Post-Graduation can be intimidating for many as it is full of uncertainty. However, Loyola alumni, Yariana Baralt-Torres and Maria Blanco grabbed their future by the reins by forming a dance collective titled LOUD BODIES in August, just three months after graduating in May.
Both artists said they had considered creating their own dance company, but did not expect it to manifest so soon.
“We’ve always talked about starting our own company together,” Baralt-Torres said. “We always joked about it and then I feel like Senior year it got more serious, like yes we will have a company but we always talked about taking a few years to figure out ourselves and then starting it.”
The two decided to form their mission around their strong connection to social justice. The mission of LOUD BODIES is:
“LOUD BODIES looks to create a platform for activism through dance. LOUD BODIES create meaningful work inspired by social issues to provoke change. We believe that vulnerability and honesty evokes emotion and raises awareness, which can lead to action and change. LOUD BODIES uses dance and choreography to fight for social justice, to bring awareness to oppressed topics or communities, and to calls for unity, understanding, compassion and action. It is LOUD BODIES’ mission to take the time to explore how bodies can tell complex narratives in the most authentic, sincere and bold way.”
Blanco and Baralt-Torres admit that they are undergoing a learning process in balancing LOUD BODIES and personal projects. They are also discovering how to promote their work and are constantly looking for performance opportunities.
“When you start to market yourself as a company, people just start to listen and start to see you as important,” said Blanco. “If you believe in it and believe in something, people start to believe in it, too.”
LOUD BODIES premiered their original work “Thursday Night” at Collaboraction’s Peacebook Festival and performed “To Be a Woman” at Collaboraction’s Peacebook Parlor.
Baralt-Torres and Blanco have performed in Yin Hee Dance: Vice and Virtue at Links Hall, where Baralt-Torres premiered her piece “I’m Fine.” At Links Hall’s Breaking Grounds Series, Blanco premiered her work “To Really Get Down,” which she performed alongside Baralt-Torres and current Loyola dance major, Loretta Holmes. On October 17, LOUD BODIES presented a social justice-based improvisation session at Archie’s Café.
In March, LOUD BODIES will present a piece at Loyola’s Climate Change Conference with the Loyola Dance Majors.