Adam Castaneda Presents Lazarus in the Promised Land


Adam Castaneda Presents Lazarus in the Promised Land

November 6 & 7, 2021

Media contact: 

Adam Castaneda

(282) 979-4982 

WHAT: Lazarus in the Promised is a new evening-length dance work by Adam Castaneda. An exploration of personal history, family lineage, and religious faith, Lazarus in the Promised Land is a tribute to his paternal grandparents, Lazaro Castaneda and Adelina Ortega de Castaneda. Lazarus in the Promised Land features live accompaniment and musical compositions by Arum Son, costume design by Ashley Horn, new media art by Brian H. Buck, and lighting design by Edgar Guajardo. The work will be danced by a cast of eleven professional dancers, as well as a community ensemble representing a diverse cross-section of the city’s population. 

Lazarus in the Promised Land mines the faith-based dogmas Lazarus and Adelina adopted when they emigrated from Mexico to Houston in the 1950s. Converts to the Jehovah’s Witness belief system, they raised their children and grandchildren in this closed off, tight-knit new religious movement. The first section brings to life Adam’s favorite Bible stories, including the Miracle of Creation, Ruth and Naomi, the Queen of Sheba, the Gifts of the Magi, and Jonah and the Whale. The second movement examines congregation culture within the religion, including its controversial exclusionary practices towards outsiders and defectors. The final section is a remembrance of Adam’s grandparents as people, unvarnished by the social constructs they adopted and adhered for the duration of their lives in Houston. 

“For me, this work marks the ten-year anniversary of leaving this organization,” says Castaneda. “I feel like I can finally say good-bye to that part of my life, and to my grandparents. I may not have agreed with their choice of belief system, but it has shaped my view of the world and the people around me for better or for worse. I’m lucky that I can live my life through art-making, and this show has helped me see how those foundational stories have led me to this place. This is my way of thanking them for that in death.” 

WHO: Lazarus in the Promised Land choreographed and director by Adam Castaneda. Adam Castan͂eda is a dancer, choreographer, and arts administrator living in Houston, Texas. He is the Executive and Artistic Director of the Pilot Dance Project, and produce the annual Houston Fringe Festival. His evening-length work, Lazarus in the Promised Land, is the recipient of a 2020 Support for Individual Artists and Creative Individuals Grant from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance. He is currently serving as one of Dance Source Houston’s Dance Ambassadors. In addition to his love of dance, Adam is a proud full-time faculty member in Houston Community College’s English department.

The cast of Lazarus in the Promised Land includes Allyssa Abacan, Dorianne Castillo, Julia Cipriani, Nicola DeVries, Hannah Dunning, Cloe Leppard, Sarah Leung, Jaredd Martin, Nicole McNeil, Mia Pham, and Courtney Sherman-Allen. The concert also features a community section featuring Braylon Alexander, Vanessa Alanis, Angela Brown-Collins, Christopher Buffamente, Ladondrea Harrison, Kayla Mason, Julia Rubio, Becky Selle, Shylah Sylas, and Toba Yamada-Atkinks

WHEN: November 6 & 7. Performances begin at 8 pm and tickets are $15 presale, and $20 at-the-door. 

WHERE: Performances will be held at the The Storyhive located at 4010 Canal Street, 77003. 
HOW: Those interested in purchasing tickets can do so at:

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