Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Migratory Artist

"To be free is not easy. To be free is hard. And always, you feel pain in your heart, but always there is happiness too." -- Salvadoran artist Danilo Rivera

Danilo Rivera gives the same instruction to all the students at his dance class in Washington, D.C: “Be free!”

He tells them that without a sense of liberation, their movements will never amount to art.

As a child in El Salvador, Rivera survived a civil war. Today, he is a professional dancer and painter.

In his dance, he uses fluid movements of his large, strong hands to express himself. He likes to paint angels with wings and muscular bodies.

Before leaving El Salvador, he accomplished one of his dreams: to paint the bodies of dancers, and then have them perform his dance on the streets. He said he cried when he saw his art so completely in motion.

Rivera says he hopes to move to Europe one day, to continue pushing at artistic and personal boundaries.