In First Woman on the Moon, performance artist Elia Arce conducts an investigation of space, movement through it, and the claiming of one's own. Through the use of her body, language, sound and visual images, Arce leads the audience through a series of places both physical and emotional, from the dark, lush jungles of her Costa Rican roots to the barren, lunar landscape of her adopted desert home. Arce's nomadic journey to the center of the self is met with obstacles at every stop along the way, until she claims the space that she can fence and call her own.
First Woman on the Moon was first conceived more than 10 years ago in response to cultural issues that were then being discussed and debated within the performance community regarding issues of identity. Originally commissioned in 1991 by Highways Performance Space (Los Angeles), First Woman on the Moon is historically important as one of the earliest performance pieces to give a different voice to the Latino identity movement, focusing more on issues of class and spirituality rather than race and ethnicity.