Juanita Suarez, co-Artistic Director of LDTP, has updates, news and some history to share!

Juanita Suarez has applied for a full-year sabbatical for 2015- 16.  The intention of this research project is to delve deeply into the Mexican American migrant experience, paying particular attention to how the life of a migrant was reported taking place in San Antonio, Texas and Lansing, Michigan during the years 1947 – 52.  By drawing from the stories told by migrant workers in these locations, she intends to create an interdisciplinary performance for Latino dance students enrolled at the University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP) Department of Dance.

Her reason for doing research in these particular locations and years is based on a personal history as a migrant. She was born Mexican American and raised by a family that migrated and worked as migrants; her family traveled from San Antonio, Texas in 1952 and headed North to Lansing, Michigan where there was work to be had during that year.  Since those years she moved far away from her culture and assimilated into the world of the university.  The consequence of leaving an extensive family behind in San Antonio has impacted her family in a way that is unexplainable.  Her familia suffered a dysfunction and fragmentation she is sure is  common among many migrant families.

In her words, “I would like to now “go back for the others” and for that other part of me that has been lost and almost forgotten.  I have a dire need to create and write about it (as Sandra Cisneros coaxed me to do) so as to stem the cultural amnesia I suffer, and address the sense of loss many others suffer too. I am aware of personal movements and how economic pressures, the need to be successful in the United States, made it easy for me to not be aware and actually indifferent to my Latina heritage.  For always there has been the practical reality of functioning effectively in the dominant culture of Euro-America.”

Juanita has been commissioned to work with Melissa Hauschild-Mork, Bill Evans, and Jacqueline Smith-Autard of Bedford Interactive of England.  The responsibilities include creating a script for software that will promote the art of teaching a master work.  The software will record the master work of “Colony” a work created by Evans based on the colonial movements and the response of aboriginal cultures to such movements.  The dance will be recorded by 6 cameras and will be performed by dancers at Dean College where Evans teaches.  The project will be sponsored by Routledge Press. Juanita has also been invited to work with dance educator Karen Bradley, to serve on a think-tank committee supporting new developments in Dance and Neuroscience.  Neuroscientists have discovered the amazing brain of the dancer and are currently involved in research to understand the activities of the dance brain using EEG monitoring.  The last experiment tried to record the movements in the brain taking place when a dancer lifted a single arm, performing a simple gesture.  The super computer involved crashed.  Now the research has been animated by the intrigue these scientists have derived by noting the complexity of how we think when we dance.

This month of November 2014, Juanita presented a group dance, Gemini, for DANSCORE, the faculty concert offered annually by the College at Brockport Department of Dance.  She also attended the National Dance Education Organization Conference held in Chicago.  While at NDEO she contributed to the final vote of the Vision Statement supporting Dance 2050, which has been in process for three years.  She will be involved with disseminating information concerning this new movement to universities, and other dance organizations throughout the coming year.

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Our Weekly Los Angeles – BlakTina Festival Review

Second BlakTina Festival explores more artists

Black and Latina choreographers, dancers take center stage

By Cheryl Flores OW Intern | 9/11/2014, midnight

BlakTina 2 Festival, a three-day event that included nine dance performances from 10 choreographers utilizing 37 dancers, featured a diverse palette of dance that ranged from ballet to Hip Hop.

Presented Friday evening by The Latina Dance Theater Project and Bootleg Theater and sponsored by the Los Angeles City Department of Cultural Affairs and Los Angeles County Arts Commission, BlakTina aimed to provide a space to showcase Black and Latina choreographers.

Creator Licia Perea wanted to celebrate the diversity of Black and Latina voices in the city.

“It is important to have a festival like this in L.A., when a majority of the community is Black or Latin(o),” she explained. Perea collaborated with Alicia Adams, the artistic director of Bootleg, a theater that celebrates dance, theater, poetry, film, and other forms of art and diversity, and worked tirelessly to execute the Blaktina 2 Festival.

Inspired by BlakTinx, a performance-based festival presented by the Bronx Academy of Art and Dance in New York to celebrate people of color, BlakTina showcased the works of choreographers who are talented local dancers with esteemed backgrounds such as teachers, dance award winners, and masters of fine arts graduates from top-notch university dance programs (U.C. Irvine, U.C. Berkeley, UCLA, CalArts, U.C. Riverside, and CSU Dominguez Hills).

The festival included unique performances such as “We, Hanging by a Thread,” which featured a live cover of a song by alternative band The Smith’s “What She Said,” and performance by choregrapher Cyrian Reed performed “Lady in the Reed Shoes.” This piece featured a tap solo. There was also a dance piece “Pendulum,” an ode to Black men murdered and profiled by police and those who empathized and prayed for them. The show was followed by a meet and greet with the dancers and choreographers at the Bootleg.

