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Animation still by Wesley Fawcett Creigh



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Ruby Morales 

Esteban Rosales

Lauren Jimenez

Zarina Mendoza Orduño

David Bernal-Fuentes

Artistic Director: Yvonne Montoya 

Choreography: Yvonne Montoya et al

Lighting Designer : Clint Bryson

Digital Animator : Wesley Fawcett Creigh

Costume Designers: Kelsey Vidic, Mary Leopo

Stage Manager: Dr. Erica Acevedo Ontiveros

Music: Samuel Peña et al

Rehearsal Assistant: Delia Ibañez


All events and artists are subject to change without prior notice

From the Director

Stories from Home is the physical embodiment of the oral traditions of Northern New Mexico. This collection of dances embodies stories inspired by my father and were created for my son in honor of our ancestors, our querenica, and our deep deep Nuevomexicano roots. This is an artistic interpretation of my family's histories and stories inspired by and based on, but not beholden to, historical accuracies as time is not linear in this storytelling experience. I am delighted to share my family’s stories and cultural traditions with you.

Misty Mountains

Preshow Music: Lone Piñon



Choreographer & Text: Yvonne Montoya

Dancers: Ruby Morales, Esteban Rosales, Lauren Jiménez, Zarina Mendoza

Music: “ El Tecolotito” by Lone Piñon.

Lone Piñon's 2017 arrangement of a traditional song as sung by Ricardo Archuleta of Antonito, CO on August 4, 1940 for Juan Rael, whose recordings are available online through the Library of Congress. Vocals: Jordan Wax, Lia Martinez, Shae Fiol

Costumes: Kelsey Vidic

Tecolote Redux

Choreography: Yvonne Montoya

Dancer: Lauren Jiménez

Music: Samuel Peña

Costume: Kelsey Vidic

Photo by Dominic AZ Bonuccelli

Mestiza Mulata de Analco

Artistic Director, Text & Performer: Yvonne Montoya

Choreographer & Dancer: Ruby Morales

Costume: Kelsey Vidic

This dance is dedicated to the empty branches on my family tree, especially my many grandmothers, whose casta* classifications were listed in official Spanish colonial documents instead of their names. Although I will never know my grandmothers’ names and stories,

I know that they are me.


*The Casta System: A porous system of racial classification in Spanish colonial society. Casta categorizations mentioned in this dance include India, Mestiza, Mulata, and Coyota/Coyotes.

Criada: From the Spanish verb criar, “to rear.” Refers to Natives who were usually captured while young and raised by Spanish colonists to work in colonizers’ households. A euphemism for an indentured servant.

Genízara: Detribalized Indigenous people who, through war or trade, were abducted and taken into Hispano households as laborers.

Information about the Spanish Casta Classifications in New Mexico

“The Matter Was Never Resolved: The Casta System in Colonial New Mexico, 1693-1823.”

Information about Genízaros: Nación Genízara: Ethnogenesis, Place, and Identity in New Mexico

(Querencias Series).

Information about Indigenous Slavery in New Mexico: Captives and Cousins, The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America

Information about the Long Walk to Bosque Redondo in Navajo Stories of the Long Walk Period. By Roessel, Ruth, ed. Tsaile, Arizona: Navajo Community College Press.


This dance briefly references my great-grandmother Manuelita Yazzie who was sold into slavery as a child when the Navajo Long Walk stopped in Santa Fe.

Siglos. Sueños. Sefarad.

Choreographer: Yvonne Montoya

Dancers: Lauren Jiménez, Ruby Morales, Esteban Rosales

Music: “Morena Me Yaman” by Edith Saint-Mard/Michael Grebil/Bernard Mouton/Thomas Baete, Vincent Libert

Costume: Kelsey Vidic

How does one remember what was hidden for so long? This dance is dedicated to my Sephardic Crypto-Jewish ancestors who took refuge from the Spanish and Mexican Inquisitions in Northern New Mexico.

