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Celebrating the Life & Legacy of Victoria Santa Cruz

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Centennial Celebration: College of Drama Professor Emeritus Victoria Santa Cruz

February 25, 2022
By Heidi Feldman, Ph.D.
Picture from the gathering of Victoria Santa Cruz, courtesy of Octavio Santa Cruz

Peru’s Ministry of Tradition has launched a nationwide commemoration of the Centennial of Victoria Santa Cruz’s delivery.

 

Earlier than she started her profession as a legendary drama professor at Carnegie Mellon College, Victoria Santa Cruz (1922–2014) was a cultural icon in Peru. There, she made Black lives and historical past seen, spearheading a mid-twentieth-century staged resurgence of Black theatre, music, and dance in partnership along with her brother, the well-known poet Nicomedes Santa Cruz. After coaching in Paris on the College of Theatre of Nations, she based and directed Black Theatre and Dances of Peru. She led the Peruvian cultural delegation on the 1968 Cultural Olympics in Mexico Metropolis and went on to grow to be appointed founding director of the Nationwide Folklore Ensemble beneath Peru’s Revolutionary Authorities of the Armed Forces within the Seventies and ‘80s–a outstanding accomplishment for an Afro-Peruvian girl at the moment. Victoria Santa Cruz is probably finest recognized worldwide for her rhythmic poem “Me Gritaron ‘Negra!’” (They Shouted ‘Black Woman!’), which has gone viral on-line as a Black feminist anthem.

 

Carnegie Mellon Years

Victoria Santa Cruz first got here to Carnegie Mellon College of Drama in 1980 to show workshops as a visiting artist. She returned as a professor from 1982 to 1999, additionally educating within the dual-degree M.F.A. program at Moscow Artwork Theatre in 1995. Throughout that point, each CMU Drama pupil enrolled in Victoria’s distinctive rhythm class, which delivered to Pittsburgh a way she had developed in workshops all over the world: The Discovery and Improvement of Inside Rhythm. “I don’t train, I contact,” she instructed her college students, guiding them to grow to be current within the second via a connection to rhythm and self-knowledge.

 

From the gathering of Victoria Santa Cruz, courtesy of Octavio Santa Cruz. (Katy Mixon, Victoria Santa Cruz, Danny Bernardy)

 

Whereas at CMU, Victoria additionally staged her ballet “The Black Doll,” her musical theatre play “An Deserted Constructing within the Bronx/La Calle” and her Afro-Peruvian music and dance revue “El Negro en el Peru,” which toured to La MaMa E.T.C. in New York. She collaborated as Affiliate Director with Mel Shapiro (“The Greeks”), Yossi Yzraely (“Peer Gynt,” “Antigone”), Mladen Kiselov (“Blood Marriage ceremony”), offering choreography, motion instruction, and authentic music, and she or he additionally served as choreographer and composer for Elisabeth Orion’s manufacturing of “A Midsummer Night time’s Dream.” Victoria represented CMU at vital worldwide conferences on Négritude, pan-Africanism and Marcus Garvey, Black dance, and humanities drugs, and in her collaborations with famend artists together with Peter Brook (who invited her to Paris to work on The Mahabharata). In December of 1999, Victoria retired from Carnegie Mellon College and returned to Peru, the place she based the group Salud-Equilibrio-Ritmo (Well being-Steadiness-Rhythm). She died in 2014.

 

Victoria Santa Cruz 100 Years: Legacy for Humanity

On October 27, 2021, Peru’s Ministry of Tradition launched the Victoria Santa Cruz Centennial (“Victoria Santa Cruz 100 Years: Legacy for Humanity”) with this announcement of deliberate packages and actions.

 

In honor of the Centennial, the Fulbright Fee in Peru has introduced the inauguration of the brand new Victoria Santa Cruz Fulbright Grant, which can help graduate research in the USA for a pacesetter within the Afro-Peruvian neighborhood. (Observe the 1999 {photograph} of Victoria at Carnegie Mellon College, surrounded by her CMU Drama college students, as a part of the Fulbright announcement.)

 

The Pancho Fierro Municipal Gallery of Artwork in Lima is internet hosting the exhibition “Primera Llamada: 100 años de Victoria Santa Cruz” (First Name: 100 Years of Victoria Santa Cruz), curated by Luis Rodríguez Pastor, via March 20, 2022. Among the many photos on show are pictures of Victoria at Carnegie Mellon College.

 

Victoria Santa Cruz: A Biography

The primary book-length biography of Victoria Santa Cruz is within the works, to be written by Heidi Carolyn Feldman, Ph.D., the award-winning writer of Black Rhythms of Peru: Reviving African Musical Heritage within the Black Pacific.

 

On the Centennial launch occasion in October, 2021, Heidi Carolyn Feldman contributed video remarks about Victoria Santa Cruz’s worldwide profession, together with Victoria’s work at CMU.

 

Upfront of her e-book’s publication, Feldman has shared sources that allow the CMU neighborhood to expertise Victoria’s personal explanations of her distinctive strategy to rhythm for actor coaching (and for all times).

Throughout Feldman’s analysis in Lima, she obtained a DVD containing this brief video message, left by Victoria for CMU College of Drama Seniors, filmed by CMU Drama alumnus Eric Feldman on the eve of Victoria’s retirement (December 12,1999):

 

In 2004, Victoria printed her e-book Rhythm, the Everlasting Organizer, in a bilingual Spanish-English version (English translation by CMU professor Susan Polansky). The primary version bought out rapidly in Peru and was by no means broadly obtainable within the U.S. By means of the joint efforts of Feldman, Polansky, Octavio Santa Cruz, Keith Webster (CMU Dean of College Libraries), Marcie Hayhurst (CMU Authorized Assistant, Workplace of the Common Common Counsel), and Ediciones Copé, the English model of Victoria’s e-book grew to become obtainable in 2019 as a part of CMU’s on-line repository of digital scholarship: https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/8321321.v1

To contact Feldman about her analysis towards Victoria Santa Cruz’s biography, or for future venture updates, please go to her web site, or discover her on Fb.

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