Wishes, Longing and Heartbreak:

Embodied Love in David Copperfield

Yvonne Montoya
feat. Abigail González, Cara Buchanan, Sadie Beebe, Kiana Lynn Macayan Anderson, Jennifer Saracino, Tegan Watkins
choreography, soundscape, installation
embodiment love stories wishes memorial

“What I want to say is that you must never forget me. For I’ll never forget you... And I’ll write to you, my dear. Though I ain’t no scholar. And I’ll— I’ll—” Peggotty fell to kissing the keyhole, as she couldn’t kiss me. He was unwilling to let me go; and stood, holding me out, with a hand on each of my shoulders, as he had done in my own room. “Daisy,” he said, with a smile— “For though that’s not the name your Godfathers and Godmothers gave you, it’s the name I like best to call you by—and I wish, I wish, I wish, you could give it to me!”
“You have no best to me, Steerforth,” said I, “and no worst. You are always equally loved, and cherished in my heart.”

Finding connections between David Copperfield and iconic Tucson shrine “El Tiradito,” I created two new dances inspired by different types of love and love stories found in the book. Exploring the themes of love such as love of place, love of friends, love of caregivers, first love, forbidden love, and romantic love, the movement phrases were inspired by a combination of text, gestures, and the embodied experiences of space and place. Working with the Big Book Field Studio team in a short series of movement workshops, I created two contemporary dances “Wishes, Longing & Heartbreak” that are embodied readings of love, El Tiradito, and David Copperfield.

Media on this page include documentation of the process of making the pieces and its performance at the exhibition’s installation at MOCA Tucson.

Yvonne Montoya is a mother, choreographer, and founding director of Safos Dance Theatre. Montoya was a 2021 PlainView Fellow, a 2019-2020 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, a 2019-2020 Dance/USA Artist Fellow, recipient of the 2020 MAP Fund, and the first Arizona-based artist to receive the 2020 New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) National Dance Project Production Grant. In 2022, Safos received the National Performance Network Creation Fund Grant and the National Endowment for the Arts Grants for Arts Project Grant for her piece “Stories from Home.” She was also recently featured in KQED’s If Cities Could Dance. www.yvonnemontoya.co

"Wishes, Longing & Heartbreak: Embodied Love in David Copperfield" Yvonne Montoya © 2022 Choreography by Yvonne Montoya in collaboration with the Big Book Field Studio Team, with performances by Abigail González, Cara Buchanan, Sadie Beebe, Kiana Lynn Macayan Anderson, Jennifer Saracino, Tegan Watkins. Rehearsal Assistance by Sadie Beebe. Soundscape “El Tiradito” was recorded by Sadie Beebe and arranged by Yvonne Montoya. Produced for Big Book Field Studio © 2022