Albuquerque dancers featured in series, showcasing hybrid of hip-hop and Indigenous dance

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A group of dancers is getting national attention for its unique style in the Albuquerque community. For dancer Anne Pesata, hip-hop dance just comes naturally.

“It was the dance form that spoke most closely to my idea of artistic expression,” said Pesata. “Through that forum, I’ve been exposed to a lot of different places on tour and the company has a lot of reach in different parts of the dance world.”

She’s a part of the company Dancing Earth which combines contemporary dance with Indigenous roots and influence. Fellow dancer Raven Bright says the method of dance is how he branched out in the New Mexico community.

“It was like my introduction to communication skills,” said Bright. “It helped me open up more as a human being.”

Together, along with other performers, they’re not only dancing hip-hop, but also exploring how it merges with Native and Indigenous styles of dance. Pesata is Jicarilla Apache and Bright is Diné.

“They decided to highlight the merging of hip-hop and Native or Indigenous styles of dance,” said Pesata. “Albuquerque is a really unique spot for that because we have such a huge intersection of Native people with the pueblos and tribes that are in the Southwest area.”

Others are taking notice. An award-winning Bay Area series “If Cities Could Dance” is highlighting Albuquerque for this hybrid, specifically featuring the talents of Pesata and Bright.

“It makes me feel good about what I’m doing,” said Bright. “We’re able to develop these different processes of dancing and understand where the roots come from and build upon those roots.”

Both say the experience with the series is surreal. They hope it opens up others, not only to the community’s indigenous history, but also to the experiences Albuquerque’s dance community can bring to the table.

“It’s such a welcoming space from beginners to advanced dancers, all ages, all styles,” said Pesata. “Even though the highlight is on hip-hop, there’s so many sub genres within that.”

You can watch the Albuquerque “If Cities Could Dance” episode on YouTube. Pesata and Bright say there are also only dance offerings through their dance companies, Dancing Earth and Hybrids.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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