James Moreno is a choreographer and dance studies scholar. His current research weaves choreography, scholarship, and pedagogy to explore the ethics of representation, possibilities of performance-based activism, and joy of community building.
Moreno's choreography series operates under the umbrella title The Pocho Project (“Pocho” is a Spanish term that has traditionally been used to refer to someone as a “cultural traitor,” in my case, an assimilated Mexican-American.) Moreno is current work, Wash, Rinse, Repeat, explores how Latino identity is developed through a phenomenological process of embodied repetition. This dance incorporates ethnographic interviews about assimilation, notions of gender performativity, and the musical idea of “ostinato” a stubbornly repeated melodic pattern.
Moreno's book, Dances of José Limón and Erick Hawkins, published by Routledge in April 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.
Moreno holds a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and is Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance at the University of Kansas