BlakTina Festival Choreographers Have Been Selected!

Licia and the Latina Dance Theater Project were overwhelmed with the quality of the applications submitted to us for the first BlakTina Festival – wow – all of you are amazing in your artistic vision and we wish that we could include all of you!!!  

The 3 person panel (2 co-artistic directors from LDTP and artistic dir. of Bootleg) has finally come to a most difficult decision for our first BlakTina Festival.  

The choreographers that will represent the first BlakTina at Bootleg December 12th, 13th & 14th, 2013 are:

1.  Jasmine Burgos, Sensualidad
2.  Sofia Carreras, El Toro
3.  Hugo Diaz, Entry #2
4.  Michelle Funderburk, Trademark
5.  Dorcas Roman, Casa Tomada
6.  Cyrian Reed, Woman
7.  Joshua Romero, Aurora Borealis
8.  Eluza Santos, Markas

Personally I’m so gratified and thrilled to see such incredible work from all the applicants in the greater LA AREA!  

The BlakTina festival is on its’ way and I know that it will only grow into a staple of the LA Dance scene!

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Request for BlakTina Festival Choreographer Proposals is OPEN!!

BlakTina Festival presented by

Latina Dance Theater Project And Bootleg Theater

Due Date: October 15, 2013 (Postmark Deadline)
Festival Participants Announced: October 25th, 2013
Submit Proposals to: BlakTina Festival c/o Latina Dance Theater Project 2159 Lyric Ave. LA, CA 90027
FESTIVAL DATES: December 12th, 13th and 14th, 2013 at Bootleg Theater

The BlakTina Festival is presented by Licia Perea and the Latina Dance Theater Project (LDTP) and the Bootleg Theater in a first ever festival featuring Latina (o) and Black choreographers based in Los Angeles! This exciting new festival will feature 6 – 7 choreographers of color, including work by the Latina Dance Theater Project. LDTP is excited to be partnering with the Bootleg for the premiere of this new festival of cutting edge work.

The Latina Dance Theater Project seeks applicants from Latina (o) and Black contemporary choreographers based in Los Angeles, drawing from a full range of styles and culturally based approaches that represent contemporary Black and Latina (o) dance in the world today.
Eligibility Requirements:
• Choreographers who have produced and presented their own choreography in a non-student context.
• Applicants must be a resident of Los Angeles County, have lived in Los Angeles County for at least one year, and have produced choreographic work in Los Angeles County.
• 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. The evening will be shared with approximately 6-7 choreographers.
Selected artists will receive the following:
• Marketing/PR will be provided by LDTP and Bootleg. The Festival will be marketed to the press, as well as in LDTP’s and Bootleg’s own publicity materials
• Tech Production support will be provided including lighting design, overall technical direction, and light and sound operators. Lighting, sound, masking, and sprung dance floor, as owned by Bootleg, will be provided. A reasonable attempt will be made to accommodate any special needs, subject to time and budget constraints.
• In house production support will be provided by LDTP and Bootleg staff.
Selection process:
The panel seeks a spectrum of dance styles and aesthetics, with particular interest in contemporary and innovative approaches. The panel will make decisions based on quality and innovation of the artist’s work and interest in the Festival.
Applicants must submit the following materials for consideration: Narrative materials (must be typed 12 point font):
1. Cover Page listing 1) the choreographers name, contact name if different, address, all phone numbers, and email address; 2) any unusual technical requirements you may have.
2. Describe the work you propose to present (title, choreographer (s), music and premier date) and describe its unique qualities and why you would like to be part of the BlakTina Festival.
3. Resume – one page
4. Work sample – Please submit your work sample on a DVD format. The work to be viewed must be at the beginning of the DVD, in a separate chapter, or the only work on the DVD. Include a work sample information sheet that indicates the title, performance dates, and your role in creating the work (no more than 1 page).

Please contact Licia Perea with any questions about these application guidelines.

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I taught a course titled “Dance Research” in Mexico City at the Centro Nacional de Investigacion, Documentacion E Informacion De La Danza “Jose Limon” located within the National School of the Arts August 12-14, 2013. The course spanned three days and each class was three hours in length. Dancers and actors comprised the membership of the class as well as an art history major. I was escorted by two van drivers who were responsible for getting me to the center and back to the Hotel Gillow. The force of the divine was with me as a male visitor presented himself to me; he was affiliated with one of the female students. A professional translator by trade, he was born in Maine but worked in El Salvador and his name is Jesse. Generous in his offer, he volunteered to serve as the translator for the class. He spoke beautiful Spanish and was adept at translating concurrently what students were speaking about and helped the students understand the density of the material being covered. The experience was very rich and rewarding.

