IMMIGRANTS. DANCE. ARTS. TASK FORCE
The role of this task force is to advise and assist Dance/NYC’s Immigrants. Dance. Arts. Initiative on behalf of the organization and the dance field in the metropolitan area.
Click task force members' names to access their bios:
Abou Farman, Associate Professor of Anthropology, New School
Art Space Sanctuary
An anthropologist, writer and artist, Abou Farman is author of On Not Dying: Secular Immortality in the Age of Technoscience (2020, Minneapolis: Univ. Minn. Press) and Clerks of the Passage (2012, Montreal: Linda Leith Press). He is Associate Professor of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research and founder of Art Space Sanctuary as well as the Shipibo Conibo Center of NY.
Photo credit: Abou Farman
Alberto Lopez, Artistic Director
Calpulli Mexican Dance Company
Alberto Lopez Herrera is a Choreographer, Wardrobe Designer & Maker, and Teaching Artist with over 30 years of experience in Mexican folk dance and story-telling. He aims to expand Calpulli Mexican Dance Company’s folk repertoire and develop productions with cross-cultural narratives. Mr. Lopez also seeks to share his knowledge of Mexican traditions in dance with younger generations via Calpulli Community.
Originally from San Antonio Chiltepec in Puebla, Mr. Lopez began his studies of Mexican folkloric dance at the age of 12 at the Centro Escolar Benito Juarez de Acatlán de Osorio. At the same time, he began to develop skills in garment making, a craft that would later compliment his dedication to dance. He completed the National Dance Institute’s intensive Teaching Artist training in New York. In the USA, Mr. Lopez was a dancer and choreographer with Grupo Folklórico de Greatneck, Don Juan Dancers, and the Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Nueva York, working with distinguished choreographers Francisco Nevarez, Daniel Jaquez, and Noemy Hernandez.
Under his Artistic Direction, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company has performed at noted venues including Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (Inside/Out Series), Wortham Center (Houston, TX), Humboldt State University, the Kingdom of Bahrain, Penn State Erie, and Lincoln Center Out of Doors, where Dance Critic Brian Seibert hailed Calpulli a “terrific company” after its performance. His choreographic works have been featured in noted venues and praised by critics at the NY Examiner, Queens Courier, and Houston Chronicle. A few months later, Mr. Lopez was named “Star of Queens” by the Queens Courier for his artistic accomplishments and commitment to community arts programming. He was also recognized by Time Magazine in the series “American Voices.” He provided artistic direction, choreography, wardrobe design, and cultural expertise for the productions “Di
Ana Nery Fragoso, Dance Educator and Dance Director for the NYCDOE Office of Arts and Special Projects
Ana Nery Fragoso, MFA is the New York City Department of Education Director of Dance. She grew up in the Canary Islands, Spain, where she performed and choreographed extensively. She studied at the Alvin Nikolais Dance Lab (NYC) for two years, graduated from Hunter College with a B.A. in Dance and Education and earned a M.F.A. in Choreography from Sarah Lawrence College. She has been the recipient of two grants from the Ministry of Culture in Spain and a J. Javits Fellowship award. For twelve years, Ana Nery taught at P.S. 315, a Performing Arts Elementary School in Brooklyn, where she created a dance curriculum supported by the Laban Movement Analysis framework that emphasized improvisation, technique and dance making. She was the dance specialist at the East Village Community School in Manhattan as well where she created a brand new dance program. Mrs. Fragoso was a member of the New York City Department of Education Dance Blueprint Writing Committee and since 2004, she worked as a NYCDOE dance facilitator co-designing professional development workshops for New York City Department of Education dance specialists. She worked as a dance coach for the Artful Learning Community Grant (ALC) doing action research to develop strategies for collaborative inquiry around formative assessment practices and student learning in dance for six years and was part of the Arts Achieve team, a four-year project that developed innovative dance assessment tools and strategies. In 2017 she was a member of the NYS Dance Learning Standards writing team. Mrs. Fragoso was a faculty member of the Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) at the 92nd St Y from 2007 to 2014 and is currently an Arnhold Fellowship Recipient at Teachers College Ed. D. in Dance Education.
New York City Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA)
Felicity Hogan, Director of NYFA Learning
New York Foundation for the Arts
Felicity Hogan lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Originally trained as a painter in the United Kingdom, she relocated to the United States in 1996 and has been involved in running alternative spaces for over ten years. Ms. Hogan founded Flat (2000 – 2003) located in a Manhattan apartment which became known for its diverse, multi-cultural and experimental program and attracted national and regional press together with a following of museum directors, curators and artists.
With her recent experience in the commercial sector, working freelance for private dealers and galleries at art fairs in New York, Madrid, Miami and London, she is utilizing these broad-ranging skills by focusing her career in the area of the non-profit arts organization. Ms. Hogan’s recent experience includes working for established non-profits: the Lower East Side Printshop where she was Outreach Director (2007-8), CUE Art Foundation (2007/2008) and in her recent appointment to the position of Executive Director at Artists Alliance Inc, an artist centered 501 (c) 3 operating a residency program and art gallery/project space, Cuchifritos, which are both based on the Lower East Side, New York.
