Artistories on KXCI – September 2, 2019
Yvonne Montoya — Safos Dance Theater
In this episode of Artistories, we’re joined by Yvonne Montoya, a mother, dancemaker, consultant, and founding director of Safos Dance Theatre. Yvonne is also a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow and a Dance USA Fellow for the 2019-2020 class. We talk about Latinx dance in the Southwestern and national dance contexts, as well as Yvonne’s personal dance journey. Yvonne discusses the challenges associated with combining dance and academic research while working as a Latinx dancer and choreographer. She talks about nurturing a dance aesthetic unique to the Southwest and the challenges of getting funders to value this unique form that sometimes flies in the face of un-interrogated traditional attitudes around dance. She talks about the evolution of decade-old Safos Dance Theater, dance hierarchies, and supporting local talent, (through Dance in the Desert among other things). We go in depth on hierarchies and disparities in dance; East Coast/West Coast, Indoor/Outdoor, Narrative/Non-narrative, long bodies/short bodies, Western European/Non European, and we cite Grantmakers in The Arts when we explore the historic, societal and philanthropic bias for Western European art forms. Yvonne also stresses the importance of investing in relationship-building across geography in Arizona, uniting talent in Phoenix, Tucson, and Douglas.