Joel Valentín-Martínez joins Dance faculty in the UT Austin Department of Theatre and Dance


April 26, 2021

Contact: Alicia Dietrich, College of Fine Arts, The University of Texas at Austin,, 512-475-7033.

Date: April 27, 2021

This fall, the College of Fine Arts welcomes Joel Valentín-Martínez to the Dance division as an associate professor with tenure in the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas at Austin. A former member of the Tony Award-winning Garth Fagan Dance company, Valentín-Martínez has spent the last two decades developing his own choreographic works and teaching at the university level, most recently at Northwestern University.

“Joel Valentín-Martínez is a well-established choreographer who brings a diverse range of experiences that will immediately benefit our students,” said Associate Department Chair and Head of the Dance division Charles O. Anderson. “Our dancers have been hungry, for more Latinx dance forms, and Joel’s expertise in flamenco and contemporary Latinx performance will be a wonderful asset for our program.”

Valentín-Martínez initiated his theatre/dance training in the San Francisco Bay Area at American Conservatory Theater, Teatro de la Esperanza, Magic Theater, Oakland Ensemble Theatre, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Rosa Montoya’s Bailes Flamencos, Oakland’s Dimensions Dance Theatre and San Francisco State University.

“We're so excited to have Joel Valentín-Martínez join our faculty this fall,” said Department of Theatre and Dance Chair Robert Ramirez. “He brings a wealth of teaching and performance experience that will complement the stellar quality of our Dance program beautifully.”

From 1990 to 2003, Valentín-Martínez was a member of Garth Fagan Dance and toured with the troupe throughout the United States, Canada, the Middle East, Europe, Australia, South America and the Caribbean. He performed at around the world, in prolific venues such as The Joyce Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lincoln Center for the Arts, Kennedy Center and Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, to name a few.

During his years with the company, Valentín-Martínez was a featured dancer in world tours, such as “Garth Fagan’s Griot New York” (1991) with live music by the Winton Marsalis Septet, which was subsequently featured on PBS’s Great Performance in 1995.

“I am extremely excited to be joining the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas at Austin,” said Valentín-Martinez. “I am especially thrilled about becoming a part of and collaborating with and working alongside an amazing team of scholars and artists who are shaping future generations of theatre and dancemakers. I look forward to teaching students who have chosen dance as a potential career path and profession.”

Valentín-Martínez joins a distinguished Dance faculty that includes division head Professor Charles O. Anderson; Associate Professor Leah Cox; Associate Professor Gesel Mason; Associate Professor of Practice Andrea Beckham; and Assistant Professors of Practice Tina Curran, Erica Gionfriddo and Dorothy O’Shea Overbey.

 “Our program has made enormous strides in reshaping and diversifying our curriculum and pedagogical practices in recent years, and Joel Valentín-Martínez’s background opens up wonderful new opportunities to explore intersections between Latinx and African Diasporic performance,” said Anderson

Valentín-Martínez’s own choreographic projects include Pop Refuge, which premiered at Links Hall Chicago in 2019; Sur Grande (2019) commissioned by La Compañia de Danza Contemporanea de Acapulco, Mexico; De aquí, de allá (2019), premiered with Mexico City’s Barro Rojo Artes Escénico; and #rupturapasaje2/#passagebreak2 (2019) with Andanza Compañia Puertorriqueña de Danza Contemporánea in 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, 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’ multimedia 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, Valentín-Martínez was an associate professor and Dance Program Director in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University, and he has also taught dance at Arizona State University and the University of Rochester. He holds 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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