Modern Dance Troupe Makes New Mexico Premier

SOCORRO, N.M. November 4, 2014 – A vibrant display of contemporary dance performed by talented Los Angeles-based dancers will premier a new work by an award-winning choreographer during its Land of Enchantment tour, including a performance at New Mexico Tech’s Macey Center.


BodyTraffic brings modern dance to the Macey Center stage on Friday, Nov. 14.


“BodyTraffic,” described by a Los Angeles Times critic as “fresh and skillful,” will take to the stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, in a Performing Arts Series event, following performances in Santa Fe the previous week.

The troupe will premier a new dance by choreographer Victor Quijada in both cities.

PAS Director Ronna Kalish, fresh from a trip to Spain, is delighted to be part of a premier event performed by young and talented dancers.

 “We’re thrilled to host BodyTraffic and to be part of the excitement of performing a new work of art,” Kalish said. “Victor Quijada is a versatile talent recognized not only for his choreography, but also for the spectrum of dance knowledge he possesses, ranging from the gritty street corners of the city to the elegance of the concert hall.”

BodyTraffic reflects L.A.’s diverse landscape, from the vibrant beats of city life to the warm sultriness of a culture teeming with dreams and emotions. According to Kalish, the contemporary dance company has won wide acclaim as audiences are mesmerized by the sheer joy of movement reflected in each performance.

“As a non-profit organization, BODYTRAFFIC is committed to educational and outreach programs which, incidentally, mirror the mission of the PAS,” she said.

“Because of this, in addition to our local sponsor, Best Western, the performance is made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts and the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) provided additional support.”

Founded in 2007 by Lillian Rose Barbeito, who grew up in Santa Fe, NM,  and Tina Finkelman Berkett, BodyTraffic has surged to the forefront of the concert dance world due to its versatility and distinctive choreographic voices.

The company has performed at numerous venues in L.A., including the Disney Concert Hall, The Sharon Disney Lund Dance Theater, Colburn Dance Institute, Ford Amphitheatre, and The Gindi Auditorium at American Jewish University.

In June 2012, BodyTraffic made their NYC debut at the Joyce Theater during the Gotham Dance Festival. A year later, their Walt Disney Concert Hall debut was at the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Opening Night Gala performance.  Lillian Barbeito is especially excited to have her dance company tour in her home state of New Mexico, with performances in Santa Fe, Farmington, Albuquerque and culminating in Socorro.

Quijada, an L.A. native now living in Montréal, began his career in the hip-hop clubs of his native city before moving up to a performance career with a range of internationally acclaimed postmodern and ballet dance companies such as THARP!, Ballet Tech and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal.

“By the age of 26, Victor already had earned a reputation as a magnetic and inspiring dancer,” said Kalish, adding that Quijada used this experience to create his own dance company called the RubberbandDance Group in 2002.

Since then, he has created over 24 short and full-length pieces both within the company and as commissions, and has toured with his troupe throughout North America and in Europe, Japan, and Mexico.

Quijada was a 2004 finalist in the American Choreography Awards, and his choreography in k-os’s “Man I Used to Be” music video won a prize at the 2005 Choreography Media Honors. In addition to his growing collection of choreography awards, Quijada was an artist-in-residence at the Cinquième Salle of Place des Arts in Montréal.

Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for seniors and $8 for youth 17 and under, and are available at the Cashier’s Office (second floor of Fidel Center), Brownbilt Shoes and Western Wear, Burrito Tyme Drive-up, online at www.nmtpas.org (additional $3 service fee), or at the door.

– NMT –

By Valerie Kimble/New Mexico Tech