say we need performance at the center of these conversations, for these reasons, because performance helps us process issues of immigration and citizenship, you know, across the aisle across perspectives in a very different way than sitting and talking or in a different way than receiving, you know, media bites, and the television set. So those be sort of some of the two big takeaways, and hopefully, the folks becoming familiar with these artists, but also just invite them, you know, to other, if someone's visiting from a student group, or if someone's visiting from a different class, that they would be compelled to invite them back again to Cornell.

Leah Ingalls  22:37 

And if folks feel moved by this performance, are there any other spaces or performances, whether on campus or in Ithaca, that you know of that they could maybe look to that continue or expand on a different part of this discourse around immigration?

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  22:52 

Yes, that's a great question. And actually, I am organizing another residency by the artists that are coming in from Oakland, California, and they're doing a performance on April 6, at 3pm as the Kitchen Theatre. We've partnered, I’ve partnered with Kitchen Theatre, this event is supported by the migrations initiative in the rural humanities here on campus as well, to bring in these artists, NAKA Dance Theatre, and they have a specific methodology for working with immigrant women who are Latina, or indigenous. And they're going to be doing a community performance that involves women who are a part of this project, that, I've been a part of this project since 2018, and we've done a series of events focusing on how to give Latina and indigenous immigrant women the space to take control, poetic control of their stories, right, rather than having news outlets or other modes of expression, to tell the stories of immigrant women, how can they do that? So yeah, so after The Alien Commons, you know, folks should put on April 6, a, another performance that tweaks this topic specifically, from a very different perspective, obviously. We're, that event involves women who wouldn't traditionally be considered performers in the sense that they no, they didn't, they didn't study, or they didn't get a BFA. They didn't go to a master's program. They don't have a PhD, but who, in their own right, are storytellers and dancers, and actors. And they're going to be taking center stage.

Chris Christensen  24:32 

So we had one other person who was going to be present with us today and due to some some unforeseen circumstances, not here. Anything you want to discuss in terms of, I guess their role was assistant producer?

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  24:47

assistant director.

Chris Christensen  24:48

Director. Sorry, I got that wrong. Is there anything you want to comment from, from, from that side of things?

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  24:55 

Yeah no, thank you. Yeah. Thank you for calling Ana into the space. So, no project can ever be done by one person. Right? It always takes crew to see a vision come to fruition. And I have the great fortune of working with Ana Carmona who is bringing in her expertise as a Spanish speaking artist and a PMA, she's a PMA major, which is really wonderful to have someone within PMA, bringing that experience to, to The Alien Commons, to also usher in and invite, welcome the artists, right, into PMA. And she has been helping shape the vision. At the very back end, it was also helping us get the artist itineraries together so that when the artists arrive, they know what they're doing. You know, as Leah was saying, we have to attend both to the production side of their visits, as well as to the programmatic side, where they're going to go, which audiences they’re going to meet, some of these artists have intentions to also go to different classes. And so Ana has been instrumental in that. But also, she's using her expertise, just as an undergraduate student, to be able to invite students too. Like, I mean, I can go up there, and I can, you know, preach to students, be like, Come to this event! But there's a level of work that students can do amongst themselves to recruit or invite that I can't do, and I have to respect that. And if I, if I want students to show up to an event that I think is important, I also have to recognize that there's some things that I can't say that is going to compel people to do and that's what some of the main, she has not only the skills and the training, because she, she does focus on communications. And so she has all the digital side figured out. But it's also just to have a peer to be able to say, hey, you know what, they're onto something. And that's what's compelling about also her being a part of this project.

Chris Christensen  26:38 

I completely understand all of that, because I rely on Leah completely when it comes to interacting with students, because sometimes I feel like I'm just really, outside of it. Yeah, I'm older than I realize sometimes.

Leah Ingalls  26:52 

Aren't we all?

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  26:54

Yeah, yeah.

Leah Ingalls  26:56

So you mentioned a bit that student interaction with these works is also very important. I figured this could maybe be a good space, if there was anything you wanted to share with the audience about the courses that you're teaching on immigration, if there's anything you want to share about, you know, what you hope students could take away? Or if there's anything that you'd want someone to know, if they were maybe considering pursuing studying something like that in an academic setting?

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  27:19 

Yeah, yeah. Well, first of all, I just want to say, to your last point, it is possible to pursue the study of performance in an academic setting, especially when it comes to immigration. I mean, it's one of the things that, you know, compels me to, to address these issues. And myself as a specialist in it, you know, I often get invited to conferences or events where folks from, you know, from, who study immigration or citizenship come from American studies, or sociology, or psychology, and those are wonderful disciplines, and obviously come from a very different approach, having studied obviously, in anthropology, which is a link. But specifically in performance studies, like, it is possible to do, and that's what I tell students. You can focus on studying performance, and contribute significant insight to some of the most pressing issues of our time. And that's just the first thing, right, to say, like, there is value and there is worth, and we're using performance as a lens, but also as a practice, for contributing greatly to how we think about, you know, collective, how to respond to collective harm. But then also, how do we develop collective visions, you know, for making this world just a little bit less oppressive, right. And so because of that I am I do teach a course called Performance and Immigration, where I guide students through a course for thinking about different approaches to addressing just the topic of immigration, right, across different times, across different geographies. Just because we talk about performance and immigration as key terms, it doesn't mean that the methods of addressing immigration don't change, but also that immigration itself as a discourse doesn't change over time. And they do. We have immigration policies that constantly change. And that impacts how artists respond within a specific period. And so, the class gives the students the tools for thinking about how to look closely and precisely, not just that there is a performance about sort of the plight of immigration, but to say, what are the conditions that make this specifically at this time? And so, you know, part of inviting these, all these artists, is, is to contribute to that conversation of being compelled to look at performance as in, as like, Oh, this is a hard story, like, yes, but it's not just that. We also have to look at how you know, how the conditions around it made it. And we might also find that in the stories we find wonderful, exciting examples of resilience, of creativity, of imagination. And that's what you know, I hope that students in the Performance and Immigration class get and that they also get from attending this symposium.

