ESTIA Day Fest | Assessment

Phrases by Rachel Ha-Eun Lee

Look behind you. I’m constructing a house.

Earlier than strolling by means of the door, the primary set up started on the sidewalk. Dancer Jenna Charko moved effortlessly, luring you to enter the Salvatore LaRussa Studios in New York Metropolis. Not like typical efficiency venues, this house resembled a house with its brick partitions, storage door with a dangling basketball hoop, and an outside archway. Utilizing the house to its fullest, each hallway, staircase, room, and wall was adorned with imagery, poetry, projections, dance, and visible artwork by native artists. 

ESTIA Day Fest on Might 21, 2023 showcased over 30 artworks, predominantly dance works however different mediums as nicely. It provided a full-day museum-like expertise that allowed attendees to immerse themselves within the intimate work these artists shared.

The primary two hours consisted of varied interdisciplinary motion installations and dance movies that have been organized all through LaRussa. Many works felt related to nature and nostalgia corresponding to Eco-locate by Maxine Flasher-Düzgünes, Edited World by Angelina Laguna, and I Breathed in that Place at That Time by Mayu Nakaya. Some artists showcased a number of works corresponding to Good to Know We All Don’t Know What’s Taking place by Jenna Charko, who additionally had her portray sequence, The Dancer: Physique As Artwork Object and her movie Precipice on show close by. Archival Log by Ari Lamora was one other artist who showcased a number of mediums, dancing in an entryway subsequent to their portrait images titled Crimson, captured by Kenneth Osborn. Different notable works that misplaced me in time, included a dance duet within the outside house titled Decide Up the Items by Meredith Baughman and Maggie Pleasure, and the set up Pores and skin to Pores and skin by Haley Morgan Miller, who sat on the ground for 2 hours, using their naked again as a projector display for a loop of images by Raine Roberts, in collaboration with Kaegan Casey. However, the set up that took my breath away was House is… by Kat Almirañez.

The outside archway was coated in paintings that visually represented responses Almirañez collected to the immediate House is…. The paintings included expressions corresponding to “House is the place I may be myself,” “House is my most popular location,” “House will not be right here,” and far more. On the finish of the archway, the phrases leaped out from the paper, Look behind you, I’m constructing a house. If you rotated, there was Almirañez stitching images, tissues, books, sport controls, and different nostalgic objects onto themself and the paper that they have been coated with. To me, this was the theme of the whole pageant and ESTIA as a corporation – a house constructed by founders Lydia Perakis and Lola Selsky for artists who want a protected and welcoming place to share their artwork.

After the installations, the outside stage house turned the middle for the remainder of the day. Opening with three artists, Efrén Olson-Sánchez spoke and sang in English and Spanish in Voces together with Dex McBean and JROSE who delivered spoken phrase performances. All three performers inspired the viewers, however I used to be particularly moved by JROSE’s deep-cut phrases and the repeated affirmations that she had the viewers say along with her.

The stage works present at 3:00 pm offered twelve numerous dance performances that ranged from comedic theater to road kinds, modern dance, and Classical Indian dance. This drew out a large spectrum of feelings for myself and the viewers. Laughter crammed the air once we watched Ana Moioli eat clementines in What Goals Are Made Of, with Devlin Stark dressed as Hilary Duff in Fanny Unpacked by Ana Moioli, Devlin Stark and Marina Zurita. Love and grief have been felt watching tender actions and listening to sound bites of an interview a few liked particular person in Whereas I used to be Homegrowing by Lucia Gagliardone. Smiles appeared on each face from dancer Jovanna Parks’s chip-eating antics and radiant persona in addition to dancer Peter Cheng’s expansive and exquisite solo in We Simply Appear to be Right here choreographed by Jordan Miller and Konverjdans.

After the performances, the artists gathered collectively for a Q and A session with the viewers. 

“ESTIA means dwelling in Greek,” mentioned Lydia Perakis. “The world wants extra connection. We will’t look ahead to establishments to offer it to us.”

ESTIA Artistic House’s Day Fest did precisely what their identify entails, they’ve taken issues into their very own fingers and have constructed a house for artists to share, be empowered, and create a brand new household.

“Group has been this complete course of,” mentioned artist Lucia Gagliardone. “That is neighborhood.”

Header picture: Ziru Wang. To study extra about ESTIA Artistic House, go to their web site at or Instagram at