I focused on presenting research class material relating to their Mexican-specific heritage. One research model was based on the Aztec Moon Goddess Coyoxaulqui. I shared the story of the Moon Goddess with them, which many of them did not know. The research question posed was: “What is the one question Coyolxauhqui did not ask that would have changed the course of her story?” I also related the iconic figure of La Malinche to feminist inquiry stating how different the image of woman would be had her story been told in its entirety. I began by letting everyone know how sensitive the next topic is and how as researchers, we must be open to new information even if it contradicts everything you have come to accept as truth. And so I proceeded to tell the story of La Malinche and how it intersected with the story of La Llorona, which is a story that existed before the arrival of Cortes. How could a fourteen-year-old girl be a whore? Is it possible Malintzin (La Malinche) was brilliant, and talented as a strategist; that she was an opportunist who made the most out of the cards she was dealt? I could see the wheels of cognition spinning in the heads of many women in class. I presented the idea of history as a continuous series of excavations, which Mexico engages in heavily to recover lost artifacts, to the research process itself.

I also had a chance to reconnect to Anadel Snyder, an American, who has been living in Mexico City since she was 18 years old. I met Anadel in 1995 in Denton, Texas during a CORD (Congress on Research in Dance) Conference. Anadel works with the Zapatistas, teaching creative movement to children living in one of the five districts they control. She is excited by the work she does and her conversation over dinner as to the cultural/gender dynamics of the Zapatistas was very interesting. What she finds most amazing is how they took over five cities in Mexico with a few rifles and long sticks and the genius strategy work of Marcos, the charismatic leader of the Zapatistas. Lately, they have decided to be taught by insiders to the group and so she is one of those rare individuals who is able to work with them as an outsider.

Prior to teaching I attended dance rehearsals of two contemporary dance artists, Rocio Gutierrez and Bruno Ramri, who created work out of Fabienne Lachere’s dance studio “Escuela Frances de Ballet.” Fabienne is a dancer who arrived in Mexico City when she was twenty years old and never returned to Paris. The artists asked if they could present a current work they were developing in order to receive feedback. The process of generating the work was very different between artists but both were quick paced and decisive. Bruno spent a lot of time asking questions whereas Rocio focused mainly on the craft of shaping and timing. I noticed how contemporary dance in the city is very athletic, similar to what we see in the United States.

On the second day of my stay, I saw an evening performance, “Silencio Compacto,” that took the topic of torture and the impact of being silenced from the perspective of the psyche when it is denied light and voice. Rocio and Bruno performed in the work. Haunting imagery, the work began with a woman entering with a microphone stuffed into her mouth as she tries to communicate something to the audience. She is blindfolded and leashed like a dog, escorted in by a man in military garb. Later in the work, a beautiful folkloric dancing woman is presented but the image is dissipated as two men in military uniform begin to laugh at three women being tormented; the images were separate but relatable. There was a lot going on in the work and more than can be conveyed at this point. Prior to this concert was a tango performance in the outdoor theater. Beautiful in its execution, it was obvious this was a place where a lot of dance was being explored and developed.

In closing, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Saw lots of street performance art (superheroes, a female archangel suspended in the air); went to El Museo de Memoria y Tolerancia and saw humankind’s inhumanity to the “other.” Checked out El Museo de Popular Artes and ate great food served in the streets as well as home cooking with a family of Pita, short for Lupita, who is the mother of Andrea Vazquez. Andrea teaches at the University of Texas El Paso and is a past graduate student of mine. She stayed in communication with me during the entire stay. In closing, I would like to thank Andrea and especially Pita for their help and generous hospitality.

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I am just now starting to crawl out of the energy spent on the Dance 2050 Symposium, which was a huge success. Fifty-three scholars in dance from around the country came to Rochester to discuss the future of dance in higher education to figure out how we can better prepare for it by the year 2050. It was also historic – It is an honor to be considered one of the leaders of this movement. 


