Pocha Nostra

As part of my ongoing practice-lead research, artist residencies and laboratories have been important to my development. Since 1993, when I received a skills development grant to retrain and study Odissi classical dance in India (at Nrityagram), these residencies have had a considerable impact on my performance methodology and research.

Rakini Devi and Pocha Nostra 2007
USA and UK Performance residencies

Pocha Nostra director and founder Guillermo Gómez-Peña is a Mexican performance artist, writer, activist, and educator. Gómez-Peña has created work in multiple media, including performance art, experimental radio, video, and installation art. His eight plus books include essays, experimental poetry and chronicles in English, Spanish and “Spanglish”. Between 2003 and 2007, Rakini Devi was an invited international troupe member, participating in two major performance tours and residencies.

Devi’s 2007 Australia Council Skills Development grant resulted in a 5-week residency with the company, performing Mapo Corpo (Michigan) including performances & workshops at Michigan & Portland Oregon Universities.
Mapo Corpo was also performed at the 2007 Glasgow NRLA (National Review of Live Art).

The most complex and enriching aspects of working with Rakini involved incorporating her artistic methodology and iconography into our practice and this challenge was realized by together developing a form of hybridised aesthetics. Ultimately, Rakini’s involvement (In Mapo Corpo) added a rich cultural layer to the Pocha cultural and political mix. Her work was incredibly well received in every location even to the point that many colleagues commented that this version of Mapo Corpo was perhaps the best we had ever performed.”

Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Director La Pocha Nostra, San Francisco 2007