Joel Valentín-Martínez

Learn about Joel Valentín-Martínez's dance career, which includes being a member of the Tony award wining Garth Fagan Dance troupe.

Associate Professor, Dance

Joel Valentín-Martínez is an associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas at Austin College of Fine Arts. He initiated his theatre/dance training in the San Francisco Bay Area at American Conservatory Theater, El Teatro de la Esperanza, Magic Theatre, Oakland Ensemble Theatre, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Rosa Montoya Bailes Flamencos, Oakland's Dimensions Dance Theatre and San Francisco State University. From 1990-2003, he was a member of Garth Fagan Dance (Tony Award winner) and toured with the troupe throughout the United States, Canada, the Middle East, Europe, Australia, South America and the Caribbean. Select performance venues with GFD include The Joyce Theater; Brooklyn Academy of Music; Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival; UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance; Boston's Boch Center - Wang Theatre (formerly Citi Performing Arts Center); Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre; American Dance Festival at Duke University; Stanford University; Princeton University’s McCarter Theatre Center; University of Callifornia, Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall; Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre; the American Center in Paris; Basel tanzt Festival; International Dance Festival Nordrhein-Westfalen; Italy’s Spoleto Dance Festival; Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London; Jerusalem Dance Festival; Rio de Janeiro’s Teatro Municipal and Perth International Arts Festival. During his years with GFD, Valentín-Martínez was a featured dancer in world tours, such as Garth Fagan’s Griot New York (1991) with live music by the Wynton Marsalis Septet, and was subsequently featured on PBS’s Great Performance in 1995 (Sony Pictures Classics).

Since 2003, Mr. Valentín-Martínez has devoted his time to teaching at the university level and developing his own choreography projects. His work Pop Refuge (2019) premiered at Links Hall in Chicago; Sur Grande (2019) was commissioned by La Compañia de Danza Contemporanea de Acapulco, Mexico; De aquí, de allá (2019) premiered with Mexico City’s Barro Rojo Arte Escénico and #rupturapasaje2/#passagebreak2 (2019) premiered with Andanza Compañia Puertorriqueña de Danza Contemporánea, Puerto Rico. Other works include Misplaced Flowers (2010) with live music by Fulcrum Point New Music Project and Tlatelolco Revisited (2008), both commissioned by Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago. He choreographed the musical adaptation of Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street (2009) at the Steppenwolf Theatre. He has developed choreography for Joel Hall Dancers (2010) and John Jota Leaños’ multi-media performance Imperial Silence: Una Ópera Muerta (2008-17), which has been performed at El Museo del Barrio in New York City, throughout California, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and in Lisbon, Portugal. Prior to joining The University of Texas at Austin, he was associate professor and Dance Program Director in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University. Additionally, he taught dance at Arizona State University and the University of Rochester. Valentín-Martínez earned a B.A. in Dance Studies from the State University of New York and an M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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