I am a choreographer and dance studies scholar. My creative research and scholarship are both deeply invested in productive tensions between written texts, the body as flesh-and-bones, and the body as text. I wrestle with these texts on both the stage and page, to examine and perform allyship, the ethics of representation, and community-building.
This weaving of scholarship, choreography, performing, and pedagogy is spurred by my fascination and dedication to multi-modal work and reflects my approach to dance as an interdisciplinary field within the humanities and social sciences.
My current creative work and scholarship focuses on notions of assimilation and authenticity. Drawing on my experience as a “pocho,” I explore the cultural performances, double-codings, and embodied techniques of both “authentic” and “inauthentic bodies.” “Pocho” is a Spanish term that has traditionally been used to refer to assimilated Latinos as “cultural traitors.” In my case, as an assimilated Mexican-American, I address my pochismo, by integrating my own experience with ethnographic data and collaboration with other artists to produce choreography/theater and scholarship.
My book, Dances of José Limón and Erick Hawkins (Routledge, 2020), examines the work of U.S. modern dance choreographers, José Limón (1908-1972) and Erick Hawkins (1908-1994). Focusing on the period from 1945 to 1980, I discuss how their work adapted pre-World War II choreographic conventions to meet the changing nexus of whiteness, Latinidad, and masculinity in post-World War II America.
I hold a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and am Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance at the University of Kansas