Cacao: A Venezuelan Lament

Performance Installation

An immersive, durational installation, recounting the harvest journey of cacao, growing in Venezuela.

Playing in farms, cracking open cacao pods and sucking on the succulent cotton-soft fruit and competing with other kids to see who could spit cacao beans the farthest, was part of Victoria Mata’s childhood; creator of Cacao Lament. This piece incites a curiosity into a collective oblivion to the origins of cacao, better known as chocolate.

In collaboration with award winning Toronto-based visual artist Alexandra Gelis and designer Trevor Schwellnus, the artists explore the living and lost memory of the socio-cultural-historic-political traces of Venezuela’s cacao through the intersections of movement, sound, light and animation. This dynamic trio will create a multisensorial interactive installation that provides a window into a pressing global issue of food sovereignty and cultural preservation in the Americas.

Cast & Credits
Victoria Mata
Multimedia and Visual Art
Alexandra Gelis
Set & Lighting Design
Trevor Schwellnus
Music Composition
Jackeline Rago
Mesoamerican flute
Miguelito Martinez
Sound Engineer
Miguelito Martinez | Corazón del Sur Studios, Oakland CA
Guest Performer
Lido Pimienta
About The Artist

Venezuelan-Canadian choreographer-dancer with a background in urban planning. Mata’s sensibility to inclusion and passion for border stories is due to her eclectic upbringing in three continents. Mata’s career was first sculpted by pedagogic, self-directed training, which proceeded with local and international with internationally renowned choreographers leading her to showcase her repertoire throughout out the Americas. An active member of Toronto’s progressive arts community and the abolishment of violence against women, Mata’s aspiration is to continue being a catalyst for artistic curiosity. Her Masters in Contemporary Choreography, propelled dialogue between performance and embodied cultural memory, which awarded her the recognition of 2016 Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award finalist.