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Open Call for Choreographer

BDT staff and advisory team reviewed 72 proposals from choreographers in the US and abroad. With support from The Boston Cultural Council, our goal was to locate a project which aligns with the vision of BDT’s Trainee Program to stretch the self-imposed limits of developing artists as performers and co-creators, emboldening them to fearlessly take their place in the 21st century dance landscape. The reviewers looked for projects which were practical in terms of artistic and logistic vision, and which address BDT’s mission to broaden the scope of contemporary dance practice and performance in our city. 


For this, our second open call, the panel chose choreographers whose work fits with our 2022 programming needs, embodies athleticism and dynamic physicality in movement, and demonstrated attention to the detail of utilizing the whole group. The panel was inspired by the depth of ideas brought forward and articulated by the entire pool of applicants.


Out of 72 applications, three choreographers were selected to create work on the Trainee Program in 2022. The selected choreographers are:

Roya Carreras is an Iranian-Hispanic artist, choreographer, and educator who works within commercial, film, and theatrical settings from New York City to Los Angeles. Her work challenges and unravels the depths of the female psyche, creating narratives that intertwine metaphor, magic realism, and memories from her childhood as a first generation American, with balletic tropes, visceral demeanor, and sexuality.


Carreras has created choreography for the Russian feminist protest punk rock group, Pussy Riot, including music videos Straight Out of Vagina and Bad Girls; she has provided talent and movement direction for artists Michael Blume, Jade De LaFleur, and Wolf Colony. On stage, Carreras’ work has been presented at the CURRENT SESSIONS, Dixon Place, Baruch Performing Arts Center, and The Green Building in New York City; in California, she has presented at Highways Performance Space, Electric Lodge Theater, Glenn Wallichs Theatre, Diavolo, Brockus Project Space, and BRAVA. She was a resident choreographer for Columbia Ballet Collaborative of Columbia University in 2015, and has taught ballet, contemporary, and improvisation at Peridance Capezio Center, American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Riverside Ballet Arts, Riverside City College, Pasadena Dance Theater, and Brockus Conservatory. As a performer, she has worked closely with Barak Marshall at BodyTraffic, Bryan Arias, Danielle Russo Performance Project, and Lux Boreal Danza Contemporanea in Tijuana, Mexico.


Carreras holds a BFA in Dance with Honors from UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts, with additional training from The Ailey School and Springboard Danse Montreal.

Isvel Bello by Jessie Stinnett.JPG

Isvel Bello is a Boston-based, Cuban American artist with a contemporary dance and choreography background. He/they are currently dancing with Boston Dance Theater (BDT) and was recently a resident artist at Studio Residency in Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) for the visual art department. Isvel’s visual constructions orient to constant experimentation in the intersections of dance, video art, digital art, installations, and performance art. His/their creative practice is informed by social and political tendencies and is committed to tireless explorations to get to where the process leads. 


Isvel received a Bachelor’s Degree in Contemporary Dance from University of Arts (ISA) and is a graduate from The National School of Modern and Afro Cuban Folklore (ENA), both located in Havana, Cuba. Isvel was a former dancer at Compañía Danza Espiral and MalPaso Dance Company from Cuba among other independent and experimental projects. His/their solo performance “Tokonoma” has been awarded with the Critic's Award in the National Competition of Solamente Solos and with the Ramiro Guerra Award, in Cuba. He/they have worked with choreographers such as Liliam Padrón, Osnel Delgado Relinde Moors, Trey McItyre, Ronal K. Brown, Rosi Herrera and has performed at several dance festivals in Netherlands, Mexico, Ecuador, France, Venezuela, Martinique, Canada, USA, as well as The Joyce Theater (NYC) and Ted Shawn Theater at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival (Massachusetts).


Originally based in Washington DC, Cynthia McLaughlin performed, collaborated and served as rehearsal director with Boris Willis Moves for 12 years, performing her own and Willis’ work at such venues as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Dance Place. While in DC, McLaughlin also performed with Sharon Mansur and Natalie Smith as well as Katherine Ferrier and Clyde Forth in New York City. She received a terminal MFA degree from George Mason University in 2001. Currently, McLaughlin is based in Western Massachusetts where she has continually received fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council to create public installation and performance work. She collaborates with Tiny Crush Society, choreographing to live musical performance in a full evening event each spring, and Joanna Chattman to create large-scale photographic installations which then inspire and inform her choreographic work. She has taught at Smith, Mt. Holyoke, Amherst, Hampshire, and Marlboro Colleges. Currently, she is a Lecturer at Keene State College.


Cynthia’s work begins with research in story: histories, memories, the stories of objects and images. She believes that the art itself is in these conversations- the teasing out of memory, as well as the ways in which she then translates her findings through installation and performance. She is interested in the ways in which humans make connections and seek meaning. Seemingly disparate images, stories, movements and memories become personal and connected as they share time and space. In her teaching and in her research and choreography she gives the body to the beast, demanding and ravenous for this very moment’s essence.


BDT Trainees: Anelise Tatum, Sarah Takash, Carley Lund, Wesley Urbanczyk, Cara Burke

November 2021

Photo of BDT Trainees by Jessie Jeanne Stinnett

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