Dance-theater collab "English with an Accent" Premiering in Washington, DC
The collaboration with Venezuelan Migguel Anggelo chronicles an Immigrant Caterpillar's Quest for the "American Dream".
Venezuelan American performing artist, Migguel Anggelo, a rising force in the national theater scene will be debuting English with an Accent, a hybrid dance-theater work of original music that explores self-realization through the eyes of an anthropomorphized, immigrant caterpillar. A co-presentation by Washington Performing Arts and GALA Hispanic Theatre, with commissioning support from the Cultural Arts Center at Montgomery College, English with an Accent will be performed in Washington, D.C., on April 1st, 2022 at 8 pm at GALA Theatre.
English with an Accent is narrated in a storytelling song-cycle backed by a company of ten dancers. The story is a semi-autobiographical fable that follows the journey of a newly arrived caterpillar in New York City. Fleeing the crime and noxious dictatorship of Venezuela, and unsure of which direction his insect life is taking, He wonders how to honor his potential as a caterpillar-when so many others assume he’s is just a lowly worm. As the caterpillar explores the streets of New York City, he begins to question his own identity as well as the promise of the “American Dream.”
Reflecting on the realization of his dream, Anggelo Says: “I am very excited to bring English with an Accent to our nation’s capital and so proud to collaborate with Washington Performing Arts and Gala Hispanic Theatre. After sixteen long years, I am now (finally!) a naturalized U.S. citizen, so this work is especially meaningful to me. It represents my quest for safety, for happiness, for self-worth – and finding that in the United States, I can now call this country my “home.” He continues;” Home and safety matter to everyone, regardless of where they are from, and it’s my hope that people who don’t normally see their stories reflected on stage, find theirs in our work.”
English with an Accent contains music and lyrics co-written by Jaime Lozano (Music Co‐Writer, Musical Director, Arranger) from Monterrey, Mexico, with extensive experience. His works include: THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD (Off‐Broadway and National Tour), CARMEN LA CUBANA (European Tour), and CHILDREN OF SALT (NYMF 2016 “Best of Fest''), among others. Jaime holds an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts; was a 2020 Joe’s Pub Working Group resident artist, and a teacher/activist for the nonprofit R.Evolución Latina. As Migguel Anggelo’s frequent collaborator, the two co-created LATINXOXO, and he performs frequently with Anggelo. They are concurrently co-creating a new immigration musical with playwright Christina Quintana: THE LAST SUPPER. Lin Manuel Miranda who also wrote the liner notes for his new album, ‘Jaime Lozano & The Familia: Songs by an Immigrant has heralded Lozano as the “Next big thing”
The production is being directed, choreographed, and developed by the internationally acclaimed Avihai Haham, a three-time winner of the Israeli Choreography Prize. His recent credits include choreography and direction of Meshugeneh Ballet (Israeli Opera House) and Frida (Dance Theatre for Habima National Theatre of Israel). Additional artistic credits: Encores!Workingthe Musical (NYC City Centre), Dancebreaknyc.org, Eurovision 2019 (Interval Acts show Choreographer), My Fair Lady (Choreographer) Evita (Choreographer) for the Habima National Theater, West Side Story (Choreographer), Hair (Choreographer), and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (Choreographer) for the Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv, Around the World in Eighty Days (Director) Oliver Twist (Choreographer) in Paris, France, Mythic the Musical (Choreographer) in Montreal, and Legally Blond the Musical (Director and Choreographer) in Israel.
Migguel Anggelo is a Venezuelan-born and Brooklyn based multidisciplinary artist. His work explores the intersections of queer, Latino, and immigration identities. He has released two musical albums: La Casa Azul and Donde Estará Matisse. He has been awarded numerous fellowships, theatrical residencies, and performances at such diverse organizations as MASS MoCA, the Kimmel Center, Lincoln Center, Miami Light Project, National Queer Theater, LPAC, Joe’s Pub Working Group, NY Presenters Consortium, among many others. He has served as a cultural attaché, under the auspices of the U.S. State Department in two separate 10-city tours of Russia. In addition to English with An Accent, Migguel Anggelo has developed and performed LatinXoxo, his critically acclaimed semi-autobiographical, hybrid performance that explores queer identity through a musical and theatrical extravaganza, deconstructing gendered, Latino stereotypes. Other works include So Close: Love and Hate, Another Son of Venezuela, and Welcome to La Misa, Baby.
English with an Accent will be released as a trilogy: live performance, short dance films, and a concept album to be released in late 2022.
Washington Performing Arts is one of the leading presenters in the nation. Each season, the organization presents a tremendous range of artists and art forms, from the most distinguished symphony orchestras to both renowned and emerging artists in classical music, gospel music, jazz, and other rich traditions from around the world. Its 2021/22 season—which includes English with an Accent—focuses on the return of live art, centering artists’ voices, and supporting the creation of diverse new works.
"English with an Accent was an absolute 'must' for Washington Performing Arts, and we are thrilled to reactivate our long relationship with GALA in bringing it to our audiences,” Said
Washington Performing Arts President and CEO Jenny Bilfield. "The narrative of this work— transformation, identity, the nature of self and of home—especially resonated with us. In the nation's capital, we live at the intersection of global cultures, and also the contours of social and political change. English with an Accent teases these themes. Most of all, however, it is a wholly original work by a visionary artist."
GALA (Grupo de Artistas Latino Americanos) Hispanic Theatre is a National Center for Latino Performing Arts in the nation's capital. Since 1976, GALA has been promoting and sharing the Latino arts and cultures with a diverse audience, creating work that speaks to communities today, and preserving the rich Hispanic heritage for generations that follow. By developing, producing, and presenting works that explore the breadth of Latino performing arts, GALA provides opportunities for the Latino artists, educates youth, and engages the entire community in an exchange of ideas and perspectives.
“We are thrilled to co-present with Washington Performing Arts,” states Hugo Medrano, GALA’s Producing Artistic Director, “the work of Venezuelan artist Migguel Anggelo to Washington audiences. Through his story and abstract movement, we are reminded of the struggles of millions around the world who flee their countries to seek refuge in another. It is a story that we, as a nation of immigrants, must never forget.”