Diana Alvarez

(Northampton, MA)

El Festival de las Sin Madres (Quiero Volver excerpt), 2017
9 min. 10 sec.

An excerpt from a workshop reading of Quiero Volver: A Xicanx Ritual Opera, performed at Holyoke Community College.

“Ser Artista” from Quiero Volver: A Xicanx Ritual Opera
Work-in-progress audio, 2 min. 20 sec.
Written and performed by Doctora Xingona, produced by Seth Glier
“Para La Historia” from Quiero Volver: A Xicanx Ritual Opera
Work-in-progress audio, 2 min. 44 sec.
Written and performed by Doctora Xingona, produced by Seth Glier
“Queer Love Song” from Quiero Volver: A Xicanx Ritual Opera
Work-in-progress audio, 2 min. 55 sec.
Written and performed by Doctora Xingona, produced by Seth Glier

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My ancestors bloom in my voice. I roar an otherworldly fire against oppression, exalt queer love and liberation, and seek to create an atmosphere that facilitates collective healing through writing, music, and performance. My songs, poems, performances, and videos live in-between, where borders are a myth. My work centers the kinship, co-liberation, and coalitional healing of queer and trans BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) artists.

I am at home in ritual theatre / performance / educational convenings that center collaboration, listening, ensemble performance, improvisation, and social transformation. My mentors Pauline Oliveros, and Sharon Bridgforth, and Magdalena Gómez guide the development of my voice as a multidisciplinary artist.

My practice is informed by research of Xicana feminist artistic practices, and QTBIPOC activist art. My award-winning performance, Quiero Volver: A Xicanx Ritual Opera is a multimedia living performance altar for queer and trans BIPOC artists to convene and manifest futures. In this ritual gathering, an ensemble of intergenerational mentor artists offer multi-sensory meditations on death/loss, art as resistance, ancestral guides, queer innovation, and building chosen family. The “BridgeSong” conversations between featured artists are documented and interwoven with my roaring, genderqueer, extraterrestrial music and poetry.

In 2018, Quiero Volver was produced at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, MA by grassroots organizers and Smith College, and raised over $10,000 to support immigrant justice initiatives. Audience members have noted that Quiero Volver “absolutely honors [women and non-binary and genderqueer people of color] — by giving voice, space, presence. By integrating their experience into a larger narrative of oppression. By projecting a future as well as mourning past losses.”

Quiero Volver was awarded a 2020 grant from the New England Foundation for the arts. I am currently producing Quiero Volver as a video performance featuring my original music, produced by Grammy-nominated musician Seth Glier. Future productions of Quiero Volver will benefit the BridgeSong Fund: Emergency Relief for Western Massachusetts BIPOC Women, Nonbinary, Trans, and Genderqueer Musicians, in collaboration with the Institute for the Musical Arts. I founded the BridgeSong Fund in 2020 in collaboration with the IMA, and the fund has supported over thirteen artists with emergency grants. My creativity is nourished by the growth of these projects.

diana-alvarez.com