History Portfolio

Established in 2007 DHPCo. is currently in its 12th season.  The company produces material that is influenced by the Latino diaspora within the American experience.  To date the company has tackled issues of racial idenity, womens' immigration, DACA and forced separations, religion as culture, cultural poverty, concepts on death, skin color, queer identity in the Latino community, and "idolized" Americana.  Some examples include: 

The Least of Them

Premiered: May 2016

Presented in an audience immersive setting, The Least of Them is an honest interpretation of the personal & cultural clashes in current social and political news. In particular the company dissects the way in which race and skin color are used to attack or discredit certain communities. Which are sacrificed, which are valued? Events such as the Rachel Dolezal controversy, Donald Trump’s fear agenda against Mexican and Muslim peoples, Black Lives Matter, and the ongoing caught-on-tape beatings against black citizens by white officers all color the choreography in this poignant and in-you-face performance.  

TOUCH

 Premiere: April 2015

As a company concerned with making dances about Latino-American issues, David Herrera Performance Company investigates families torn by deportation and the work of organizations such as United We Dream, which arranges for the children of deported men and women to reunite with their parents at the U.S./Mexico border.

 

TOUCH will tell these untold stories, giving visibility to people under the radar of American popular culture, making their stories as real and tangible as the ability to touch itself. 

 

the Stranger (Part 1)

Premiere: April 2013 

Commissioned: UCSC Theater Arts Dept May 2013

​​the Strangeris inspired by Herrera’s experience growing up poor in Hollywood, CA. Using the personal stories of the director and cast, “the Stranger” presents the difficulty of finding and defining oneself through one’s inclusion and exclusion from different communities when poverty, culture, and media images intercede. In this current episode DHPCo. reveals how a person’s position within America’s class system affects their paths of self and community identity, and the consequences those chosen paths may have.

Slumber 

Premiere: April 2012

 

Slumber loosely follows the Greek Orpheus myth, influenced by Dia de los Muertos traditions about death and the otherside. The show travels from room to room, as the audience is guided by a most unlikely usher (Death) as well as becoming the set and environment the performers inhabit. Site specific and effortlessly interactive, the show travels through the place where Life and Death meet, utilizing cultural myths and beliefs about the underworld: Latino, pan-Asian, Ancient Greek and Native American. Dark but tender and often funny and colorful, this original full-length work challenges many boundaries, including those of theatrical form. 

American Layercake 

Premiere: March 2011

American Layercake invites the audience to question the definition of the Nuclear Family & American Dream through the lens of a culturally mixed modern family unit: white father, Latino mother and their lesbian daughter.

 

An omnipresent Chorus directs our focus and guides both characters and audience as we attempt to recognize some of the deep pull these ideals continue to hold, and the enduring need to find a way to feel at home with oneself and one's community. Sometimes humorous, other times raw, always energetic and intensely felt, American Layercake, in its attempts to both shake off and climb beyond the present moment with it's rough-shod immigration laws and it's Mad Men addiction, becomes unwittingly aching and beautiful.

Origins of Flight: An Immigration Story 

Premiere: November 2009

 Origenes de Vuelo/Origins of Flight: An Immigration Story  was the culmination of DHPCo.'s three month collaboration with the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco. The work explores the often harsh realities of immigration and the constant struggle immigrants face to maintain their cultural identity in the United States. Origins is based on Herrera's mother's personal immigration experience. The plot follows the flight of a young Mexican girl who encounters love and loss, cultural backlash, and consequently is forced to look to the unknowns of the"El Norte". The evening also spotlights the relationship formed between Mexican mother and her American born son. Origins examines the difficult journey where one's sense of self is defined not by what you have accumulated or accomplished but how hardship, history, and perseverance ultimately form the core of your identity.

 

© 2018  David Herrera Performance Company