A full-evening solo work performed by José Navarrete that includes video, dance, theater, poetry, and political and social commentary in a raw cabaret style. Huitlacoche explores issues on a worldwide scale: migrations, natural disasters, war, the environment, and concepts of alienation and community, in a set of vignettes with decidedly Mexican images and iconography. With direction by Sara Shelton Mann, June Watanabe, Shakiri, Debby Kajiyama, and artistic consultation by Joanna Haigood. (80 minutes)

In six movements:

  1. Prologue   
  2. Fractured Land
  3. Aguas con el Agua
  4. ButterFLEE
  5. La Belleza del Otro
  6. Huitlacoche

Prologue text from the Popol Vuh:

Before the Earth was created, there were neither people nor animals; the mountains, plains, and seas were in complete chaos and disorder. The Creators of the Universe discussed in the midst of the darkness how to create all creatures, including human beings. They experimented with mud, but the first people were soft and not good. They tried to carve people out of wood but these creatures did not have a mind; they were unable to remember. There were many beings like this all over the face of the Earth. Lastly, the creators sought to create people from ears of corn, and in this they were successful. Here is where the history of humanity begins.

Huitlacoche (wēt'lä-kō'chā)  n. A swollen black fungus that grows on living ears of corn. Although it is a culinary delicacy in Mexico, it is considered a pest in the United States, and has been persecuted with fungicides and genetic modification to near extinction. 

The Revenge of Huitlacoche is a smartly conceived and emotionally affecting work of thought-provoking dance that showed Navarrete as a skilled and agile dancer/choreographer.
— Rita Felciano, Dance View Times, April 2007
[Huitlacoche] managed to straddle the line between heavy-handedness, skillful scripting, and camp, almost perfectly well...Navarrete’s pieces were moving, political, and real.
— Michael Wade Simpson, In Dance, July/August 2006
…thoughtful, imaginative…exhilarating entertainment… Navarrete is a powerful…mover, yet he inflects every gesture with emotional accents that banish any hint of bleak abstraction… What succeeded… was the tension between political sermonizing and theatrical imperatives, neither one swamping the other.
— Allan Ulrich, Voice of Dance, April 13, 2007

The Revenge of Huitlacoche was made possible by the generosity of many dear friends, teachers, and family, including: Susanne Takehara, Elena Serrano, Jorge Garcia, & Leslie Lopez at Eastside Cultural Center; Rob Bailis, Catherine Clambaneva, Carol Ceres, Eric Andler, and Ruby Veridiano-Ching at ODC, Tommy Wong, Dohee Lee, Andrew Wood, Michael Osborn, Hiroyuki “Jimi” Nakagawa, Sandy Kajiyama & Eric Lee, Professor Mariana Ferreira & Amanda, Margaret Jenkins, Jess Curtis, and the CHIME program; Krissy Keefer, Andy Keefer, & Debbie Lammam at Dance Mission Theater, José Maria Francos; Kristin Heavey & Chris Lanier, Eric Kupers, Ellen Bepp and Jaja; Julie Kane and Patrick; Kallan Nishimoto; David Hartenstein & Renee; Janet Nystrom for financial and moral support; our incredible artistic collaborators, and all our ancestors.

Conceived and performed by José Navarrete

Text from the Popol Vuh
Music by Jorge Reyes

Directed by Sara Shelton Mann
Sound design by Calvin LL. Jones
Text: Che Guevara in his only address to the United Nations on December 11, 1964.

Directed by Shakiri
Sound design by Calvin LL. Jones

Artistic consultant: Joanna Haigood
Video: Joe Williams & Jose Navarrete
Sound engineering: Andy Keefer
Music: Kronos Quartet, Lola Beltran, Puccini
Costume: Maria Gonzalez

Directed by June Watanabe
Music: Fred Frith, Beethoven
Video: M. Mara-Ann
Text: Subcomandante Marcos’ En (Auto) Defensa de las Jirafas

Direction, choreography, & text: Debby Kajiyama
Music: Kronos Quartet
Costume: José Navarrete

Visual Installation: Susanne Takehara with Leslie Lopez & José Garcia

Lighting Design: José María Francos

Photography: Kallan Nishimoto, Michael Osborn

Public Relations: Mona Baroudi