Watch: Conversation with Fellow Claudia Lavista, Nominator Laura Faure, and former Fellow Donald Byrd, moderated by Advisor Ruth Cummings
Contemporary Dance – Choreographer/Dancer/Professor/Dance Promotor
Mazatlán, México (Born in Paris, Fr.)
Working with c.a.t.a.m.o.n. Dance Group
Claudia began her studies of music and theater at the age of eight. She subsequently studied dance at the National System for Professional Teaching of Dance in Mexico City. Claudia has a Bachelor’s degree in Dance Pedagogy from the UAEH. In 1987 she joined in Mexico City the emblematic dance company U,X. Onodanza and later joined Danzahoy Dance Company from Venezuela, one of the most prestigious dance companies in the 90´s in Latin America. In 1992 she founded in Mexico Delfos Contemporary Dance Company along with Victor Manuel.
Claudia has received several awards for her artistic activity including the National Dance Award in 1992, Best Female Dancer at the International Dance Festival of San Luis Potosi in 2005, and Best Female Dancer at the National Dance Award in 1998 and the 2002. In 2001 the specialized critics selected her as “One of the 10 Mexican Best Dancers of the XX Century”.
The National Endowment for the Arts has also honored her with several fellowships as dancer and choreographer. In 2007 she was invited as International Visiting Artist at the 25th Bates Dance Festival, she has since came back as a Faculty Member and Choreographer in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2017. In 2008, 2011 and 2015 she was distinguished by the prestigious National System of Arts Creators, awarded by CONACULTA-FONCA.
In 2008 her piece “Stone Garden” received the “Austin Critics Table Award” as “Outstanding Dance Concert”, in 2012 her video work “Between water walls” received the “Dona et Cinema International Festival Award as Best Video-creation” in Valencia-Spain. The same year she received the Performing Americas Program Creative Exchange Award by the National Performance Network (NPN) and the National University of Mexico. In 2011 her piece (created along with Vı́ctor Manuel Ruiz) “When the disguises are hung up” was nominated as Best Touring Show by the Austin Critics Choice. In 2016, alongside with the composer Tomás Gueglio receives the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Award (NALAC), for a collaborative project entitled “Proa” alongside the Dal Niente ensemble in Chicago. In 2019 Claudia received the John Holloway Artist Fund by the University of South Florida.
She has been a featured performer in over 85 works of dance, theater, video and opera, working with an international roster of choreographers and artist and performing in some of the world’s most prestigious theaters. Claudia has created more than 50 choreographic works presented by different dance companies, among them, the prestigious Mexican National Dance Company, the Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dance and Dantzaz Company from Spain. She has collaborated with composers, theater and opera directors, photographers, video artists, poets and other choreographers for more than two decades. Her work has been praised by critics and presented for the last 25 years in the United States, Latin America, Asia, Middle East and Europe.
In 2011 she received a Mellon Residential Fellowship for Arts Practice and Scholarship at the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago, to create a collaborative site specific project along with six composers at the Logan Center.
As a teacher she has conducted workshops and master classes in several cities
throughout Mexico and abroad. She has been invited by prestigious Conservatories and Universities in the U.S. to teach and create new works, including: the Smith College, UT Texas, SMU in Dallas, Boston Conservatory, Bates College, UC Boulder, USF, and UNC Charlotte among others. Since 2010 she has been a faculty member of the prestigious Bates Dance Festival in Maine U.S.
In 1998 she created, along with Delfos danza contemporánea the Escuela Profesional de Danza de Mazatlán/EPDM, one of the leading Dance Conservatories in Mexico and Latin America offering a BFA in Dance.
Currently she is Co-Artistic Director, dancer and choreographer of Delfos Contemporary Dance and Co-Director and teacher of the Mazatlan Professional School of Contemporary Dance. Since 2012 she directs the Creators Special Program at the Centro de las Artes de San Agustı́n- CaSa in Oaxaca, specialized in the development of new ways of thinking about dance creation and interdisciplinary projects.
In 2017 she was invited to be the Dance Representative Member of the Artistic Council Advisor of the Secretary of Culture of Mexico, as well as member and advisor of the Artistic Council of the National Dance Direction of the National Institute of Literature and Fine Arts in México.
If we want to talk of the great 0igures of Latin American Contemporary Dance, the name of Claudia Lavista is unavoidableValerio Cesio, Por la Danza Magazine, Madrid-Spain
Note: She is excited about travel, collaborative projects, food, museums, animals, plants, and books. Her greatest love is his daughter Elisa