Meet Sabina Ibarrola

September 13, 2013

Sabina Ibarrola is a queer mxd-race Latina – a dancer, bruja, and burlesque artist on the path towards becoming a writer and healer, too. She lives in Brooklyn among many cats and resilient femmes, faking it til she makes it.

1. What does “a world safe for femmes” look like in your wildest, most glittered imagination?

As Mia Mingus puts it, “To me, femme must include ending ableism, white supremacy, heterosexism, the gender binary, economic exploitation, sexual violence, population control, male supremacy, war and militarization, and ownership of children and land.” A world safe for femmes celebrates our work, in all the many ways it takes form, and it celebrates and makes space for our play and rest and dreaming and loving. A world safe for femmes is FULL of glitter!

2. Got a public service announcement for queers?

Femme =/= cattiness, competition, and exclusivity. That’s yr misogyny talking. Which is not to say that plenty of us don’t tend to experience those things, because racism+misogyny+transphobia+ableism+colonialism+fatphobia+classism totally fuck with us and the ways we create community.

3. “My performance art is like….?”

My performance art is like a love letter to the brilliant galaxy of femmes of color and mixed-race femmes that light my way home. As a mixed-race Latina femme artist, my work coalesces around conscious, performative femininity and camp as strategies for resisting racist heteropatriarchy. It is a becoming, a coalescing, a figuring-it-out, a really big fuck-up, and a grand success.

4. How and where do the bruja and burlesque intertwine?

This is a really good question! I’m still working to figure out. One way I’m doing this is through collaborating with fellow Femme Show dance artists on a group piece about embodied queer histories, especially marginalized histories, the ones we don’t find in books or archives, but which we nonetheless carry in our blood, bones, and gestures. I am interested in dance and movement as spells to call forth the spirits. I am enjoying the process of discovering what I can learn about my own queer Latinidad by invoking both blood-related and chosen ancestors. We are collectively both paying homage to our elders and forebears, and performing ritual for the longevity of our communities.

I also really hope to bring healing to others – for me, dance/movement and burlesque performance are extremely important tools for reclaiming my body and I am eager to explore ways to use these as interventions for other folks as well. However, all too often dance classes, yoga studios, performance venues, etc., are not welcoming spaces for folks who are (gender)queer, trans, disabled, fat, older, and/or cash poor. I want to explore ways to bring trauma-sensitive movement and embodied practice to folks who need it, deeply and necessarily grounded in love and body liberation. I’m deeply inspired by folks already doing this kind of work!

 5. Anything else?

My next big performance is October 4th and 5th with The Femme Show in Boston, MA! Please check it out – the lineup is full of incredible femmes! Soon after that I’ll be in LEZ MIZ, which is yes, a queer kinky re-imagining of Les Miserables. November 7th in NYC – not to be missed. I also just started working with the incredible femmes of Heels on Wheels – it’s really fucking exciting to make friends and make art with folks who are major inspirations to me!