Information about the Sephardic Crypto-Jews in New Mexico: To the End of the Earth: A History of the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico

Tecolote Redux

Choreography: Yvonne Montoya

Dancer: Zarina Mendoza 

Music: Samuel Peña

Costume: Kelsey Vidic

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Photo by Dominic AZ Bonuccelli


Choreographer: Yvonne Montoya Dancers (in order of appearance): Lauren Jiménez, Esteban Rosales, Ruby Morales Music: “Deslenguadas” by Samuel Peña Voice recording of María Graciola Roybal, María Adelia Roybal Baldock, María Aurelia Luján, and a recreation of María Diolanda García’s oral history by Yvonne Montoya Costumes: Mary Leopo, Kelsey Vidic Text: Gloria Anzaldúa’s La Nueva Mestiza’s “How to Tame a Wild Tongue “Why don’t you speak Spanish?”

Information about the impact of Americanization Programs in New Mexico 

Lessons in Americanization: Educational Attainment and Internal Colonialism in Albuquerque Public Schools


Choreography: Yvonne Montoya

Dancers: Esteban Rosales (soloist), Ruby Morales, Zarina Mendoza, David Bernal-Fuentes, Lauren Jiménez

Music: “Braceros” by Samuel Peña

Voice recording of Juan "Johnny" Montoya by Yvonne Montoya

Costume: Mary Leopo


Misty Mountains


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Tecolote Redux

Choreography: Yvonne Montoya

Dancer: Esteban Rosales

Music: Samuel Peña

Costume: Kelsey Vidic

Photo by Dominic AZ Bonuccelli


Choreography, Text & Performance: Yvonne Montoya

Dancers: Esteban Rosales, Ruby Morales, Zarina Mendoza, David Bernal-Fuentes,

Lauren Jiménez

Music: “The Light” and “Pajarito” by Samuel Peña

Costume: Mary Leopo

Information about the impact of the Nuclear industry on Nuevomexicanos:

Nuclear Nuevo México Colonialism and the Effects of the Nuclear Industrial Complex on Nuevomexicanos

Unspoken (excerpt)

Choreography: Yvonne Montoya

Dancers: Esteban Rosales, Ruby Morales

Music: “De Casa” by Samuel Peña

Costume: Mary Leopo

Silent stories.

Unspoken stories.

Stories whose time has not yet come

Tecolote Redux

Choreography: Yvonne Montoya

Dancer: Ruby Morales

Music: Samuel Peña

Costume: Kelsey Vidic


Photo by Dominic AZ Bonuccelli


Choreography, Text & Performance: Yvonne Montoya

Music & Performance: Salvador Martínez-Montoya

Performers: Yvonne Montoya, Salvador Martínez-Montoya

Dance films: Dominic AZ Bonuccelli

Costumes: Mary Leopo

Music and movement inspired by the traditional Nuevomexicano dances and music of Northern New Mexico including la Varceliana, la Camila, la Cuna, and the Matachines. Special thank you to Salvador Martínez-Baldenegro.

The End

About Stories from Home

Stories from Home is a series of dances embodying the oral traditions of Nuevomexicano communities in the American Southwest. Choreographer Yvonne Montoya and a primarily Mexican American cast of dancers draw upon personal histories as well as ancestral knowledge, including stories from Montoya’s great-grandmother, grandmother, great-aunts, and father. With palpable theatricality, moving spoken word, a movement aesthetic informed by vibrant ancestral and contemporary sources, and universal themes of love, family, and home, Stories from Home brings these largely underrepresented experiences to the stage.


Montoya, a 23rd-generation Nuevomexicana, began to develop Stories from Home after her father’s passing in 2015; compelled to continue his storytelling tradition for her own child, she turned to dance. Stories From Home is a vessel for personal and specific tales, while also offering a broader look at various cultural traditions throughout the Southwest. The work explores the ways in which geographies, languages, and histories among groups such as Nuevomexicanos, Tucsonenses, and border communities have created shared or dissimilar experiences. The grounded, sometimes incongruous choreography embraces abrupt shapes and connected, fluid shifts, balancing disarticulation with a moody softness.


The cast of Stories from Home originates from communities throughout the Southwest. This intentional geographic spread addresses the isolation of Southwest-based dance artists, instituting a community of Latine dancers. The far-flung group of artists also allows for an embodied sense of the array of landscapes that are integral to the work.