Leah Ingalls  29:51

Absolutely, yes.

Chris Christensen  29:52

Yeah, just like your level of of hopefulness.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  29:54 

I am loyal to hope. I don't always have hope, but I am loyal to hope.

Leah Ingalls  30:00

That is incredibly well put.

Chris Christensen  30:04 

We've covered so much today. And we always ask the question, is there anything we didn't ask that you really wanted to expound upon? Or were hoping that we would have asked?

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  30:15 

Actually, if it's okay, I'm gonna turn the table around a little bit. Who’s asking the question? But because part of, part of this, you know, my desire with the symposium and the performance is to talk about these issues of immigration. Right. Just curious to hear your perspective when it first hearing upon the symposium and even without knowing much or talking to me, what were some of the images or some of the conversations or thoughts that might have come to your head when you're thinking, Oh, what is this podcast session going to be about? I'm just curious. What topics might we cover? Yeah.

Leah Ingalls  30:48 

I think one of the things that I was very interested in is how it would be incorporating the themes of immigration in a spatial sense. We talked a bit about the before the podcast about your work as a choreographer and how you locate yourself in the space. And I think it's really important, what you mentioned, about how that relates to the topic of immigration and the way that it affects the way that people locate themselves within a space, but also within communities of people. And so I think that was one of the things that I was really wondering about, yeah.

Chris Christensen  31:25 

I never know what I'm thinking about when we go into a podcast and where it's going to go, because it can always go so many different directions. But to answer your question, as we were talking about earlier, being visual thinkers. And so, as you were describing the way the different performers would appear to the audience, as you described, the wearable tech that really got my mind going thinking about how that would all play out, and particularly the idea of circus elements. As a musician, when it comes to expressing something about a given topic, it's so difficult, because it's all in words, and trying to make it poetic, in a way, not be flat, not describe too much, and at the same time telling what needs to be told, very challenging. So I approach things in a particular way that sometimes I don't delve into certain things because I realize I'm not going to do a good job at it. And I love the idea of dance being used because it, it can be so abstract in a way and the audience, their minds have to relate to it in a different way. And so I think in that regard, I'm very much looking forward to attending. And just seeing how that all plays out.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  32:43 

Yeah, me too.

Leah Ingalls  32:44 

Yeah, myself as well. Absolutely.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  32:47 

Invite a friend.

Chris Christensen  32:48 

Yeah, right. Invite two or three, the tickets are free!

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  32:52 

I like that, invite two or three, tickets are free.

Chris Christensen  32:54 

Yeah, there we go. We've got a slogan.

Leah Ingalls  32:56

Oh that’s perfect!

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  32:57

Yeah, it is! Was that on the spot?

Chris Christensen  32:59

It just, yep, just happened.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  33:02

Wow. Okay.

Chris Christensen  33:03

We'll have to write a jingle and all of that. One thing that, that occurred to me, jumping back to our previous episode, when editing it, I realized there, there are times when we go through so much information in a given podcast. And I never think about the fact that our listeners might have questions regarding what was discussed, or things that we didn't cover. And so if you're listening, and you have questions about this particular episode, or other episodes, and if you've attended the performances and just want to send us in a comment, we might read it here on the podcast. So feel free to send an email to And we'll take a look at what you have to send and we look forward to hearing from you.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  33:51 

Yes, thank you for listening. And yes, as I said, this is the commons conversation. So we want you to listen and to respond. I think that is the best type of audience that we can ask for is just to be able to respond, whether it's the same day or a week or two weeks, sometimes, you know, there's a delayed onset of questions. And so, feel free and compelled to ask any question at any point in time.

Chris Christensen  34:15 

If we get a significant number of questions, do you want to get together and do like a Part B to this podcast?

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  34:19

Oh, I would love to do that.

Chris Christensen  34:22

Okay. Yeah. Perfect. Leah, anything else?

Leah Ingalls  34:25 

I don't think so. I think we covered a wide breadth here today.

Chris Christensen  34:29 

All right, Juan Manuel, thanks so much for joining us.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  34:31 

It is always a pleasure. I don't want to invite myself, but I look forward to the next year.

Chris Christensen  34:37 

Oh, you’re back. We'll make sure, we'll make sure we get you next, next, I guess we'll start calling them seasons for particular semesters.

Leah Ingalls  34:43 

I guess so, yeah. Yeah.

Chris Christensen  34:45 

So next season. In the fall.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  34:47

I look forward to it.

Chris Christensen  34:48

if not sooner.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  34:49

I look forward to it.

Chris Christensen  34:50

Okay, thank you.

Leah Ingalls  34:50

Thank you so much.

Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz  34:51

Thank you.

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Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz