October 18, 2012

LXV Wine chats with sensuous dancing diva, Auti Angel

Photo Courtesy Push Girls,
Sundance Channel 
“ To me, movement...is sensual.
No matter how you do it, it is yours.
So own it and work it, to make it work for you.”
                                         AUTI ANGEL
                                         Stars of Push Girls
                                         (Sundance Channel)





While exploring the interconnectedness between dance, sensuality, and a gratifyingly pleasurable experience LXV had the double blessing of interviewing Auti Angel, an extremely talented and beautiful dancer/choreographer who pioneers huge change in the media and how the disabled are perceived. 

At the height of a successful professional dancing career performing with well-known Hip-hop artists (such as LL Cool J, N.W.A., and Kid ‘n Play), Auti joined and all-female Latina hip-hop group which Columbia “Ruffhouse” records signed to a recording contract.  On May 3, 1992, Auti was in a life threatening auto accident that snapped her back in half, severing her spinal cord, and leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. After a difficult seven years that included the sudden loss of her mother to cancer, depression, drug abuse and jail time, Auti  began to rebuild her life. She returned to dancing, becoming the first hip-hop dancer to continue her professional career in a wheelchair. 

In 2005, LXV's Neeta Mittal made a film with Auti Angel. Seven years later, here is Auti Angel speaking her wisdom dance and how it can help us form a deeper relationship with sensuality.

LXV: When was your first experience of recognizing your ability to evoke a powerful response from your audience through your  performance?

Auti: I first experienced the ability to evoke a powerful response from my audience when I entered the freestyle circle in Junior High School for the first time. I remember being the only girl who would go in the circle to battle the guys with my fiercely crazy unique moves and an attitude that wouldn't quit. The crowd went wild and I that’s all she wrote!

LXV: What advice do you have for someone who is uncomfortable in their body yet want to learn to embrace their sensual side? What are some basic ways for anyone to express sensuality through movement?

Auti: To me, movement...is sensual. No matter how you do it, it is yours. So own it and work it, to make it work for you. I remember after my accident that left me paralyzed, I would think, wow, I wished I had my old body back or I could dance the way I did before. But once I learned to love me,I embraced my new paralyzed body, and because I embraced myself, I learned to move in ways better than before!

LXV: You have worked with Neeta Mittal, founder of LXV wine, on the film "Wings Of Legacy" and both of you really tapped in to showcasing the idea of individual expression without boundaries;  Can you talk a bit about your experience of this while working on the film with Neeta?

Still from "Wings of Legacy", created by LXV founder Neeta Mittal, starring Auti Angel
Auti: Neeta Mittal and I connected from the very beginning. The moment she shared her passion about creating a film that shared a unique and inspiring human experience, I jumped in with both wheels.

LXV: I watched the trailer for the movie, “Musical Chairs” that you co-star in, and was really excited by the ballroom dancing scenes. What is your approach to the sensuality of partnered dance?

Auti: Partnered dancing is a spiritual dance in itself. First of all, I am used to dancing solo as a hip-hop dancer. Once I had learned to become vulnerable, by sharing my circle of comfort, I was introduced to a whole other level of freedom.

LXV: There is also a short by and about you entitled “The Strength of Legends!!!” What does it take to become a Legend? What would you like to leave as your legacy in regards to dance?

Auti: It takes a determined soul to become a legend, a soul that is willing to use it’s gifts and talents to pave the way others! It also takes a servant to become a leader.I am serving my dance as a gift to others. I created Wheelchair Hip-Hop Dancing to teach people how to express themselves from the inside out in a positive light so that we can heal the world together!

…And healing the world she is! 

There is a depth of character that comes from overcoming obstacles and alchemizing them from challenges into an inspiration.  That radiance shines and brightens the world: it starts from finding that center within, letting it expand, allowing it to move and grow.  Dance is the perfect metaphor for this, and Auti Angel is a glowing example of how strong, gracefully, and triumphant we all have ability to be.
_______________________________________________________
Alison Leporati for LXV Wine

About LXV : LXV is a boutique California wine, inspired by the 64 Arts of KamaSutra. We invite inspirational winemakers and artists to share their philosophies on wine, art and sensuality, through images, interviews, events, and by curating their work. As such, LXV is a collective philosophy of indulging your senses and inspiring the inner sensuality in you...the 65th Sutra.

www.lxvwine.com 
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