The First Annual Texas Latino/a Contemporary Dance Festival


Executive/Artistic Director: Adam Castaneda

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The Pilot Dance Project Presents 

The First Annual Texas Latino/a Contemporary Dance Festival

The Pilot Dance Project, under the artistic direction of Adam Castan͂eda, is excited to premiere its newest annual program, The Texas Latino/a Contemporary Dance Festival. Made possible by a Let Creativity Happen! Express Grant from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, the inaugural festival will feature new works by both emerging and established choreographers. Evening-length productions on the program include works from The Pilot Dance Project/Adam Castan͂eda, Group Acorde/Roberta Paixao Cortes, De La Rosa Dance Company/Elisa De La Rosa, and CholoRock/Jose Zamora (Denton, Texas). The festival concludes on March 29 with Nuestras Ofrendas, a showcase-style program featuring shorter works by six choreographers from around Texas. 

Dates: March 25-29

Location: MATCHBOX ONE, Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston (MATCH)

For tickets and more information please visit

Two years in the making, The Pilot Dance Project is thrilled to be offering this opportunity to the state’s vibrant Latino/a choreographic community. “This festival began as a discussion I had with a colleague about all the young Latino and Latina choreographers coming out of the university system,” says Adam Castan͂eda. “I felt there was a need to create something to foster opportunities for the next generation,  and to start a conversation about what our contemporary dance looks like. I know what it’s like to have the need to show work in a field with limited opportunities, so hopefully this can be something that all of us have to work toward every season.” 

All five shows on the program will be presented in MATCHBOX ONE at the Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston. The final night of the festival concludes with Nuestras Ofrendas, and a panel discussion led by Paty Lorena Solorzano. 

Group Acorde, Photo by Lynn Lane

March 25 and 26 @ 7:30pm – Belonging (or not) Abroad, Group Acorde           

Group Acorde will create a new original work showcasing one of its founding members, Brazilian born and raised, Roberta Paixao Cortes. Her choreography will be accompanied by an original musical score inspired by various Brazilian musicians and composed by Seth Paynter and Thomas Helton. The evening will also revisit and expand on one of her early works for the company: “Fear: a work in progress.” The company’s works will tell Roberta’s story of immigrating to Houston from Porto Alegre, Brazil seventeen years ago and the many struggles she encountered daily in trying to belong to a different culture, city, and country.

De La Rosa Dance Company, Photo by Lynn Lane

March 27 @ 8pm – Vida Y Corazon, De La Rosa Dance Company

Artistic Director and choreographer Elisa De La Rosa dives into her second evening-length show that celebrates her Mexican American experiences as a Latina Woman in the United States, tracking back and exploring her family’s rich heritage. Vida y Corazon is a celebration of life, love, sacrifice, and strength. The contemporary dance that results from this exploration will be accompanied by the tunes of traditional Mexican folk, mariachi, and ranchera music.

March 28 @ 3pm – Catharsis, CholoRock

Jose Zamora presents an evening of dance that tugs at your heart strings.  Each choreography is inspired by the emotional aspect of the human experience. From happiness to heartbreak, this work is intended to facilitate release, and thereby provide comfort from strong and sometimes inhibited emotions. The music that accompanies this show is by some very important and inspirational Latino artists who are amazing storytellers. 

The Pilot Dance Project, Photo by Lynn Lane

March 28 @ 6pm and 8pm – Leaves of Gold, The Pilot Dance Project

In his first evening-length work, the narratives of Adam’s characters, some real and some imagined, are used to create a bevy of abstract movement and floral streams of consciousness. A poetess who continues to grieve her first husband six years after his death; a man betrayed by his best friend; the witnessing of the burning ceremony at Varanasi; a drag queen on the brink of marriage; a coven of women dressed in their finest attire; and a nineteen-year-old man who decides to try his luck in the next world. These are the happenings and spirits that are conjured to create the world of Leaves of Gold.

Joel Aguilera Dance Company, Photo by Lynn Lane

March 29 @ 7pm – Nuestras Ofrendas Closing Night Showcase

In the festival’s closing night program, six Latino/a choreographers share their offerings. The evening includes new dances from Joel Aguilera, Jessica Figueroa, Sarah Sanchez (Nacogdoches, Texas), Paty Lorena Solorzano (Puebla, Mexico), Carlos Perez, and Bonnie Cox (Austin, Texas). Paty Solorzano will facilitate a panel discussion at the end of the program. 

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The Pilot Dance Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization with the mission to empower and transform communities through innovative dance, theater, and visual art. The organization is based out of the Midtown Arts & Theater Complex Houston, and produces a full season of dance and festival programming.

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