Instituto Coreográfico gives a voice to young artists and opens access to the dance-making process for all audiences.
When Ballet Hispánico was founded nearly 50 years ago, Latinx artists were invisible to the dance field. Since its founding, Ballet Hispánico has played an instrumental role in changing the narrative - now, generations of Latinx artists have produced art that reinterpret their heritage, bringing fresh perspectives on the Latinx experience. In 2010, Artistic Director & CEO Eduardo Vilaro launched Instituto Coreográfico, a choreographic institute for Latinx artists to create culturally specific work in a nurturing learning laboratory of dance. The choreographer in residence is paired with an emerging filmaker to document their process, create promotional materials, and add a layer of artistic collaboration.
Instituto Coreográfico also invites dance patrons to respond, reflect, and enter into cultural dialogue with the artists about dance and culture in a safe, critical environment at a work-in-progress showing during the choreographer’s residency. With this invaluable platform, Ballet Hispánico continues to give a voice to young artists and opens access to the dance-making process for all audiences.
Choreographer Marielis Garcia and Filmmaker Spencer James Weidie have been selected to participate in the Spring 2021 Instituto Coreográfico.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Instituto Coreográfico will have a combination of virtual and in-person components. Ballet Hispánico is committed to keeping all artists safe during the pandemic, developing a “pod” approach and adhering to current health and safety protocols with dancers to enable the choreographer to work in studio. A virtual showing will take place on June 10, 2021.
Marielis Garcia, Choreographer
Marielis Garcia is a Native New Yorker and Dominican American dancer, choreographer and educator. Marielis holds a BFA in Dance and a MFA in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice. Marielis is currently an Artist in Residence at University of Maryland, and is developing a work for Alvin Ailey/Fordham School as part of the New Directions Choreography Lab. She was UNCSA Choreographic Fellow in 2017, and has taught classes for Rutgers University and University of North Carolina Greensboro. Marielis produces collaborative works through MG DanceArts, which has been presented at Aaron Davis Hall and Judson Memorial Church, among others. Possibilities of Dialogue, her ongoing collaboration with David Norsworthy, was awarded Kaatsbaan and Dance Initiative residencies and debuted at Toronto’s North York Arts Center in 2019. Marielis has danced with Brian Brooks, Stefanie Batten Bland, Peter Kyle, and Helen Simoneau and frequently collaborates with visual artist Madeline Hollander.
Spencer James Weidie, Filmmaker
Spencer James Weidie (@spencerjamesweidie) grew up in Kailua, HI. Spencer graduated from the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY (B.F.A. Honors) in Dance with a concentration in Composition. They also studied at London Contemporary Dance School, Springboard Danse Montreal, and with the Merce Cunningham Trust. Spencer is a current company member of Brian Brooks Dance, The Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and was a featured guest artist with Gallim Dance at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. They were a principal dancer with MADBOOTS DANCE from 2017- 2020.In the summer of 2018, Spencer began to develop his photographic skills. They have worked as a photographer for many freelance artists in NYC and with Austin McCormick’s “Company XIV.” Spencer transitioned into more filmmaking with Brian Brooks/Moving Company at Jacob’s Pillow’s “Pillow Lab.” Spencer shot a short dance film that was made in collaboration with Antonio Brown Dance and Eric Payne of ETC Agency.
Major funding for Instituto Coreográfico was provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
"As a dancer here back in the 80s, I could count on my hand the number of Latinx choreographers that would come through the door…[Instituto Coreográfico] is a way of nourishing, mentoring, and developing leaders and artists of color, in particular Latinas and Latinos."
-Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director & CEO
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Ramón Oller, 2019
Maria Barrios, 2019
Bennyroyce Royon, 2018
Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, 2018
Carlos Pons Guerra, 2017
Stephanie Martinez, 2016
Fernando Melo, 2015
Michelle Manzanales, 2015
Miguel Mancillas, 2014
Rosie Herrera, 2013
Abdul Latif, 2012