Dance Center LogoColumbia College Chicago Workmark



AfriCaribe Performance Group  

TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2014 | 8:00PM
AfriCaribe Cultural Center, 2547 W Division St., Chicago, IL 60622

Admission: $15 General Public; FREE to intensive participants

AfriCaribe company members will perform Bomba — music, song and dance of Puerto Rico that reflects the African influence on the island!

Postmodern Afro-Latinidad

WEDNESDAY JULY 16, 2014 | 8:00 PM 

THURSDAY, JULY 17, 2014 | 8:00PM  

The Dance Center, 1306 South Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605

Admission: $15 General Public; FREE to intensive participants

Two distinct evenings. Eight artists. Moving fluidly between the ancestral and historical, the experimental and the traditional. Excavating legacies expansive and resonant within the African and Latin diaspora. World-renowned artists Awilda Rodriguez Lora, Joel Valentin-Martinez, Nerri Torres with Onye Ozuzu, Victor Alexander, Awilda Sterling-Duprey, Andrea Woods Valdés and Antonio Ramos are part of Postmodern Afro-Latinidad, July 16th & 17th at The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago. Curated by Baraka de Soleil.

Postmodern Afro-Latinidad invites this expressive range of artists choreographing within the realm of contemporary performance to share a stage for two distinct evenings of dance. Some challenge assumptions. Others defy categorization. Moving fluidly between the ancestral and historical, the experimental and traditional, each work reveals its unique beauty and the ongoing liberation of cultural truths.

Wednesday, July 16th   

features the work of
Awilda Rodriguez Lora, Joel Valentin-Martinez, Nerri Torres with Onye Ozuzu and Victor Alexander

Thursday, July 17th  

features the work of
Awilda Sterling-Duprey, Andrea Woods Valdés, Antonio Ramos and Victor Alexander
program contains nudity.


Comunidad & Palabrería

Directly after the performance of Postmodern Afro-Latinidad on 16th & 17th, join curator Baraka de Soleil for a dual language discussion with the artists. Co-facilitated with Awilda Rodriguez Lora.

Navigating the Terrain

A Community Workshop with National Artists from Postmodern Afro-Latinidad

Thursday, July 17th 10:30am - 12:30pm
Sherwood Community Music School @ 1312 S. Michigan Ave

Join national artists from Postmodern Afro-Latinidad - Andrea Woods Valdés, Awilda Rodriguez Lora, Antonio Ramos and Awilda Sterling-Duprey - for an experiential opportunity to gain insight into their artistry. 

This communal workshop welcomes curious movers and lovers of dance ages 18 & up into a collective creative space; where best practices and movement techniques drawn from the expanse of the Afro-Latin diaspora will be explored and expressed!  Free. RSVP to Curator Baraka de Soleil at 312.369.8341.

Latin Rhythms in Performance with Intensive Participants and Invited Guests

FRIDAY, JULY 18, 2014 | 8:00PM  
Latin Rhythms, 210 N Racine, Chicago, IL 60607

Admission: $15 General Public; FREE to intensive participants

Latin Rhythms company members will perform two works. Participants from the summer intensive will perform works in progress by Tosha “Ayo” Alston, Ana Maria Alvarez, and Blanco Aviles.

About the Performers

VICTOR ALEXANDER (Choreographer, Dancer and Teacher) is a native of Pinar del Rio, Cuba. He trained at 
the National Dance School in Havana and was a principal dancer for the National Contemporary Dance Company of Cuba for ten years. He has studied with distinguished teachers such as Donald McKayle, Chuck Davis and Jeffrey Bullock from the United States. Victor has toured and danced throughout Europe, the United States and the Caribbean and has participated in dance festivals such as the American Dance Festival at Duke University, the Holland Dance Festival in Amsterdam and the International Dance Festival in Germany. He was the first prize-winner of the Fourth National Union of Writers and Artists Contest in Cuba in 1992. Victor has danced with Hedwig Dances since 2002 and has also performed with Luna Negra Dance Theater; Concert Dance Inc (CDI); the Lyric Opera of Chicago and as a guest artist with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2008. He has also danced with the Houston Grand Opera and was nominated for an Emmy Award as a Dancer (2008) with the Ruth Page Foundation’s production of Billy Sunday. In 2009, Victor toured to China with CDI and taught at the Nanjing Normal University. In 2012, Victor was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Individual Artists Grant and became a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist. He has assisted London Choreographer Litza Bizler and has become the Artistic Director of the Contemporary Program at State Street Dance Studio. This year, he was honored by DANCE Magazine as “25 to watch 2013,” and has become the Director of the Ruth Page School of Dance.

