The mission of the VCU Department of Dance and Choreography presenting program is to support the creation of innovative work, stretch the potential of the art form and develop new audiences for dance while extending ideas about what dance can be. The program is committed to providing VCU and the Richmond community with opportunities to experience a broad range of the diverse aesthetics of contemporary dance while providing insight into its history and development.
Chicago-based choreographer, Stephanie Martinez, moves her audiences along a journey guided by the kinetic momentum of her award-winning works spanning over 12 years. With original creations for Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Charlotte Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Bruce Wood Dance, Nashville Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, BalletX, and Milwaukee Ballet, among others. Theatre credits include Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Martinez’s versatility expands the boundaries of contemporary ballet movement. Martinez has created over 70 ballets on companies and collegiate programs across the country. Martinez has received numerous grants for her work and is continually recognized for her work as female artist of color. Dubbed “a chameleon” of choreography by the Chicago Tribune, Martinez’s psychologically revelatory works challenge the viewer’s notion of what’s possible.
Martinez is the founder and artistic director of PARA.MAR Dance Theatre in Chicago, IL established in July 2020.
Norbert De La Cruz III
Born in the Philippines and raised in Los Angeles, Norbert De La Cruz III received a BFA in Dance from the Juilliard School and an MFA in Dance from Hollins University. He is a NY and LA based freelance artist.
Former soloist with Ballet Torino, Aszure Barton & Artists, Metropolitan Opera, and Complexions, Norbert has created original works for Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, New York City Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Hubbard Street II, BalletX, Peridance, Juilliard, Olympic Ballet Theater, Big Muddy Dance Company, Eisenhower Dance Detroit, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Owen/Cox Dance Group, Nashville Ballet, Bruce Wood Dance and much more. Norbert was casted as a dancer in the Warner Brothers Pictures film adaptation of Tony Winning Musical, In The Heights.
Norbert is in constant search of inspiration; seeking for more valuable collaborations and human connections.
Previous Guest Artists
Cover photo graciously provided by and of Norbert De La Cruz III. Photo taken by Rebecca Marcela Oviatt.