Sabina Ibarrola: Gender, Sexuality and Performance

ibarrolaSabina Ibarrola         

Gender, Sexuality and Performance
B.A. September 2012 Magna cum Laude
Home College: Hunter
Mentor: Prof. Maura Donohue, Dance, Hunter
Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship
Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship
Dean’s List

Sabina Ibarrola started college in Sarasota at The New College of Florida, Florida’s legislatively-designated “honors college for the liberal arts.” While she enjoyed her experience, there were almost no performing arts courses which led her to move to New York.

She completed a self-designed major that blended contemporary dance and gender studies, under the guidance of Prof. Donohue. “Combined with my burlesque work, this opened the door for me as a performer, giving me the opportunity to create deeply personal pieces reflecting my queer, feminist, anti-racist politics through an aggressively feminine aesthetic. As a mixed-race Latina femme performance artist, my work coalesces around conscious, performative femininity and camp as strategies for resisting racist heteropatriarchy. My experiences in gender/performance studies, dance and most recently herbal healing come together in a passion for body liberation: a fierce dedication to helping people love and experience pleasure in their beautifully diverse bodies.”

Her experiences include working as a Watson Fellow Public Policy Intern at both the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the Studio Museum in Harlem, and working as an assistant in Hunter’s Women’s and Gender Studies program. Now she is furthering her performance training through EMERGENYC, the Hemispheric New York Emerging Performers Program. Her goal is to create work that addresses issues of embodiment and mental health in the queer and transgendered People of Color community, exploring ways to bring trauma-sensitive movement and embodied practice to people who need it most.

Ibarolla believes that experiences within her own community can act as a reflecting mirror for other communities. She is 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,” she says. She continues to study dance as a work/study student at Mark Morris Dance Center and Sacred Brooklyn. In addition, she is apprenticing at WiseWoman Healing Ways to pursue a path of bringing holistic healing to her community.

The courses for her concentration were drawn from Political Science, Women’s Studies, Dance and English. In addition to completing courses at Hunter, she took one course at the CUNY School of Professional Studies for her degree.


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