"Ofrendas en Sinestesia; experiments in shared dance rituals", curated by Marcela Torres - Links Hall Co-MISSION Curatorial Residency

Event Type
Event Description

Ofrendas en Sinestesia; experiments in shared dance rituals considers how communities in Pilsen and Little Village practice spirituality as ancestral technology and create contemporary storytelling through transcendent dance ceremonies. The artists will blend together different cultures and their forms of ancestral connection.

In Pilsen, they will curate an outdoor ceremony, inviting artists–including Izayo Mazehualli and Kinniari Vora–to present traditional dances and assist in fire services and sacred objects. Indoor performances at Links Hall include dance and storytelling rooted in ceremonial research and practice. Members of the public are invited to join the artists, exploring how diasporas living in the U.S. create new viewpoints and new genres of performance.


Ofrendas en Sinestesia; experiments in shared dance rituals
June 2-3, 7pm, Links Hall

Performances by Izayotilmahtzin Mazehualli, Kinniari Vora & Persephone B. Diamond. Video by Silvita Diaz. Music by Nancy Sanchez and pastries by hierbita buentia. June 3 includes a participatory performance by Natalia Villanueva Linares.

“Roots” - connecting to earth through Indian classical and Folk dance, Kinnari Vora
June 4, 11-12:30, El Paseo Community Garden

In this open level workshop, participants will journey through guided movements for grounding and connecting to the earth through Indian Classical and folk dance, rituals and yoga. We start with an introduction to Bharatanatyam dance honoring the earth, water, fire, and air, the sun, moon, and planet, living beings, the body, mind and the heart. May that peace be everywhere and in everyone.The group will then be led in a folk dance form “garba”, a communal circle dance honoring mother earth, the divine feminine and cyclical nature of being.

Ollin Yollistli: Embrace the Sacred Movement, Izayotilmahtzin Mazehualli
June 9, 5:30 - 7:00pm, El Paseo Community Garden

"Ollin Yollistli: Embrace the Sacred Movement," is an immersive workshop that delves into the profound wisdom of the Mexican Nahua Indigenous tradition. Participants can prepare to embark on a transformative journey as we explore the harmonious fusion of movement, breathwork, and posture techniques deeply rooted in Indigenous cosmology and its connection to the natural world.

Immerse yourself in intentional movement and alignment, guided by the sacred teachings of Ollin—the Nahua concept of cosmic movement and transformation. This workshop invites you to forge a connection with your inner self, the environment, and the cosmic forces that shape our very existence.

No prior experience is required to participate in this workshop. Come with an open mind and a willingness to explore and embrace the sacred movement within you.  Please dress comfortably that allows free movement.

Folklorico Basics, Persephone B. Diamond
June 10, 12:30 - 1:30pm, El Paseo Community Garden

Persephone B. Diaz and their mother will teach a Folkorico basics dance course. Sharing basic techniques within a queer friendly space.


Izayotilmahtzin Mazehualli (Nahua / Purepecha), also known as Izayo, is an Indigenous/Chicanx cultural educator, dance instructor, martial artist, environmentalist, mental health advocate, and visual artist. He has spent over a decade learning from elders of the Mexican Nahua oral tradition, especifically learning the disciplines of Nahua martial arts, Mihtotilistli dance, and Kauhpowalli, Toltec time-keeping. Based in Chicago, Mazehualli has been teaching classes and conducting Nahua ceremonies since 2017, both in-person and online. Mazehualli shares mindful movements with people of all ages and abilities, emphasizing the integration of mind and body to bring greater self-awareness and understanding of emotional, physical, and mental health. He frequently travels to Mexico where he conducts anthropological research on Indigenous cosmogony, dance tradition, and oral history.

Kinniari Vora shares stories of universal human conditions and emotions through movement, meditation, and theatrical practices. Her movements are rooted in Bharatanatyam (disciple of Sarmishtha  Sarkar, India), various Indian folk dances and kalaripayattu martial arts. Her work is guided by ancestral energy, wisdom of nature, and collaborative communion. Kinnari is Co-founder and Artistic Co-chair of Ishti Collective and a dancer collaborator with Surabhi Ensemble.