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5 Dance Shows to See in L.A. This Week, Including L.A.’s Largest Dance Fest
Comments (0)By Ann Haskins Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 3:10 AM
Categories: Dance

SoulLabImage2 Photo courtesy of BlakTina 2Marina Magalhães and Allison Gray in BlakTina2


This week’s dance events include two dance festivals, a Dream event, Spanish dance from Cuba and a lady in a tower.

5. Kickstarter dance

With funding from a successful Kickstarter campaign, Licia Perea, her Latina Dance Theater and the ever-adventurous Bootleg Theater return with a new edition of BlakTina 2. The obliquely named showcase spotlights mid-career and emerging Latino and African-American choreographers based in L.A. The ten selected choreographers offer a blend of premieres and previously staged works. Dancemakers Cyrian Reed, Dorcas Román, Marina Magalhães/Allison Gray and Michelle Funderburk contribute the new works. Sofia Carreras, Rande Dorn, Joshua Romero, Crystal Sepúlveda and Maura Townsend offer previously restaged pieces. The styles range from dance/theater, hip-hop, tap, jazz and spoken-word including poetry by Maya Angelou. At Bootleg Theater, 2200 Beverly Blvd., Echo Park; Thurs.-Sat., Sept. 4-6, 7:30 p.m., $20. 213-389-3856, http://www.bootlegtheater.org.

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BlakTina 2 Festival!

BlakTina 2 Header 2

LATINA DANCE THEATER PROJECT & Bootleg Theater presents The BlakTina 2 Festival – a movement festival of cutting edge work presented by Licia Perea of the Latina Dance Theater Project (LDTP) and the Bootleg Theater. This is the 2nd exciting year LDTP is presenting the BlakTina Festival – THE dance festival that celebrates emerging and mid-career Black and Latina (o) choreographers who live and work in Los Angeles.This exciting new festival will feature 10 contemporary choreographers with four premieres – in one evening of compelling work!

September 4th, 5th & 6th, 2014 at 7:30 pm Thursday – Saturday

Bootleg Theater Doors & Bar open at 7pm
Tickets: $20 online at http://www.bootlegtheater.org or 213-389-3856
DRC member ticket discount, $15 – enter code “dancer” at checkout

This year’s choreographers are:
Sofia Carreras, Rande Dorn, Michelle Funderburk, Allison Gray & Marina Malgahães, Cyrian Reed, Dorcas Roman, Joshua Romero, Crystal Sepúlveda and Maura Townsend

Blaktina 2 includes 4 premieres by Cyrian Reed, Dorcas Roman, Marina Malgahães/Allison Gray and Michelle Funderburk. The other 5 pieces by Sofia Carreras, Rande Dorn, Joshua Romero, Crystal Sepúlveda and Maura Townsend have been performed in LA, regionally and nationally. It is an amazing line up of contemporary choreography drawing from dance/theater, hip-hop, tap, jazz, poetry (by Maya Angelou) and all featuring fantastic dancers.

The BlakTina 2 Festival is forging new boundaries in the festival scene in Los Angeles. The BlakTina 2 Festival is Licia Perea’s brainchild, giving focus to emerging and mid-career Black and Latina (o) choreographers. She is co-producing BlakTina with Alicia Adams of the Bootleg. Both organizations are committed to producing boundary-defying performances born from the diverse cultural and artistic landscape of LA.


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The BlakTina 2 Festival – September 2014

The BlakTina 2 Festival is a movement festival of cutting-edge work presented by Licia Perea of the Latina Dance Theater Project (LDTP) and the Bootleg Theater. This is our second year featuring Latina (o) and Black choreographers in one festival based in the greater Los Angeles area, and we will highlight the works of 10 contemporary choreographers.

SAVE THE DATES: September 4th, 5th & 6th, 2014 at Bootleg Theater

This  year’s choreographers are: Cyrian Reed, Crystal Sepúlveda, Dorcas Roman, Joshua Romero, Marina Magalhães & Allison Gray, Maura Townsend, Michelle Funderburk, Rande Dorn and Sofia Carreras!

Licia Perea of LDTP and Alicia Adams of Bootleg Theater are committed to producing boundary-defying performances born of the diverse cultural and artistic landscape of L.A. Their three-fold plan is to give emerging and mid-career choreographers opportunities to present their work, to create a community and to expand all of our collective audiences.

