Texas Latino/a/x Contemporary Dance Festival Takes The Stage March 8-10

Texas Latino/a/x Contemporary Dance Festival Takes The Stage March 8-10
The fourth annual festival brings Latinx choreography to The DeLUXE Theater.

HOUSTON (February 8, 2024) – The Pilot Dance Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization with the mission to empower and transform communities through innovative dance and performing arts experiences, is proud to announce its 4th Annual Texas Latino/a/x Contemporary Dance Festival. Created to uplift and celebrate Latinx choreographers and identity, this year’s event will be hosted at The DeLUXE Theater. This year’s festival will be expanded to a three-night roster, the largest line-up since 2022. For the second time in its history, the program is the recipient of a competitive Festival Grant from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.

In its three previous iterations, the Texas Latino/a/x Contemporary Dance Festival has established itself as a welcoming platform for both emerging and established choreographers. This year’s festival kicks off with acclaimed Houston-based dance company, Group Acorde, who will be showing Brazilian choreographer Roberta Paixao Cortes’ “Belonging (or not) Abroad,” a piece that shares Roberta’s story of when she immigrated from Brazil to the US. The movement is inspired by her culture and the struggles she has encountered living abroad. Opening night will also see returning festival participant and Sam Houston State University graduate student Andrew Smith present “Backlash.” Using five dancers, this dance explores internal and external forces as they push, lift, throw, and force a member of the group into submission. Friday night’s roster will also include an appearance by acclaimed Mexico City-based artist Alex Chavez in a moving and arresting solo performance.

The festival continues on Saturday, March 9 with an appearance by The Pilot Dance Project, who will perform executive and artistic director Adam Castan͂eda’s “The Saint of Wisdom,” an excerpt from the company’s most recent evening-length work, The Saints’ Offering. Saturday night will also see returning artist and fan favorite Cynthia Garcia, showing “La Luna, El Sol, and La Estrella,” a piece that explores diversity and how even though we may all come from different backgrounds, we are all still living under the same sun, moon, and stars. University of Houston dance professor M. Gabriela Estrada will show “Zaraspeando,” a tango-based piece for six women, and Ana Paula Ornelas, an acclaimed dance artist from Hermosillo, Mexico, will dance “Self Portrait 32.” This work is the outcome of the director’s deep introspective exploration into the complex concept of change. The process of evolving is depicted as a challenging journey, involving decisions, efforts, and confronting all the various obstacles along the way.

The festival concludes on Sunday, March 10 with an appearance by Gabriel Mata from Washington, D.C., who will perform his own “tierra tierna,” a motion memoir centered on the binational unraveling of a queer undocumented immigrant man. It centers on past memories, present desires, and the ominous excitement of the future for a queer body living in colored skin. Sam Houston State University graduate student and returning festival participant Estefani Valle Cruz will show new work alongside choreography by Houston-based dancers Julie Rubio and Kristina Prats.

The full line-up of artists is below, and information regarding the performances will be available on The Pilot Dance Project website and social media pages. Tickets for the performances will be available for purchase through The DeLUXE Theater website.

The Pilot Dance Project is a professional Modern dance company based in Houston under the executive and artistic direction of Adam Castan͂eda. In addition to producing his own work through the company, Castan͂eda commissions new dance works by some of the region’s most celebrated choreographers. The company’s annual season includes a robust festival program, including the Texas Latino/a/x Contemporary Dance Festival, the Houston Fringe Festival, and for the first time in 2024, Bayou City Dances, a showcase of the city’s most prolific dance companies at the Miller Outdoor Theatre. The Pilot Dance Project has received funding from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Mid-America Arts Alliance, Houston Endowment, Bunnies on the Bayou, EmcArts, the BIPOC Arts Network & Fund, the Morales Foundation, the Woodlands Arts Council, Dance Source Houston, and the Midtown Management District.

Fourth Annual Texas Latino/a/x Contemporary Dance Festival Official Schedule

Friday, March 8, 2024
Bianca Bolan͂os
Adam Castan͂eda/The Pilot Dance Project
Alex Chavez (Mexico City, MX)
Roberta Paixao Cortes/Group Acorde
Mariah Henry/Deeper Than Dance
Fernando Ibarra Rocha/Sunset Dance Company (Dallas, TX)
Andrew Smith
St. Patrick Ballet Folklorico

Saturday, March 9, 2024
Jai Alexander
Adam Castan͂eda/The Pilot Dance Project
M. Gabriela Estrada
Cynthia Garcia
Gabriel Mata (Washington, D.C.)
Ana Paula Ornelas (Hermosillo, MX)
Kristina Prats
Julie Rubio
Andrea Vasquez-Aguirre

Sunday, March 10, 2024
Estefani Valle Cruz
M. Gabriela Estrada
Jordan Habibi
Camila Maldonado
Gabriel Mata (Washington D.C.)
Kristina Prats
Julie Rubio

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