Persephone B. Diamond has been a drag artist for 6 years. She is a bilingual host and house queen at Charlie’s Chicago and is a cast member at El Jefe brunch. She is a former Miss Club Wisconsin state title holder among 8 other titles. Persephone is a professionally trained Mexican Folklorico Dancer, wig stylist, and makeup artist.

Silvita Diaz Brown is a Mexican/American choreographer, dancer, yogi and teacher. She is the artistic director of Sildance/AcroDanza. Based in Chicago since 2008, She holds a BFA in Dance from Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP), Mexico and an MFA in Theatre/Movement from York University, Canada. For the last 17 years, her interdisciplinary dance work has been presented and supported by many venues and festivals in Spain, India, Mexico, Canada, and within the USA. Her newest work in development “Ellas y Yo Mexicanas” which currently has a Chicago Cultural Center Dance Studio Residency will tour this summer to Cuba and Wisconsin and at the end of the year to Argentina.  Silvita uses her art to explore the self, to celebrate her Mexican heritage and to awaken insights about female empowerment.  Her goal is to discover and articulate deep strengths and insights that inspire audiences to feel empowered in their identities and futures no matter where they come from.

Nancy David Sánchez Tamayo aka La Dancy Nancy (he, she, they)
Is a transdisciplinary artist that uses many mediums
Including the immaterial medium of magic within their work.
As a generator of human design, their goal is to help the ascension
process of the earth through their existence and extensions of art and magic making
they believe that there is no line between the spiritual and art.
that line was created by colonization.

Natalia Villanueva Linares is a French Peruvian artist graduated with honors from Beaux Arts de Paris. She currently lives in Chicago and works between North + South America and Europe. Her work has been shown in two major exhibitions at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Paris. She also exhibited at the Sala Miro Quesada Garland (Peru, 2013), the Collège de Bernardins in Paris and La Graineterie (France, 2018). She collaborates with DPM gallery (Ecuador), Wu Gallery (Peru) and Dohyang Lee Gallery (France). In 2022 she presented her first solo show at Comfort Station, followed by a solo exhibition at the Museo de Arte de San Marcos in Peru and won the Luces Award for best solo show of the year. In 2023 she was awarded a residency at Loghaven, and she is exhibiting at The Franklin and Hyde Park Center in Chicago. Natalia is a cultural worker, she co-founded the non-profit organization Yaku in Peoria IL. She is the former Director of the artist-run mini mansion High Place and founder of the magazine Ukayzine, created to promote international cultural exchanges through the visual Arts. Natalia is a contributor for Sixty Inches From Center, with her series "Desde los Archivos'' and recently inaugurated the critic program CANJE, an exploration in cultural criticism.

About the Co-MISSION Curators-In-Residence program:

Links Hall’s Co-MISSION Curators-In-Residence program supports independent, Chicago dance curators, producers, and social practice artists in presenting new and existing performance by their communities, for their communities. In collaboration with Links Hall and a local organization in their own Chicago neighborhoods, the 2022-2023 resident curators will invite artists from their communities to present new or existing performance work at both Links Hall and a neighborhood location. Projects include engaging community events outside of the formal theater environment. Residency awards include artist fees for curators and participating artists; direct funding for neighborhood-based partner organizations; and administrative support, rehearsal space, marketing, and technical production services.

About the community partner organization: 

El Paseo Community Garden’s mission is to strengthen environmental stewardship and civic engagement while protecting equitable green space on behalf of the community. Their governance and leadership structure allows for anyone with a desire to make an impact to do so, growing not only healthy food, but community leaders as well. The outdoor space has become a community center and partner for anyone willing to share accessible community resources. Their goal is to Empower through Nature. Since 2009, El Paseo Community Garden (founded as Growing Station) has been fostering community and wellness for Pilsen residents through stewardship, conservation, placemaking, partnerships, programming, and community gardening. The garden is one of many NeighborSpace protected and community managed spaces in Chicago, with over an acre of equitable greenspace maintained by volunteers and donations. The garden is a converted brownfield site and sits along a path with a native prairie and permaculture food forest on one side and raised beds and an apiary on the other.

Running Time
Dance Styles
Traditional/Indigenous Dance


Links Hall

3111 N. Western Ave. at Constellation
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 281-0824