Yvonne Montoya 

Artistic Director & Choreographer

Yvonne Montoya is a mother, dancemaker, bi-national artist, thought leader, writer, speaker, and the founding director of Safos Dance Theatre. Based in Tucson, Arizona and originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, her work is grounded in and inspired by the landscapes, languages, cultures, and aesthetics of the U.S. Southwest.

Montoya is a process-based dancemaker who creates low-tech, site-specific and site-adaptive pieces for nontraditional dance spaces. Though most well-known in the U.S. Southwest, her choreography has been staged across the United States and in Guatemala, and her dance films screened, at Queens University of Charlotte, North Carolina and the University of Exeter (U.K.) Under her direction, Safos Dance Theatre won the Tucson Pima Arts Council’s Lumie Award for Emerging Organization in 2015. She is currently working on Stories from Home, a series of dances based on her family’s oral histories.

From 2017-2018 Montoya was a Post-Graduate Fellow in Dance at Arizona State University, where she founded and organized the five year dance advocacy project Dance in the Desert: A Gathering of Latinx Dancemakers from 2017-2022. From 2019-2020, Montoya was a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, and a member of the 2019-2020 Dance/USA Fellowships to Artists pilot program. She was also a 2021-2022 Southwest Folk Alliance Plain View Fellow. Montoya was a recipient of the 2019 National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) POD grant, the 2020 MAP Fund Award, and the first Arizona-based artist to receive the 2020 New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) National Dance Project Production Grant.  Montoya won the Arizona Creative Excellence Award at the 2021 Arizona Drive-In Dance Film Festival. In 2022, her company Safos Dance Theatre received the National Performance Network Creation Fund Grant and the National Endowment for the Arts Grants for Arts Project Grant for her piece “Stories from Home.” Yvonne was also recently featured in KQED’s If Cities Could Dance. 

Meet the Dancers

Creative Team

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Yvonne Montoya, Director

Delia Ibañez, Rehearsal Assistant

Jason Lopez, Tour Coordinator

Baylie MacRae, Administrative Assistant


Board of Directors


Michele Orduña

Hope Eberhardt

Salvador Angulo

Thank You!


Dr. Myrriah Gómez, Dr. Brianna Figueroa, Liz Lerman, Michelle Marji, Lindsey Sandler, Salvador Martínez-Baldenegro, Mary Ann Gale, Abel López, Tony Garcia, Liliana Gómez, Coley Curry, Teniqua Broughton, Xanthia Walker, Rising Youth Theatre, Nuebox, Julie Ackerly, Halley Willcox, Jordan Wax, Lone Piñon, Gabriela Muñoz, Caitlyn Hardy, Erin Donohue, Elisa Radcliffe, Diego Martínez-Campos, Emigdio Arredondo-Martínez, Shannon Parrales, Marcela Acosta, Scottsdale Community College, Karryn Allen, Mollie Sutherland, Becky Rowley, our donors, the board and staff, and all the artists’ families and friends who supported them through this journey. Gracias!

Support from Funders

Stories from Home has been in development for many years. The following funders, organizations, people, and artist residencies supported the creation of this work over the years.

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The presentation was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


This project is supported in part by the MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona; Projecting All Voices, a program of Arizona State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, and Arizona State University Gammage.


This project is also supported in part by the Arizona Commission on the Arts which receives support from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts.


This project is also supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities visit 


This project was developed as a part of the Kennedy Center Office Hours Page to Stage Residency program at the REACH.


Safos Dance Theatre is supported in part by an American Rescue Plan Act grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support general operating expenses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


This project is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by SU TEATRO, GALA Hispanic Theatre, and NPN. The Creation & Development Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information visit 


This project was created with support from SPACE on Ryder Farm, Keshet Makers Space Experience, Dance/USA Fellowships to Artists, Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellowship 2019/2020, and Safos Dance Theatre.

This project is supported by the National Performance Network (NPN) Documentation & Storytelling Initiative with funding from the Doris Duke Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information, visit

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