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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About latinadanceproject

The Latina Dance Project, a collaborative ensemble of multidisciplinary artists, explores through performances--physical, musical and visual--controversial issues impacting the global community. The company's "projects" create experiences that form a new aesthetic in dance theater reflective of the diverse Latina culture of today, shedding light and provoking reflections that can bring about changes tomorrow.
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