Simon Dove, an independent curator out of NYC and a past chair of the department of dance at Arizona State University opened the symposium with a review of statistics in terms of dance audience numbers and the number of dance companies closing their doors.  In 2008 we had 18.3 million people watching dance. Sounds like a lot but it only reflected 10 percent of the population in this country; with the numbers dwindling every year and accelerating in how much they are decreasing.  It was an eye opening presentation and spoke to why dance groups are not performing and touring the way we used to and not likely to for a long time.

The assembly was divided into four groups who were titled the Seekers, Dreamers, Futurists and Visionaries.  We met for two days and on the first day addressed issues of leadership and how to generate it among emergent artists in the university.  We changed the strategy for the second day and began developing action plans.

On the second day, we began by having Simon share along with his colleague Karen Schupp, the change in curriculum Arizona underwent when he served as chair.  It was like witnessing the movements of the Titanic with two curriculums taking place at the same time. The total result was revolutionary and crazy.  Very risky. We were all excited by the end of the second day and educators all took on specific tasks to attend to.


I have been invited to present the results of the symposium in October for the NDEO conference being held in Miami.  

The main points were:

1.)  The paradigm of a modern/ballet department is antiquated and needs to be revised;

2.)  We need to open our doors to urban dance forms and dances of the African diaspora;

3.)  much more community outreach is necessary for dance to survive period;

4.)  we need to listen to the public who now is taking the lead in defining what they like and do not like in terms of dance styles and popular movements (flash mobs to name only one of many);

5.) we need to develop courses online and have a say in terms of establishing the quality of dance online; 6.)  we need to develop interdisciplinary courses in our curriculum (teaching engineers how to dance to help them solve creative problems or creating courses like math dance).  


Diversity was central to all of these discussions as well as classism and racism.  We were all also aware of how difficult this will be for the traditionalists because there is a nostalgia for the past that is not serving the field; the numbers of how much dance has dwindled were revelatory.  It will be a risk to make such major changes but riskier if we do not.

My ten graduates outdid themselves and served as transcribers for the two day event and I was delighted by the kudos I received for presenting an event that was highly organized and generated a high impact.  Marielys Burgos Melendez helped me to coordinate the event; a graduate from Puerto Rico, she was amazing.  The results of this symposium and the one held last year will impact and redefine the curricular nature of the dance department for the next forty years.


We are still in the brainstorm stage because ideas are still emerging as we try to make sense of it all.  Why? We are experiencing a new dynamic that did not exist when this kind of thing took place in 1968 (technology and its speed to convert everything online, corporate influences, students not wanting to pay high tuition, employers not concerned with hiring students with degrees because it is cheaper to higher people with little credentials, governments having no money or serious delays in budget formations).

Lastly, I have been invited to teach a course in Mexico City for the National School of the Arts on practice-based dance research.  I am excited about going in early August and will share the ideas of the symposium with the artists I will be working with at the university.  This will also inform my teaching.  I am very excited and wanted to share this with you.



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Dance 2050 in 2013


One of LDTP’s Artistic Directors, Juanita Suarez is sponsoring a National Dance Education Organization Symposium titled Dance 2050 May 21-24th, 2013 at the College at Brockport’s MetroRochester Center.


Sixty scholars will be in attendance to discuss the future of dance in higher education. The symposium’s topic is Projecting Forward: Cultivating Leadership in Dance for the Future. Discussion will center around how dance, and for that matter, all the arts can survive in the realm of higher education when the education system is being bombarded by forces such as the economy, corporate takeover, raised student tuition fees, and technology. As the public no longer feels a need for degreed certification and many courses are redesigned to serve online communities, how will dance survive when the infrastructure supporting dance begins to disappear?


For more information:

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Dance 2050 in 2013

One of LDTP’s Artistic Directors, Juanita Suarez is an Associate Professor and the Co-Chair of the Department of Dance and Site Coordinator at the College at Brockport, SUNY. The College of Brockport’s Department of Dance, the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), the NDEO Brockport Student Chapter and the College at Brockport MetroCenter under the auspices of the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences post a call for vision statements addressing the future of leadership in dance in higher education.

This is a very significant historical event!!


Dance professionals (i.e. dancers/scholars involved in and outside of higher education), participants from the last Dance 2050 symposium at Temple University, and currently enrolled Masters (MA, MS, MFA) or Ph.D. candidates studying dance in higher education are all encouraged to apply. All accepted applicants will become part of a group of emerging, new and seasoned professionals who will continue the conversation started at the first Dance 2050 held in May 2012 at Temple University.

