The Stereotypes of Machismo in Dance

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

In this installation of Diálogos, Ballet Hispánico brought together a group of LGBTQIA+ professional dancers to discuss the machismo trope within dance and their personal experiences of gender-based discrimination and bias within the dance field. Ballet Hispánico provided this platform to have a safe space to hear the experiences of LGBTQIA+ artists, allowing these dancers to come together with a purpose. This conversation was moderated by Paulo Hernandez, Company Dancer at Ballet Hispánico and comprised of a panel of dancers representing Ballet Hispánico, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. This conversation was hosted on Ballet Hispánico's Facebook Page.

Moderator: Paulo Hernandez-Farella

Paulo Hernandez-Farella

Dancer, Ballet Hispánico

Paulo Hernandez-Farella is a first-generation Salvadoran-American from Los Angeles, California. After four years at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, they attended the University of Southern California on a full-ride. In just four years, Paulo graduated with both a BFA in Dance from the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance and a Master’s in Public Administration from the USC Price School of Public Policy. Paulo has been a scholarship student for a multitude of renowned schools such as the Juilliard School Summer Intensive, the Joffrey Ballet’s International Intensive, and Alonzo King LINES Intensive. Paulo is also one of seven 2016-2017 dance scholars with Nigel Lythgoe’s Dizzyfeet Foundation. During their career Paulo has studied and performed the works of Forsythe, Kylián, Duato, Balanchine, Graham, Taylor, Petipa, Lopez-Ochoa, Rhoden, Cerrudo, Andrea Miller, Aszure Barton, and choreographed their own original work. This is Paulo’s 2nd season with Ballet Hispánico.

Panelists: Maxfield Haynes, Omar Rivéra, Zackery Torres, Christopher Wilson

Maxfield Haynes

Dancer, Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Originally from Lousville, Kentucky, Maxfield Haynes (B.F.A. NYU Tisch) began their formal dance training in ballet at the University of Louisville Dance Academy at age 12 under the training of Chuck Bronson and Cynthia Bronner. At age 14 they were accepted into Louisville's Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS), and chose to continue their dance training as a Trainee at the Louisville Ballet under Bruce Simpson, where they performed in the corps de ballet of Alun Jones and Helen Starr's production of Romeo and Juliet. At age 16, they left home to train at the San Francisco Ballet School on the David Palmer Foundation Scholarship, dancing roles in Helgi Tomasson's Nutcracker, as well as originating roles in works by Parrish Maynard.

Maxfield has attended summer intensives on full merit scholarship at the San Francisco Ballet School, Houston Ballet Academy, American Ballet Theater, and the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Maxfield attended NYU's Tisch School of the Arts with a Tisch scholarship, and has also spent time studying at the HAMU Performing Arts University of Prague in the Czech Republic. While at Tisch, Maxfield had the pleasure of participating in works by Crystal Pite/Kidd Pivot, Dwight Rhoden, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane, Raja Feather Kelly, Robert Garland, and Paul Taylor. As a senior at NYU, Maxfield toured internationally as an apprentice with Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.

In August 2018, Maxfield was invited to join Complexions Contemporary Ballet under the direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson as a soloist, performing in theaters across the USA, Canada, Ukraine, New Zealand, and Germany. Maxfield has performed at private parties for the fashion houses of Dior and Cartier, as well as the artist Madonna. Some of their artistic collaborations include works with James Whiteside, and Ballet Boy Productions. Most recently, they made history as the first male to dance en pointe in collaboration with Isaac Mizrahi and John Higgenbotham in Peter and the Wolf at the Guggenheim museum in New York. Maxfield is currently on faculty with the Joffrey Ballet School summer intensives, and has produced work featured at the Mobile Dance Film Festival, Guggenheim Works and Process, and has been invited to lecture at the University of Georgia on topics of Race, Diversity, and Gender within the world of dance.

Omar Rivéra

Dancer, Ballet Hispánico

Omar Rivéra is originally from Los Angeles, CA. After moving to Dallas, Texas, Rivéra trained at Prodigy Dance & Performing Arts Centre under the direction of Camille Billelo. He graduated from the prestigious Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, and was a part of HSPVA’s dance ensembles Repertoire Dance Company I & II, where he performed a variety of works by choreographers such as Robert Battle and Desmond Richardson. Rivéra was a scholarship student at the University of Arizona-School of Dance and graduated with a BFA in Dance in 2018. Rivéra was one of eight men selected to perform at The Joyce Theater for the José Limón International Dance Festival, and danced works by guest artists including Christopher Wheeldon’s The American, Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Boiling Point, and Bella Lewitzky’s Meta4, among others. This is Omar’s 2nd season with Ballet Hispánico.

Zackery Torres

Freelance Dancer; Student, USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

Zackery Torres is the CEO and Founder of Continuum Community, a company that strives to provide practical and easy to understand resources to help communities evolve into gender inclusive spaces. Zackery is gender non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. They started dancing at age 10, training and competing in Scottsdale, AZ. In 2012, they began competing and dancing on two reality television shows for three years, gaining attention for being a young dancer. Upon graduating from high school in 2017, they now attend the University of Southern California, getting a B.F.A. in Dance from the Kaufman School of Dance and a M.A. in Public Relations and Advertising from the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. Through their experience as a non-binary individual in the dance and reality television world, they became passionate about gender inclusivity. This passion fueled the start of Continuum Community and the publishing of a book An Evolving Conversation on Gender: Dance Edition, available beginning September 7, 2020 on Amazon. Zackery has a passion for advocacy and loves nothing more than guiding communities to be more inclusive of all people.

Christopher Wilson

Dancer, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

A native of Augusta, Georgia, Christopher R. Wilson is a graduate of John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School and graduated cum laude from the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program in Dance. He has trained at Colton Ballet School, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and The School at Jacob's Pillow. He began his professional career with BHdos, the second company of Ballet Hispánico and has performed for Queen Sofía of Spain and Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands. He has had the privilege of performing on the main stage of the 2017 Essence Festival in New Orleans. He has performed works by choreographers Judith Jamison, Matthew Rushing, Wayne McGregor, Camille A. Brown, Kyle Abraham, and Emily Molnar, to name a few. He has been a guest artist with The Black Iris Project and for the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. Mr. Wilson was a member of Ailey II and joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2018.

The Stereotypes of Machismo in Dance


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