Arts » Arts Stories & Interviews

‘Corporeal Narratives’ to Feature Queer-Identifying Dancers in Performance at Teatro Palo Alto


  • Photo courtesy of Vignette
  • Dr. Leonard Cruz
This article was originally published by our sister publication Out In SA.

Teatro Palo Alto is set to present the second production of it’s Guest Artists Series in dance with the presentation of Corporeal Narratives: An Intimate Evening of Dance on January 11 at the Palo Alto College Performing Arts Center.

According to the press announcement, the performance will be unique in that it is a gathering of queer-identifying, San Antonio contemporary dance artists of color in one concert. “As each artist has grown up in San Antonio, this city’s culture and landscape is intrinsic in the shaping of their stories,” the announcement explains.

The production will be led by Dr. Leonard Cruz, a dancer, choreographer and teacher who was born in the Philippines and grew up in San Antonio. “The new work by Cruz will utilize material and personal artifacts holding history and meaning, as a portal for the examination of the genealogy of personal identity,” according to the announcement

The local dancers featured in the presentation are Fabiola Torralba, Adel Hernandez, and Amber Ortega-Perez.

Cruz started dancing at the age of four learning Filipino and Hawaiian folk dances, as well as ballet. In 1983 he was a Finalist for Young Arts sponsored by the NFAA in Miami, Florida where he was later named Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He received his Bachelor of Arts and Master’s of Arts Degree in Dance from U.C.L.A. He has obtained his Master of Fine Arts in Performance/Choreography, as well as his PhD in Urban Education with a focus the creative and performing arts from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

In 2017, Cruz was artist in residency at the Jump-Start Performance Co. where he taught dance to kindergarten and first-through-third graders at Bonham Academy and at the Say Si high school students theatre program. He is presently the Health Expert at the Folkwang University in Essen, Germany.

In addition to the production, Cruz will lead a free one-day workshop, Storytelling Through Authentic Movement, on January 12. The workshop will be open to Palo Alto College students and the community at large.

“Corporeal Narratives: An Intimate Evening of Dance,” Friday, January 11 at 7 p.m. at Palo Alto Performing Arts Center, Black Box Theatre, 1400 W. Villaret Blvd. Tickets are $10 general, $5 for students and can be purchased at the box office on the night of the event.

Storytelling Through Authentic Movement workshop, Saturday, January 12 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Palo Alto Performing Arts Center, Dance Studio, 1400 W Villaret Blvd. Free. Participants are asked to wear comfortable clothing, bring water and something to write and take notes.

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