Deadline to submit vision statements: 12-12-12

For more information and to apply, please visit NDEO’s website:

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National Dance Education Organization Showcase 2012

The Latina Dance Theater Project presented two excerpts from Slumber of Reason for the Los Angeles Dance Showcase staged at the Los Angeles Theater Center, October 26, 2012. 




The showcase, sponsored by the National Dance Education Organization, featured local dance performers as part of the NDEO National Conference “Focus on Dance Education: Many Cultures, Strength Through Diversity.” 

Thanks to Felicia Rosenfeld of Pentacle/HelpDesk LA,
LA Dept. of Cultural Affairs and NDEO!!

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Friday, October 26, 2012
8:00 p.m.
Los Angeles Theater Center
514 S. Spring St. Los Angeles, CA 90013

Join us for an evening of dance from the heart of Los Angeles!

Performances by Los Angeles dance artists and companies include:

Donna Sternberg and Dancers
Latina Dance Theater Project
Alma Y Corazon Flamenco
Blue13 Dance Company
Ptero Dance Theatre
Push Dance Company
Syncopated Ladies

Lineage Dance
Viver Brazil

Tickets are $15.00 and will be sold at the door.

A special welcome to NDEO 2012 conference attendees


Sponsored by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Pentacle, and the
California Dance Education Association

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We’re Finally Going to NYC!


Oct. 5th & 6th, 2012 at the Bronx Academy of Art and Dance-Blaktinx Festival.

We’ll be presenting our critically acclaimed full evening work, “Slumber of Reason/El Sueno de la Razon”.

Rated in top 10 of Dallas dance performances of 2011 by 

“Inspired by Francisco de Goya’s 80 prints “Los Caprichos”, Latina Dance Theater Project captured the grotesquerie and folly of Goya’s works…it was so highly polished and sophisticated in its use of projected images, fanciful costumes and arresting movement that we could forgive the fact that even torture was treated with droll humor.” 

The creative springboard for this work is Spanish painter Francisco de Goya’s prints, “Los Caprichos.”

With stark intensity unprecedented in the history of art, these prints convey the contradictions of a historical period when religious fundamentalism and paranoia prevailed over reason.

Please share with your east cost friends and family!!

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The Latinas in LDTP and the women at DWC, Los Angeles, CA


August 29, 30 and 31 — three days of fun, but meaningful movement and theater activities for the Latina Dance Theater Project!  We were at the Downtown Women Center in Los Angeles, CA, to work with a special group of women.  These women don’t have a home, a job (many are desperately looking for one), a healthy life and are certainly deprived of many other things.  Well, they for sure are not deprived of their willingness to express themselves in a creative way.

We taught two classes involving movement and dance — which explored the Brazilian samba and congo — followed by improvisational, writing, creative and theatrical activities.  The women who took the classes danced with liveliness and energy, continuing to excite us with their good ability to generate interesting movements for improvisational prompts and write expressively — many times showing a poetic vein.  When it came down to “performing” what they wrote, the women were not shy at all!  They were open to showing us what for most of them could have been very personal situations put on paper.  We were delighted to see them on our informal “stage.”  But not only that.  It made us feel good to have given them an opportunity to “pour out” things that might be troubling them.  It certainly feels marvelously to use movement, and why not say the performing arts in general, to help people, even if if it’s just a little bit.



And it doesn’t stop here.  The activities at DWC culminated with  a performance by LDTP at the main cafeteria.  Here, again, we had the women with us!  They were engaged.  And let’s take into account that a cafeteria is a place where people go in and out, at times doing jobs such as emptying the trash cans or sweeping the entrance.  This still did not affect the attention that we, the performers, had from the ones watching us.  It was a good crowd!  We performed a section from the work Coyolxauhqui ReMembers, “Invocada,” and sections from Slumber of Reason, the three “Interrogations” and “Duel.”  Oh, those women laughed and responded enthusiastically to what they were seeing with their facial expressions and applause.  They were thankful, we know.  For us, it was rewarding to hear their thank you’s as well as their questions and comments at the end of the performance.


I think we — Lulu, Licia, Eva and Jose (who also performed and delighted us with his singing) — can give ourselves a congratulatory hug.  But more than that, we are thankful to Gabriela and Andres for helping us in many ways, to the DWC employees, and especially to Lauren De La Torresfor assisting us during those three days.  So, congrats and big hugs to all!!!!!



Written by Eluza Santos/Lulu

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