Ms. Hogan has participated as Guest Critic at International Studio and Curatorial Program, Art Omi and Location One and served as guest panelist for Dumbo Arts Center’s Survivor Workshop in 2007/8 and at Dieu Donne. A member of New Leadership Alliance she recently co-presented a panel on Social Networking for ArtTable members. In addition, Ms, Hogan has served on selection panels at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, Lower East Side Printshop and Gallery Korea, Korean Cultural Service NY. She is a member of the Curatorial Advisory Board at Bronx River Arts Center and on the Advisory Board of Culture Push.
Since the beginning of 2009 Ms. Hogan is also working as Development and Curatorial Associate for the Tuning Exhibition, "The 21st Century, The Feminine Century, and The Century of
Hussein Smko, Founder/Director
Project TAG Dance Theater Company
Hussein Smko is a dancer, choreographer and filmmaker. He has been dancing for 16 years and choreographing dance pieces that have been in major festivals as well as written about and published in the New York Times, Dance Magazine, Dance Enthusiast, Wall Street Journal, and Kurdistan 24.
Photo credit: Dariel Sneed
Lotus Music & Dance
Kamala Cesar, disciple of T. Balasaraswati (Bharata Natyam, South Indian Dance), was born in Brooklyn, NY, and is Native American (Mohawk Tribe) and Filipino. She studied Bharata Natyam (the classical dance of South India) both in the United States and in India, under T. Balasaraswati, Bharata Natyam's legendary and foremost exponent. She is one of the few American disciples carrying on the style of T. Balasaraswati in this country. Ms. Cesar has participated in programs sponsored by the American Society for Eastern Arts, the Center for World Music, Asian Traditions, The American Dance Festival, and Wesleyan University. In 1986, she was a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Folk Art Apprenticeship. She has performed extensively in the United Stated, Europe, and India. Ms. Cesar is the Founder and Artistic Director of Lotus Music & Dance, a not-for-profit organization that since 1989 has been supporting multicultural programs that further the understanding, appreciation, and preservation of traditional arts and the creation of new works that evolve from traditional art forms. She has produced several cross-cultural productions, including: The New York Ramayana; Eagle Spirit—A Tribute to the Mohawk High Steelworkers; Message of Peace—An Excerpt from the Peacemaker’s Journey; World in The City; Dancing Across Cultural Borders; World Dance Passport; and Lotus—the Energy Within. Since 2002, she has produced Drums Along the Hudson: A Native American Festival and Multicultural Celebration, Manhattan's only open-air Pow Wow celebrating Native American heritage along with world cultures and their traditional dance and drumming.
Visiting Scholar, Pratt Institute; Artist, Oxana
Dr. Layla Zami is an academic and artist working with words, music, performance, and video. Born in Paris, France in 1985, Layla gains inspiration from a rich Jewish-Russian-German and Afro-Caribbean-Indian heritage. Her work orbits around matters of dance/performance; cultural memory/trauma; race/gender; diaspora/migration; and space-time. Layla recently obtained a Ph.D. in Transdisciplinary Gender Studies from Humboldt-University, Berlin, where she also received the Faculty's First Prize for Teaching Quality. She holds an M.A. from the Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs and was a Visiting Research Scholar at Columbia University (IRWGS) and UCSD (Department of Theatre & Dance). Her projects received awards and grants from institutions such as the MLA, German Ministry of Education, French Ministry of Youth. Layla works with dancer Oxana Chi as a musician (saxophone, kalimba, sounds), poet, actress. She performed in theaters, universities, and festivals in the USA, France, Germany, India, Martinique, Turkey, Indonesia and Taiwan. With Oxana Chi, she co-realized the documentary Dancing Through Gardens, and co-curated events such as Black Herstory Night (Dixon Place) and Moving Memory International Symposium-Festival (Technical University Berlin). An NYFA Performing Arts Boot Camp Alumna, Layla is now Assistant Producer at IHRAF and serves as a member of the Dance/NYC Immigrant Artist Task Force. www.laylazami.net
Luba Cortés, Immigrant Defense Coordinator
Make the Road
Luba Cortés is a writer, organizer, and advocate born in México but raised in New York. In their organizing and writing, they explore undocumented experiences, queerness, femeness, indigenousness, and the intersectionality of it all. Luba’s expertise lies in building leadership through immigrant narratives and navigating political landscapes for national and local advocacy work. Luba has worked with national organizations such as FIRM, UWD, and currently works as the Rapid Response Coordinator at Make the Road New York, the largest participatory led immigrant rights organization in the country. Luba’s writing can be found in publications such as AM New York, Newsday, and the New York Times. Follow luba on social media @lubacortes