Antonio Ramos
El pueblo de los Olvidados (The Village of the Forgotten), Part 1


October 2-12, 2019


Co-Commissioned and Co-Presented with Abrons Arts Center.

El pueblo de los Olvidados (The Village of the Forgotten) is a dance-theater performance in the genre of science-fiction, prompted by Ramos’s research about Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The narrative concerns the protagonist, Tony Tacon, returning to his native planet to discover the metamorphosis of the land and his gender, attacked and altered by a different breed. As if under a moribund spell, the entire country appears devastated after years of suffering under the colonization by the alien species, FIMA. Unbeknownst to the native population, the purpose of this invasion was to turn the native people, Tainos, into Barikas (word play between denigrating term for gays, “Marica”, and the indigenous name of the island of Puerto Rico), ultimately transforming the nation into an intergalactic tropical resort. Beyond being repurposed as a spot for rejuvenation, PR hosts a base for a top-secret laboratory where the invaders develop a powerful weapon that has the ability to extract water from other planets, leaving devastating droughts in its wake. FIMA’s efforts further complicate matters as they plant invasive species to take over the nation by destroying its natural habitat. The infusion of alien flora and fauna gives rise to a new, diverse, trans-sexual species with multiple mammaries and sexual organs.

The appeal of the exotic new land spreads to other planets. Unfortunately, the new Puerto Rico remains undetectable on navigation systems, due to FIMA’s supremacy spell which envelops the island in fog so thick that incoming vessels, including rescue ships, enter the cloud and forever disappear within. In the midst of all the hardship, a ray of light emerges as Tony discovers a secret weapon under his rapidly growing cloud of hair, that helps the native people understand the spell they had fallen into.

The construct of this newly devised work is allegorical, referencing the gringo invasion of Ramos’s native land, and the diasporic dilemma of existing as an artist outside of the island. El pueblo de los Olvidados explores themes of colonization, its power, and the rampant abuse of it.

Photo by Ian Douglas

Created by Antonio Ramos. Performed by Angie Pittman, Awilda Rodriguez Lora, Sarah White-Ayón, Saul Ulerio, Antonio Ramos, and Johnnie Cruise Mercer. Music by Chris Cochrane and Kevin Budd. Costumes by Claire Fleury. Visual Design: Alex Romania.

Part 2 of El pueblo de los Olvidados will premiere in the Playhouse at Abrons Arts Center in Spring 2020.