The BlakTina Dance Festival has announced the lineup for its 2018 festival in Phoenix. The festival will include 10 works, including eight choreographed by Arizona creatives.
Licia Perea founded the festival in 2013 in Los Angeles, where it continues today. Last July, she partnered with Phoenix-based choreographer Liliana Gomez (now Liliana Gomez-Dieckman) to present a BlakTina Dance Festival in Phoenix.
Last year, it was a single night affair. But this year, the Phoenix Dance Festival will include performances on Friday, August 24, and Saturday, August 25. It’s happening at Phoenix Center for the Arts.
The 2018 lineup in Phoenix includes Arizona choreographers Erik Canales, Felix Cruz, Malikah Fernandez, RaShawn Hart, Anthony James Kelly, Ruby Morales, and Alexander Patrick — as well as Alicia-Lynn Nascimento Castro, with Jenny Gerena and Sydney Jackson.
Several are well-known on the metro Phoenix dance scene.
Cruz is a queer performance artist who heads the Cruz Control Collective they founded in 2015, which often merges movement with pop culture and social justice issues. Gerena is a permanent artist in residence with [nueBOX]. Patrick dances with Convergence Ballet and CaZo Dance.
California choreographer Alvin Rangel is also showing work at the Phoenix festival, as are California-based collaborators Aisha Bardge and Stephen Tanner.
Choreographers were chosen through an open call issued in early May, which indicated that organizers were looking for Phoenix-based Latinx and African American creatives who choreograph contemporary modern dance works. But choreographers from other parts of Arizona were also welcome to apply.
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The call noted that applicants should be “rule breakers who are challenging the structures of contemporary modern dance through the fusion of styles, aesthetics, and innovative approaches.”
Applicants had to be at least 18 years old, with more than one year of experience producing or presenting dance in a non-student context.
People who attended the first Phoenix festival will see some familiar faces. Choreographers Patrick, Fernandez, Jackson, and Gerena were also part of that lineup.
Organizers will release details about specific dance works, and ticket sales, at a later date.