Dance in the Desert: A Gathering of Latinx Dancemakers

Safos is proud to co-host Dance in the Desert!!

Dance in the Desert brings Latinx dancemakers together for three-day gathering Inaugural convening to be held in Phoenix, April 26-28

Phoenix, Arizona - Latinx dancemakers, arts administrators, and scholars from throughout the region and across the country will gather in Phoenix from April 26-28, 2018, for the inaugural convening of Dance in the Desert, a unique opportunity for the Latinx dance community to come together, deepen relationships, and expand research for the field. Dance in the Desert will include a choreographer’s jam, meetings amongst dancemakers and arts administrators, and research interviews. The three-day convening will conclude on April 28 with a community share-out and public reception. Conceived and organized by Tucson-based choreographer and dancer Yvonne Montoya, Dance in the Desert arrives at a critical point for Latinx dancemakers: a moment of aesthetic innovation grounded in the experiences of Latinx communities. Montoya envisions the gathering as a pilot for future Latinx dance initiatives. “I believe Arizona is poised to be a leader in the field of Latinx dance,” notes Montoya. “The Latinx community is the second largest ethnic group in the state of Arizona and growing; audiences are changing and so are the dancers. Additionally, as a border state, Arizona could be a gateway to dance exchanges with Latin America and beyond.” To realize her vision, Montoya has engaged a diverse set of partners, including Safos Dance Theatre; AZ ArtWorker, an initiative of the Arizona Commission on the Arts funded by a grant from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation; Liz Lerman LLC; Phoenix Hostel & Cultural Center; and Projecting All Voices, an initiative launched by ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and supported by ASU Gammage. This project received support from WESTAF and the National Endowment for the Arts. “The Arizona Commission on the Arts is proud to support this remarkable gathering that will surely generate new opportunities and points of connection for Arizona artists and a deeper conversation with the national field.” reports Gabriela Muñoz, Artist Programs Manager at the Arizona Commission on the Arts. According to Muñoz, “Dance in the Desert highlights the importance of centering artists working within artistic communities that are producing innovative knowledge about our multilayered identity as Arizonans.” “This is a very important gathering, not only because it’s among the first of its kind,” says Liz Lerman, a choreographer, educator, and 2002 MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship recipient. “The institutional dance field hasn’t known how to see and support Latinx dance and scholarship; this convening is making evident some of what has been erased, bringing forward contributions from years of work and planning for the future. I’m thrilled to play a small part.” “Arizona has the potential to become a dance major dance hub in the Southwest region, something that does not exist today” says Montoya. “With Dance in the Desert, we have an opportunity to connect with dancemakers and work with them to identify ways to support and grow local talent while moving the field of dance forward."

Community members are invited to attend a pair of free public events that will conclude Dance in the Desert:

Community Share Out April 28, 2:30 - 4:30 PM Grant Street Studios 605 E Grant St, Phoenix, AZ 85004 In public conversation, dancemakers will discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead for Latinx dance and researchers will share a summary of preliminary data collected at the gathering. The community share out will open with a dance performance.

Pachanga April 28, 5:00 – 7:00 PM Phoenix Hostel and Cultural Center 1026 N 9th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006 This festive reception will offer members of the community an opportunity to connect with Dance in the Desert organizers and participants over food and drinks.

#arizona #dance #danceinthedesert #latinxdancegathering #latinx #asu #LizLerman #YvonneMontoya #ArizonaCommissionontheArts #WESTAF #ProjectingAllVoices

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