Last days of the Texas Latino/a/x Contemporary Dance Festival
The initiative for representation and diversity among Latinx dancers and choreographers will be available until Saturday.
The Texas Latino/a/x Contemporary Dance Festival available on-line through Saturday is an original initiative that focuses on Latin identities and perspectives through eleven works by Houston based Latinx choreographers.
The idea was to counteract both the lack of diversity in the dance world and to try to encourage its preservation after the hard fallout of the pandemic for venues and festivals.
The eleven works were recorded specifically for this festival and have been released as a sixty-minute concert available on the Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston website.
The festival is an initiative of Pilot Dance Project that includes works by choreographers Roberta Cortes performed by Group Acorde, Adam Castañeda, Paty Solorzano, Joel Aguilera or ALAS Dance Company.
It will be available through Saturday and today there will be an in-person session at the P.E.T. Outdoor Theater followed by a question and answer session.
Their overall goal is to provide a platform for Latino/a/x/s to showcase their perspectives on dance and therefore they hope that the festival can continue to grow and inspire both artists and audiences.
Adam Castañeda, the festival's choreographer, points out in an interview for Houston Public Media that choreographers of color lack representation and institutional support, as well as dancers, which is why they started thinking about this initiative four years ago.
"If you look at the landscape of dancers – modern dancers, contemporary dancers in Houston – there are very visible Latinx faces in the cast. But when we talk about artists of color, especially dance artists of color, a lot of times the driving force is not to be a participant in someone else's work", Adam recounted.
He later added what he believes should be the answer: "I feel like it's very important for the dance artists in the Latinx community, if they want to have that opportunity, to step out of the rehearsal space with their own autonomous voice as a creator". The festival is a way to support them financially.
They also show another sentimental side, doubly damaged by the marginality of the big industry and by the catastrophic effects that in venues and festivals the pandemic has had, so with another tone he adds, "I'm going to be honest, a lot of what I'm doing is driven by anger, it's driven by resentment, it's driven by the fact that, yes, there are so many inequalities when it comes to Latinx people, dancers in general, choreographers in general. My whole world is, you know, under attack."
Maybe dance can be a counterattack.