EL PASO, Texas – Dancers covered themselves from head to toe in tomato juice to express their love for food at the annual Chalk the Block art festival.
“For this piece I really wanted to create an environment in which people could come inside and get immersed in all the living plants and the green. Then, hopefully take home some ideas,” said visual artist Christine Foerster about Bio.Domo.Sis, her latest installation.
Emily Morgan, a University of Texas at El Paso Dance department instructor, collaborated with Foerster to incorporate a dance that would highlight locally grown food.
Foerster focuses on a couple of ideas that help put together the Bio.Domo.Sis. They consist of a series of interactions to promote local food, recycling, and the natural environment.
“This is meant to be a piece that I would take around town as a performance, a platform where artists and musicians and poets could intersect and carry out small performances around town based on local food,” she said.
Using local food was important to raise awareness in the community.
“The dance started because I was interested in doing something with food that would emphasize local produce and locally grown things,” Morgan said.
The Bio.Domo.Sis also incorporates recycling in order to take care of the environment. “I got old men’s shirts from the second hand store and basically took them apart and made chefs outfits,” Foerster said.
One of the purposes of Bio.Domi.Sis is to encourage families to preserve the environment at home.
“That’s the idea here. People coming in and taking one little part, or think ‘I can have my own worm farm at home.’ If it does spawn some ideas at home I think it’s been a great success,” Foerster said.
The dancing was one of the main attractions in the Bio.Domo.Sis. The dance was performed without music, but with a special rhythm and incorporated movement to each vegetable, all while making a spicy salsa.
“We started to play with movement, and then the really fun part was when we started coming out with dances for each of the ingredients,” Morgan said.
All the combinations of art and natural environments are bringing new interest to the community. Not everyone has experienced this form of art and Bio.Domo.Sis wants to revolutionize that.
“I think it was great that they chose organic tomatoes, onions, and cilantro, because kids are kind of unfamiliar with the vegetables and when they see them dancing with them they will probably give it a chance because they’ll remember a dance,” UTEP student Ana Sanchez said.
Bio.Domo.Sis is bringing up the importance of the environment in a form of art to the community. Giving ideas and hoping that the community takes them in, and show that they can start in their own home.
“I find it interesting because they express the art and they give the opportunity to the community to learn and enjoy it in a fun and healthy way,” audience member Alma Portillo said.