Dzul Dance Brings Mexican Culture to Life in New York

Dzul Dance fuses dance with aerial arts as a means to communicate pre-Hispanic and Mexican culture and create dialogue between contemporary art and historical heritage. By transforming bodies into earthbound and airborne forces of nature Dzul breaks physical, cultural and political boundaries. Artistic Director Javier Dzul grew up in Mexico performing the ritual dances of his Mayan tribal community. He left his community to dance with professional companies such as Ballet Nacional de Mexico, Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Pearl Lang Dance Theater, and Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble.

 

Dzul and his diverse company of dancers and aerialists have been presented throughout New York and in Mexico, South America, Europe, Asia and the Virgin Islands garnering reviews along the way that hail Dzul’s “acrobatic wizardry” (Attitude: The Dancer’s Magazine) and his ability to turn his dancers “of remarkable elasticity” into “creatures of the air as well as of the earth” (The New York Times).

 

Artistic Director Javier Dzul grew up in Mexico performing the ritual dances of his Mayan tribal community until the age of 16. He left his community to become a professional dancer with companies such as Ballet Nacional de Mexico (principal), Ballet Folklorico de Mexico (principal), the Martha Graham Dance Company, Pearl Lang Dance Theater and Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble. In 1995 Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes of Mexico awarded Javier a scholarship to pursue his dance career in the United States. Javier began choreographing in 1998 and established Dzul Dance in 2003. He and his diverse company of dancers and aerialists have been presented throughout New York and in Mexico, South America, Europe, Asia and the Virgin Islands garnering reviews along the way that hail Dzul’s “acrobatic wizardry” (Attitude: The Dancer’s Magazine) and his “beautiful…extremely effective” choreographic works (The New York Times).

 

Dzul Dance’s vast dramatic and creative appeal have won them invitations to perform on a variety of stages that include the United Nations, Bard College Summerscape, El Museo del Barrio, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Dixon Place, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Reichold Performing Arts Center, The Kaye Playhouse and Gerald W. Lynch Theater. International festivals include the Mexico Now Festival, Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Gunvor Festival (Switzerland), Festival Internacional del Centro Historico (Mexico), Festival del Arte Contemporaneo (Mexico), Muestra Internacional de Danza de Oaxaca (Mexico), Festival Santiago de Queretaro (Mexico) and the Latin Choreographers’ Festival. In addition to performing, Javier has brought the artistry and vocabulary of Dzul Dance to others through workshops and community outreach programs in New York City, Mexico, Brazil, Switzerland and the Virgin Islands.

 

On September 12 and 13, 2008, Dzul Dance and the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College of Criminal Justice will present the premiere of The Symbol Bearer as part of the theater’s 20th anniversary Fall Season. The Symbol Bearer outlines a story of redemption and explores the possibility of art to expand our moral landscape. This choreography is performed by Javier Dzul and guest aerialist Chelsea Bacon along with his company of dancers/aerialists Ivanova Aguilar, Ji-Hyun Bang, Cornelius Brown, Robin Taylor Dzul, Blake Faulds, Jason Jordan, Nicole Lichau and Tomotaka Okada. Collaborators include Guatemalan composer Sergio Reyes and sound/image artist Jacob Robinette. Lighting design by Stephen Petrilli and costume design by Javier Dzul.

 

Tickets are $25 general admission and may be purchased online at www.ticketcentral.com or by calling 212-279-4200. The Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College of Criminal justice is located at 899 Tenth Avenue between 58th and 59th street, New York, NY 10019.

(1, A, B, D train to 59th street Columbus Circle or N, R, Q, W to 57th street).

For more information please visit www.dzuldance.comor www.jjay.cuny.edu/theater.

 

In October The Symbol Bearer will be part of the Performing the World Festival 2008. The event is sponsored by the Eastside Institute of Psychotherapy, the All Stars Project, the Institute of Culture of Campeche and Dzul Dance. The company will then travel to Mexico for a tour sponsored by the Instituto de Cultura de Campeche.

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