Mare Nostrum Elements to Present 11th Emerging Choreography Series: Flamenco Edition

Performances will take place on Friday, April 26, 2024 and Saturday, April 27, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.

By: Apr. 22, 2024
Mare Nostrum Elements to Present 11th Emerging Choreography Series: Flamenco Edition
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Mare Nostrum Elements will present the 11th Emerging Choreography Series: Flamenco Edition featuring choreography and performances by Xianix Barrera and Laura Peralta, TWO PERFORMANCES ONLY on Friday, April 26, 2024 and Saturday, April 27, 2024 at 7:30 p.m. at El Bario Artspace PS 109.

The Emerging Choreographer Series, now in its 11th year, is truly one of a kind in NYC. Called a “crash course in self-producing”, there is no other organization that offers not only to educate emerging artists in how to self-produce their work by connecting them to industry professionals for workshops and consultations, but also pays them to create the choreography! Mare Nostrum Elements has sponsored over 70 new works over the past 10 years and decided to expand the program for the alumni of the program. This year, instead of creating 10-minute works, the company decided to have alumni return to create 30–40-minute works and support them along the way. The dancers and choreographers are paid and provided free rehearsal space and post-show media including photos and videos.

Founder Kevin Albert shared, “There are other programs that may focus on one aspect of what we do, but they charge the artists to participate. We are unique in that we strive to change the culture in the dance industry and to empower artists of any background to create work.”

The performance of the 11th Emerging Choreography Series: Flamenco Edition at El Barrio’s Artspace PS 109 will feature the choreography and performances by Xianix Barrera and Laura Peralta, in the last of three productions in the series. Ke’Ron Wilson and Lavy performed new works at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center and Grace Tong and Garrett Parker at Flushing Town Hall in recent months.

Xianix Barrera is a flamenco dancer, teacher and choreographer based in New York. She has received ongoing recognition for her work; she’s a scholarship recipient for the Flamenco Program at Jacob’s Pillow, an Artist in Residence with Flamenco Vivo and a 2019 Bessie Award nominee for Outstanding Performer for her role in “Latido” as part of the Emerging Choreographer Series at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center.

Laura Peralta was born in New York and is a flamenco dancer, teacher and choreographer with Afro-Dominican roots. Peralta has danced for Flamenco Vivo, Carlota Santana, Soledad Barrio y Noche Flemenca, A Palo Seco Flamenco, Nelida Tirado Flamenco, Pasión y Arte, Omayra Amaya Flamenco Dance Company, and Isaac Tovar Compañia Flamenca, and was recently featured in “Carmen” at Lincoln Center, and in “Amor Brujo” alongside choreographer Isaac Tovar, dancer Irene Lozano and cantaora Esperanza Fernandez. She currently tours nationally and teaches in NYC.

Mare Nostrum Elements, founded in 2001 by Italian performer Nicola Iervasi and American actor/director Kevin Albert, has created original multidisciplinary works (Mediterranean Voices, Last Chance), produced Off-Broadway shows (The Crucible, Biography), and presented works by emerging choreographers. In 2013, MNE co-produced the Italian International Dance Festival and the Italian Theater Festival In Scena, presenting 3 plays by Mario Fratti at the Secret Theater in Long Island City.

The name, Mare Nostrum Elements, signifies a common element of connection. The choice of the Latin words mare (the sea) nostrum (our) refers to the Mediterranean Sea during the Roman Empire, a body of water that encompassed many nationalities and cultures. MNE is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit charitable organization (2009) and has received public support from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and NYSCA. MNE supports the NYC dance community through performances, workshops, and outreach programs.

In 2002 Nicola and Kevin started gathering tools and knowledge from their training and performance careers and created The Wave Within method to provide working performers, students, and young adults with more comprehensive performance tools. The Wave Within workshops and intensives have been offered at schools and festivals throughout New York and Italy.

Kevin and Nicola, partners on stage and off for 23 years, married on April 28, 2013. They created Mare Nostrum Elements in 2001 as a response to the declining trends that make it harder and harder for talent to be nurtured in NYC. A 2016 study by advocacy group Dance/NYC found that dance audiences have shrunk by 20%, growing unrest in the dance industry.

Kevin graduated from The Boston Conservatory in theater and Nicola began his time in this country as a scholarship student at The Martha Graham School. Nicola grew up in southern Italy and travels there to teach throughout the year.

Mare Nostrum Elements is a gay run organization thriving in NYC for over 20 years! Orso was a main driver of the private support received by Mare Nostrum Elements through the years. Orso became a place to earn an income while dedicating one’s life to the nonprofit sector, working the “gig economy” and trying to make connections across each path. Orso supported the non-profit and helped pay the bills. Orso will continue to support Kevin in his new career. How to make the most of your side job. After almost three decades working at the restaurants Joe Allen and Orso, Kevin’s last shift will be April 25. Over the years the stories have accumulated and Kevin is working on a book about his time working for Joe. At the same time, Kevin is working successfully for Compass as a licensed real estate agent.


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