AWILDA STERLING-DUPREY is a teacher, dancer, and choreographer, and an important figure in Puerto Rico's traditional cultural arts scene. She attended the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, School of Visual Arts, San Juan, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, and is a doctoral student in history at the Center for Advanced Studies in Caribbean Studies, San Juan. She is a founding member of Pisotan, the first experimental dance collective in Puerto Rico. Combining Afro-Caribbean dance, jazz, and modern experimental movement, Sterling-Duprey has created and performed experimental dance works throughout New York City, Europe, Latin America, Puerto Rico, and other Caribbean countries.

AWILDA RODRIQGUEZ LORA is a performer, producer, activist, yogi, lover and traveler. She has been creating and performing her own work for more than 10 years. For her, the development of performance art is a constant exercise in self-reflection where she challenges her identity, sexuality and gender. Throughout her career Rodriguez Lora has developed interdisciplinary performances that incorporate dance, theater and visual elements to provide an interactive experience for the spectator. Rodriguez Lora understands the importance of artistic collaboration and has made it a point to collaborate with other artists to not only create new work but also to challenge herself as a performance artist and producer. She has had the opportunity to work with artist and performers from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Norway and Puerto Rico. Some of the artists that she has collaborated with are Nequi Gonzalez, Darrell Jones, Tim Miller, Kortney Ryan Zielger, André Austvoll and Baraka de Soleil. Rodriguez Lora holds a B.A. from Hunter College (CUNY) where she was awarded The Choreography Award from the Dance Department in 2002, and a Masters in Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago. Award winning producer of internationally acclaimed documentary STILL BLACK: a portrait of black transmen.

JOEL VALENTIN-MARTINEZ was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He initiated his theater/dance training at American Conservatory Theater, Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, Rosa Montoya's Bailes Flamencos, Oakland’s Dimensions Dance Theatre, and San Francisco State University. From 1990-2003, he was a member of Garth Fagan Dance (Tony Award Winner) and toured with the troupe throughout the United States, Canada, the Middle East, Europe, Australia, South America and the Caribbean. Since 2003, Mr. Valentín-Martínez has devoted his time to teaching at the university level and developing his own choreography projects. His work with Fulcrum Point-New Music Project, Misplaced Flowers (2010) and Tlatelolco Revisited (2008) were both commissioned by Luna Negra Dance Theater and premiered at the Harris Theater in Chicago. He choreographed the musical adaptation of Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street (2009) at the Steppenwolf Theatre. He has developed choreography for the Joel Hall Dancers and John Jota Leaños’ multi-media performance Imperial Silence: Una Ópera Muerta (2008), which has been performed at El Museo del Barrio in New York City, throughout California, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Valentín-Martínez is also the Artistic Director of Valentín Projects. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Theatre Department at Northwestern University. Prior to joining Northwestern, he taught dance at Arizona State University and the University of Rochester. Valentín-Martínez earned a B.A. in Dance Studies from the State University of New York and an M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

ONYE OZUZU is a dance administrator, performing artist, choreographer, educator and researcher. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature with a minor in Economics as well as a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance and Choreography at Florida State University. She has most recently been serving as Associate Chair, Director of Dance in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Colorado, Boulder. While there, her work has been notable for its balance of visionary and practical progress in the arenas of curricular, artistic, and community development of diversity, collaboration and interdisciplinary performance arts. She teaches African-based contemporary dance technique, Composition, World Dance and Culture, Improvisation, Creative Dance for Children, and a graduate Seminar, The African in American, Perspectives and Implications: A Dancer’s View. Onye has been actively making and performing work since 1997. Her work has been seen nationally and internationally at The Joyce Soho (Manhattan, NY), Kaay Fecc Festival De Toutes les Danses (Dakar, Senegal), La Festival del Caribe (Santiago, Cuba), Lisner Auditorium (Washington DC), McKenna Museum of African American Art (New Orleans, LA), as well as many anonymous site-specific locations around the world. She was a 2010 recipient of the Innovative Seed Grant, University of Colorado’s most prestigious research grant, for her ethnographic research project ADADIA African Drum and Dance in America: the Oral History Archive. This summer she is returning to EarthDance Workshop and Retreat Center and teaching at Bates Dance Festival where she continues to expand work as an AfroModern contemporary technique teacher and on Technology of the Circle, a group improvisation and interdisciplinary performance process. Her most recent choreographic endeavor, And They Lynched him on a Tree, is a multidisciplinary collaborative effort that premiered in February at the ATLAS Black Box Theatre, in Boulder, CO a center for the intersection of art, science and technology.

