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Dance Modern Lab Master Class Series: Patty Solórzano & Efrén Cruz

  1. Friday November 30 12:00pm
Dance Building, Betty Pease Studio Theater

Patricia Lorena Solórzano is a NYC-based dance artist originally from Michoacán, México. Her work is guided by improvisation, environmental psychology, walking, identity/memory, and connection to place; all enriched through drawing, film, and poetry. She received her BFA from Texas Christian University and MFA from the University of Michigan.

Efrén Cruz is an engineer doing research in artificial intelligence and its relationship to intelligent systems. Cruz’s recent work focuses on how automating decision-making in human communities reproduces previous biases of society, and how to enforce the creation and implementation of fair algorithms. Cruz’s research on systems that exhibit intelligence and information diffusion can be translated to a dance and improvisation setting, in which each dancer is an agent acting according to local rules and limited knowledge, and from where a bigger pattern emerges. Cruz started, together with Solórzano, the “Imprudent Cartography of Thought” project, in which borders are analyzed in terms of their abstract definition and corporeal/choreographic representation. Hence, economic inequalities, geopolitical boundaries, cultural biases, and psychological separation are brought together under topological terms, and analyzed according to the maps (ideological, epistemological, etc.) built on top of these landscapes. Cruz obtained a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2017.


Each Modern Lab session features a different guest artist teaching a master class and sections from their repertory. This panorama of the contemporary dance field is presented to broaden the students’ awareness of potential career possibilities. Each guest artist conducts a 30-minute technique class/warm-up and then teaches repertory that is performed by the class. In the final 15 minutes, faculty coordinator Bill De Young conducts a Q & A with each artist, discussing their career; their recommendations for transitioning from student to professional, and what they look for when they audition dancers for their projects.

This event supported in part by the EXCEL Lab.

Free - no tickets required