Want to help produce this one-of-a-kind festival in the L.A. area? Help match DCA funds to pay participating choreographers, visit; 



Tickets available at www.bootlegtheater.org

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BlakTina 2 Festival Proposal & Application Form

Request for Proposals

BlakTina 2 Festival

September 4th, 5th & 6th, 2014

presented by

Latina Dance Theater Project and Bootleg Theater

Application Due Date: July 7th, 2014

Submit both items below to: BlakTina 2 Festival c/o Latina Dance Theater Project at either: liciaperea01@gmail.com OR 2159 Lyric Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90027

  1. $20 application fee – can be paid through PayPal via the donate button on this blog (above right) or check mailed to address listed above.

2. Submission Application can be downloaded below.

Festival Participants Announced: July 18th, 2014

FESTIVAL DATES: September 4th, 5th & 6th, 2014 at Bootleg Theater

Licia Perea and The Latina Dance Theater Project seeks applicants from Latina (o) and Black contemporary choreographers based in the Los Angeles vicinity, drawing from a full range of styles and culturally based approaches that represent contemporary Black and Latina (o) dance theater. This exciting festival will feature 6 – 7 choreographers of color. LDTP is excited to be partnering again with the Bootleg for our second presentation of this hugely successful festival of cutting edge work! 

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Choreographers who have produced and presented their own choreography in a non-student context.
  • Applicants are a resident of Los Angeles vicinity, have lived here for at least one year and have produced choreographic work in LA.
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older
  • Full-time students are not eligible

Project Description:

  • Presentation – Artists are expected to present an original work no more than 12 minutes.

Selected artists will receive the following:

  • $200 honorarium
  • Marketing/PR will be provided by LDTP and Bootleg.
  • Tech Production support will be provided including a basic lighting design, overall technical direction, and light and sound operators. No large scenery can be accepted.

Selection process: Up to seven choreographers/choreographic collaborations will be selected for the BlakTina 2 Festival. A panel will lead the selection process which will include members of LDTP, Bootleg’s Artistic Director and community artists. The panel will make decisions based on quality and innovation of the artist’s work and interest in the Festival. The panel seeks a spectrum of dance styles and aesthetics, with particular interest in contemporary and innovative approaches. However, the intent of the panel will be to select applicants of high artistry and interest, rather than make a distribution for the sake of balance. LDTP is a collaborative ensemble of multidisciplinary artists who explore through performances–physical, musical, and visual–controversial issues impacting the global community. LDTP’s partner, Bootleg is a 1930’s warehouse and a home for Los Angeles artists who work in theater, music, dance, and film. Bootleg presents and produces work that is surprising, unexpected, exciting and reflective of life in Los Angeles, a city where the boundaries are elastic, and not bound by tradition.

 ** Deadline for Applications is July 7th 2014**

**Festival participants will be notified no later than July 18th, 2014**

BlakTina 2 Submission

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LDTP at the National Hispanic Cultural Center

Latina Dance Theater Project was delighted to receive this letter from Reeve Love at the National Hispanic Cultural Center regarding our presentation of El Sueño de la Razón/Slumber of Reason. We loved our time there and cannot wait to return!


To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is in support of the Latina Dance Theater Project and their production of El Sueño de la Razón/Slumber of Reason, an original dance drama which was presented at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) on March 25-26, 2011. This performance was part of Global DanceFest (GDF), a citywide season of contemporary dance from across the globe, and was presented in partnership with VSA North Fourth Art Center and New Art New Mexico, the founders and sponsors of GDF. This is the company’s second appearance at the NHCC; the world premiere of their production Coyolxauhqui ReMembers, another original dance drama, was presented at the Center in January 2006.

Slumber of Reason, inspired by Francisco de Goya’s 18th century etchings entitled Los Caprichos, creates contemporary “caprichos” presented in vignettes combining movement, spoken and sung text, and video, and highlighting the absurdity, both comic and tragic, of the social abuses afflicting our world today. Both the sheer physicality and the haunting poignancy of the work make it an extraordinary theatrical experience.
Latina Dance Theater Project founders Licia Perea, Eva Tessler, and Juanita Suárez, joined by José Garcia Davis (who created the video, masks, and set for the piece, as well as performing in it) and apprentice Gabriela Nugent (Tessler’s daughter), brought talent, wit, and passion to the NHCC stage for two memorable nights. Our patrons were transfixed, and our presenting partners delighted.

The artists in the Latina Dance Theater Project, striving to create a new Latina aesthetic in contemporary dance-theatre, have continued to add exciting multidisciplinary dimensions to their unique perspective, and I continue to recommend their work wholeheartedly to funders and to other presenters.

Reeve Love, Ph.D.
Performing Arts Director
National Hispanic Cultural Center

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