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Luis Piedra: Perspectives on contemporary dance in Costa Rica

UGA already has many unique relationships in Costa Rica and on Thursday, January 16, yet another one is set to take hold.

Luis Piedra, a professional dancer and choreographer of the Danza Universitaria in Costa Rica, will present a lecture-demonstration at the department of dance at 11 a.m. In his lecture-demonstration "Perspectives on creative process and contemporary dance in Costa Rica", Piedra will talk about his life in dance as a performer, choreographer, director and teacher. Mr. Piedra will talk about contemporary dance in Costa Rica and offer insight into his creative process in developing his new work for UGA dance students, who will perform a section of Piedra's new work.

Piedra began his artistic training at the University of Costa Rica and later studied at George Washington University in the United States and at the Goethe Institute in Germany. Recently, Piedra completed a master's degree in choreography at the National University of Costa Rica and was one of the first graduates of that program. Piedra has been a professional dancer and choreographer of the Danza Universitaria, and for four years was the artistic director of the company. The Danza Universitaria is the most famous, inventive and progressive professional contemporary dance company in Costa Rica and has done several European tours. During his 25 years with the company, Piedra won wide acclaim as a dancer and choreographer. In 2009, the company was engaged in a collaboration with the Spanish Cultural Center to do a collaborative work with Spanish choreographer, Fernando Hurtado. This piece was performed in the National Theatre in Costa Rica and toured throughout Spain. Piedra now directs the training and artistic program of the Open Dance Company, where he has nurtured award-winning Costa Rican dancers and choreographers. Open Dance (Danza Abierta) is the training program for dancers in the College at the University of Costa Rica. The company has won national awards and Piedra has won several national choreography awards.

Piedra's visit to campus and lecture are sponsored by the department of dance and the Willson Center for the Humanities and Arts.

Image: (caution: author's translation) Shall We Dance? by the ensemble Danza Abierta, choreograhy by Luis Piedra. photo by Eyleen Vargas.

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