As a performance artist and choreographer, I collaborate with visual artists, musicians and dancers to create experimental hybrid dance performances based on rituals and traditions of native cultures. The performances can be regarded to as Art Mysticism because they are often staged ceremonies that exhibit the evolution of our relationship to spirituality with references to the occult and death. I approach each project with the intention of creating sacred space.
I am also informed by the magic in the practices of witchcraft, the cycles of the moon and the Native American Medicine Wheel. My approach is visual and cinematic organizing my process through storyboards often influenced by the highly stylized symbolism in David Lynch films and German Expressionist films of the 1920s. The work is often moody and subliminal, as in dreams. I practice intuition and create personal rituals to induce the progression of the work.
Ana Mendez, born in Miami and a graduate from the University of Illinois, is a professional dancer and performance artist frequently presenting at Spinello Projects. During its 2012 group show Closer, she presented SEALWIVES in collaboration with Samantha Kruse and an Untitled Video with artist Federico Nessi. Recently, Ana was awarded artist fellow for the Artist in Residence in the Everglades program. In her residency in June 2013, she began an exploration titled Wilderness with performer Shira Abergel. She is preparing to further build this work to present at the Bas Fisher Invitational in 2014.
In 2011, Ana presented The Body is Present, commissioned by Miami Light Project for the Here and Now Festival, where she directed a dedication to the late visual artist Ana Mendieta using female visual artists as dancers. She then collaborated with artist Richard Martinez in a site-specific documentation project of The Body is Present in Everglades National Park and Big Cypress Preserve. The photos were exhibited in the Arsht Center Studio Theater lobby during Miami Made 2012.
In 2010, she received a commission by Miami Art Museum to present Walking Spell for the New Work Miami 2010 show. Walking Spell, an endurance based performance inspired by the work of John Cage was presented in collaboration with artists Aja Albertson, Richard Martinez, Federico Nessi and Richard Vergez, members of Psychic Youth, Inc, a collective she cofounded in 2008. In 2010 she also self produced an event TRIBUTE: A Summoning, which featured a 45-minute performance in which she directed and choreographed an all male cast of musicians at the Center for Visual Communication.
With Psychic Youth, Inc., Ana has been showcased in performances under the direction of artist and cofounder Federico Nessi at the de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space, Locust Projects, Spinello Projects, and at the Light Box with Miami Light Project. In 2011, she participated in the Performance Art Forum Residency program in St. Erme, France with Nessi.
She also presented choreography in collaboration with artist Jen DeNike for Art Public, part of Art Basel 2011 and with artist Christy Gast at the Bass Museum during Sleepless Nights 2009.
Ana has also performed for local directors and choreographers such as Natasha Tsakos, Stephanie Ansin, Rosie Herrera, Ray Sullivan, Octavio Campos and Giovanni Luquini. She is also a frequent performer for Circ X cabaret.