Rachel (Ren) Ellis Neyra: Unruly Audition

Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 7:00pm
Ring Family Performing Arts Hall

FREE! Open to the public.

Descend into the music; salsa summons you here. Formatively Caribbean, West African, and Neoyorquinx, salsa beaches the Atlantic Ocean against horns of brass. “Tropical music” that is also urban, forged by displaced bodies on the “nervous breakdown streets” of New York, 1970s salsa’s instrumentation and lyrics carry the crevasses and rivers of mountainous, coastal, Caribbean plantation memory and insurrectionist desires. Salsa invites unruly audition.

By enacting a practice of multi-sensorial and poetic listening to a couple video and audio performances of Héctor Lavoe and the Fania All-Stars, this talk imagines where unruly audition may become a riot.

Rachel (Ren) Ellis Neyra is a poet-theorist and an Assistant Professor of English at Wesleyan University. Ellis Neyra reads and writes about Latinx Studies; Caribbean, African Diasporic and Latinx Poetics, Performance Art, Music, and Visual Art; Third Cinema; Cuban and Puerto Rican Contemporary Art; and Film, Literary, Queer, and Translation Theories. Recently, Ellis Neyra was living in San Juan and working on their academic book manuscript, Cry Bomba: Listening to Brown Poetics, in residency at Beta-Local. Cry Bomba is concerned with Latinx and Black literature, music, cinema, and performance art that deviate from the promise of freedom and the American dream, and flicker with insurgency. Ellis Neyra also recently published their debut book of poems with La Impresora Press in San Juan, Meteor Shower / Días Sin Shower.