MAY 11, 2022 | 7PM ET
Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater
304 W 47th St., NYC
ABOUT THE LAB
New York Theatre Barn will present a special edition of the company’s Choreography Lab with Sol of El Barrio on May 11th, 2022. This lab is produced in conjunction with Maria Torres Emerging Artists Foundation, co-founded by Vanessa Williams, John O’Connor and Maria Torres.
Maria Torres’ Sol of El Barrio is its own unique evening of theatre that explodes the box of conventions. At the intersection of art and policy and converging past and present, it weaves together music, movement, dance, spoken word, poetry, and conversations that resurrect the ancestors of the Afro-Latinidad. This August, the work will culminate in a partnership with Jacob's Pillow, and one choreographer from the lab will receive a full scholarship to participate in the 90th anniversary of the Jacob’s Pillow season. Jacob’s Pillow’s brand new dance-theatre Afro-Latin Immersion program will assemble a diverse ensemble of 24 dancers for a unique residency concluding with live performance opportunities.
Mentored by Maria Torres (Enchanted, On Your Feet!, Swing!, El Cantante, So You Think You Can Dance), the featured choreographers who will explore Sol of El Barrio include William Ervin and Nathalia Raigosa. Each choreographer will create a piece that will be filmed by Full Out Creative in front of a live audience at Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater (304 W 47th St., NYC) and streamed on NYTB’s YouTube Channel.
Now in its 9th season and curated by Avital Asuleen, New York Theatre Barn’s Choreography Lab is the only platform for choreographers and writers to collaborate on movement for new musicals during incubation. Funded in part by a generous gift from the Amber Foundation, the Choreography Lab was created to elevate and expand the use of dance in musical theatre.
conceived + curated by
Héctor Flores Jr.
MARIA TORRES (FOUNDER)
Maria Torres’ extensive career as director, choreographer, instructor, and Producer began as a critically acclaimed performer, contributing choreography while performing in the film Dance, with the six-time Tony-nominated Broadway musical Swing and Me!. Torres was nominated for a 2018 Ovation Award for Best Choreography for Luis Valdes’ Zoot Suit, is a Lucille Lortel & Carbonell nominee of Four Guys named Jose’, The Donkey Show and Celia, the musical based on the life of the late Cuban singer Celia Cruz. Torres received accolades as Associate Choreographer for the Broadway & Touring productions of On Your Feet, the Oscar-nominated film Enchanted, the musical film Idlewild, the showcase for the Tony Award-winning In The Heights, and as a resident choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance. Torres also co-conceived, choreographed, and directed the Magic Of Salsa Kingdom and Off-Broadway hit Latin Heat. Recently, she directed and choreographed the new musical Havana Music Hall, Sol of El Barrio, and served as dance consultant for Summer: The Donna Summer Musical on Broadway. Torres is an Artist in Residence at The Rosetta LeNoire Amas Musical Theater, Trustee of Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF), a proud executive board member of the Stage Directors, and Choreographers Society, and the League of Professional Theatre Women. Her life is documented in the Dance Oral History Project at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
William Ervin is an east coast native earning his BFA in dance from Montclair State University (2017) and MFA from the University of Illinois (2020). He trained with Joffrey Ballet, Rennie Harris, and Alonzo King Lines Ballet. He has presented his own choreography at the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) Digital Dance Festival, Eryc Taylor Emerging Artist Grantee, Dance on the Lawn Emerging Artist, and Mixtures Creation through the General Consulate of Spain, Battery Dance Festival, the Joyce Theatre in partnership with Future Dance Festival, 92st Y, and The Martha Graham Dance Company.
Nathalia Raigosa is a Colombian dancer and choreographer specialized in Latin Rhythms and traditional Colombian dance. She has worked under Luis Salgado for “In the Heights” and Maria Torres for "Suenos: Our American Musical”. She has also assisted Daniel Fetecua with the piece "Bailando las memorias del sabor" mixing Limon technique with traditional Colombian dances. She is currently collaborating with Jon Rua on incorporating traditional Colombian dances and latin rhythms to his new piece of work. She is currently a dancer in the professional salsa team “The Latin Soul Dancers”.