Alicia Díaz Concepción
As a Puerto Rican contemporary dance artist in the diaspora Alicia Díaz Concepción's work speaks to issues of memory and identity, migration, colonialism, and the legacy of slavery. Her decolonizing and inclusive artistic and pedagogical approaches are rooted in the premise that the body is a site of knowledge. She is committed to engaging dance as a tool for social justice through acts of co-creation and collaboration, creating works for concert dance, museums, film, and site-specific locations. Recent collaborations with Puerto Rican percussionist Héctor “Coco” Barez engage with Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba as a point of reference to investigate cultural memory, resistance, and healing.
Alicia trained in classical ballet and modern dance at the Escuela de Baile Alma Concepción, The Princeton Ballet Society, and The Ailey School, and later in postmodern dance at Movement Research in New York City. She has performed nationally and internationally with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Andanza: Puerto Rican Contemporary Dance Company, Donald Byrd/The Group (The Harlem Nutcracker), Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre, Maida Withers Dance Construction Company, dANCEpROjECt, and Contemporary Motions, as well as numerous independent choreographers including Marion Ramírez and Sally Silvers. She has co-directed several companies including Rubí Theatre, an intergenerational ensemble that produced original plays and conducted performance workshops in New York City; en la brega dance company, with Esther Ñequi González; and Agua Dulce Dance Theater, with Matthew Thornton.
Alicia is associate professor of dance at The University of Richmond (UR) where she received the 2020 Center for Civic Engagement’s Community-Engaged Scholarship Award, recognizing her work with the Tucker Boatwright Festival commission of "Brother General Gabriel" a place-based project co-directed by Free Bangura and MK Abadoo that elevated the story of Gabriel’s Insurrection in 1800; the collaborative video project "Knowledge of This Cannot be Hidden' Westham Burying Ground Commemorative Act," on the history of the unmarked burial ground for enslaved people at UR; and her work directing and co-envisioning the award winning dance film Entre Puerto Rico y Richmond: Women in Resistance Shall Not Be Moved centering feminist anticolonial stories of resistance and liberation. Alicia serves on the Board of Pepatián: Bronx Arts ColLABorative and served as one of the lead artists of Pepatián project, Dancing La Botánica: La Tierra Vive! a platform that supports Latinx dance artists that center Afro-Latinx, Caribbean, Latin American, and indigenous traditions.
[Image Description: A woman with black hair and light brown skin is in the midst of dancing. Her skin is sweaty and her gaze is down. She is wearing a blue halter top and a red and blue skirt that is in motion. In the blurred background is a drum and a percussionist.]