ANTONIO RAMOS was born and raised in Puerto Rico where he learned jazz, salsa and African dance. He received a B.FA. in Dance from Purchase College/SUNY. Antonio has performed In New York with choreographers Mark Dendy, Neil Greenberg, Kari Hooas, Luis Lara, Jeremy Nelson, Stephen Petronio, Merian Soto, Kevin Wynn,Ori Flomin and Donna Uchizono, among others and recently with Jhon Scott and the Irish modern Dance theater. His choreography has been produced at Dance Theater Workshop (Split Stream), La Mama, Purchase College SUNY, Dixon Place, P.S. 122 Joes Pub, Taller Pregones, Saint Mark’s Church, Lexington for the Arts in New York, DanceNow Downtown, Princeton University, Judson Church, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Galapagos Art and Performance Space, Williamsburg Art Nexus, and recently The Kitchen (dance &process). Antonio its been produced by Pepatian in multiple production; Fringe Festival 2000 at Theatre La Chappelle (Montreal, Canada), and in collaboration with the New York State Dance Force for The Painted Bride (Philadelphia PA), Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), at BAAD!/Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance and Pregones Theater/Teatro Pregones .He had received a grant from the Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund through Movement Research and was recently nominated for United States Artist fellowship for 2010. Currently working on a new project for Dixon place in July 10th at the Hot festival.

NERI TORRES, a native of Cuba, is the founder and Artistic Director of IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Company in Miami, FL, a non-profit organization committed to the sharing and promotion of Afro-Cuban dance. Born in Havana, Cuba, Torres is trained in modern, ballet, Yoga and Afro-Cuban dance. She holds an MFA in dance and a minor in film from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Ms. Torres has taught at the University of Miami, Florida International University, Miami Dade College among other institutions. Currently, she is a dance lecturer at the University of the West Indies in Barbados. Neri Torres and her dance company have toured extensively around the world. From 1996-2001, Ms. Torres toured as principal dancer and choreographer for Gloria Estefan. As an actress and personality, Neri has worked in the movies: For Love or Country with actors Andy Garcia and Charles Dutton, and The Lost City directed by Andy Garcia, which she also choreographed. In March 2013, Neri received the State of Florida Folk Heritage Award from Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner for her significant contributions to Florida’s cultural heritage through her outstanding achievements as a performer, teacher and advocate of Afro-Cuban traditional dance. She’s a member of NDEO and the International Council of Dance. Ms. Torres research focuses on the impact of traditional dance forms in modern cities as well as on the influence of Cuban emigration in the widespread of Santeria religion and derivative culture around the world.

ANDREA E. WOODS VALDÉS Duke University Associate Professor Andrea E. Woods Valdés teaches Modern Dance and Dance for the Camera and directs Duke In Ghana summer study. Woods is director of SOULOWORKS/Andrea E. Woods & Dancers. She earned her BFA in dance from Adelphi University. Previous resident of Brooklyn, NY, and native of Philadelphia, Woods has danced with Clive Thompson, Mafata, Saeko Ichinohe and Leni Wylliams dance companies. She is a former dancer/rehearsal director of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co. and has an MFA in dance from Ohio State and an MAH in Caribbean Cultural Studies from SUNY Buffalo. She is a staff writer for Attitude: The Dancers' Magazine. Her work has taken her to: Cannes, Taiwan, Russia, Senegal, Morocco, Korea, Poland, Singapore, Belize, Yucatán, Puerto Rico, Ghana, Trinidad, Cuba and throughout the US. She has been guest a guest artist at: Medgar Evers College, Howard University, Ohio University, Rhode Island College, California State University Long Beach, North Carolina School of the Arts, Hollins University, Sarah Lawrence, Goucher College, NYU Tisch School of the Arts (faculty) and Spelman College. Woods is a recipient of the NC Arts Council 2012 Fellowship. She calls her dances SOULOWORKS because they are works from the heart, works from the Soul.