Born in Venezuela, Luis Lara Malvacías is a choreographer, performer, dance teacher, designer and visual artist. He is a graduate of The Instituto Superior de Danza in Caracas, Venezuela, and became a member of the company Espacio Alterno, dancing in the works of David Zambrano, Jeremy Nelson and Mark Tompkins among others.
In New York he has danced for Yoshiko Chuma, Marguerita Guergue and Jeremy Nelson and in his own choreography. He performed with the company of John Jasperse, winning the Group Performance Award at the Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales de Bagnolet in Paris, 1996.
He was a 1998/1999 and 2002/2003 Movement Research Artist-in Residence and in 2006 he was a Dance New Amsterdam Artist-in-Residence. He has received support for the creation of his work from the MAP Rockefeller Funds, Arts International and The Jerome Foundation, and was the recipient of a 2006 NYFA Fellowship for choreography. He holds a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in New Media from Transart Institute, in cooperation with Danube University Krems, Austria.
He has been presenting his work in New York since 1995, at several venues such as the University Settlement, Mulberry Street Theatre, Knitting Factory, Dixon Place, Context Studios and Hot House at PS122, and Movement Research at Judson Church in 1998, 1999, 2003 and 2010. He has been commissioned on several occasions to create work in shared evenings for various New York venues including Danspace Project in 1995, 1996 and 2000, and PS 122, in 1998.
In 1999 he presented Morphylactic, a collaborative choreography with Jeremy Nelson at Dance Theater Workshop. He has shown full evenings of his work on several occasions including Joyce Soho in 1999, Williamsburg Arts Nexus (WAX) in 2002 and in 2004 at the Teatro Flamboyan presented in co-production with the CSV Cultural and Educational Center. In 2005, he presented Badman, a piece for eight men, at Danspace Project. His work, There is no Such Thing, was presented at DTW in November 2006. In May 2008 he presented Reason without Meaning at The Kitchen. In March 2009 as part of the 92nd Street Y dance festival he presented Sooner Than You Think, his second work created in collaboration with Jeremy Nelson. In Nov. 2009, he created JA!! a co-production of Sasha Waltz & Guests and Danspace Project. In March 2011 he created and presented “Amanda & The Black Void of Space”, premiered at Warehouse 9 in Copenhagen and also performed at the Joyce Soho in New York. His work in progress solo “Red That Planet” was also presented at the Joyce SoHo in April 2011. All the programs included his owns performance-installations and sets and costumes designs as well as his choreography.
He has also had the opportunity to show his work at venues outside of New York, including the International Dance Festival at Connecticut College in 1998, the Painted Bride in Philadelphia in 1999, Bennington College in 2000 and Pomona College in 2005. Performances outside of the United States have included Casa del Artista in Caracas, Venezuela in 1994, 1996 and 1998; La Porta in Barcelona in 2000; Performances in 2001 included Studio 303 in Montreal, TanzFabrik in Berlin, Teatro Mapocho in Santiago de Chile, and Taffelhalle in Nurenberg, Germany; in 2003 performances included Die Pratze Theater in Tokyo and in 2004 Tangente in Montreal and again Die Pratze Theater in Tokyo. Performances in 2005 included The Full Moon Festival in Oulo, Finland; The Riley Theatre in Leeds, England; Pomona College in California; the Montevideo Sitiada Festival in Uruguay; also performances in the cities of Rafaela and Buenos Aires in Argentina and Danzalborde Festival in Valparaiso, Chile; In 2010 at the Summer Contemporary Dance and Performance Festival DIVERSIA in Moscow. In 2012, in Copenhagen he premiered the choreography, “Two Old Guys And A Relatively Young Man" and “Pussy Riot” in Dansehallerne; this year he also presented a site specific untitled new work as part of the Mellemrum Festival. In 2012 , he also created the solo “Quatro” for Amy Behm Thomson for the SOLO McKNIGHT DANCE FELLOWS which was performed in Minneapolis and a site specific dance installation for the exhibition SHOW TIME Gl Holtegaard in Copenhagen.
He created two dances for the Venezuelan company Espacio Alterno which were performed throughout Venezuela, Colombia and Spain. He has also created work for the New York repertory company Gotham Group, Perypezye Urbane in Milan, Italy, and for students at Stephen’s College in Missouri, Texas Christian University, University of Madison in Wisconsin, SEAD in Salzburg, the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, England and at The School for Modern Dance in Copenhagen. He also choreographed the movement for the film “Diega”
From 1998, he conceived and created a series of innovative structured improvised installations/performances in New York with several dancers and live musicians performing within a set and installations. This was the basis for three cross-cultural multi-disciplinary projects involving various countries in South America: Instalación Sur in 2001, The Not Festival Project in 2003 and Channel Sur in 2005. The first part of these projects involved short residencies in each of the countries, with workshops and performances of structured improvisations in installation-environments created specially for the events. The second part involved assembling dancers from the various South American companies in New York for a month-long residency during which he created and presented a work in which all these invited dancers performed (LINK in 2003, and Under a Big Bright Yellow Sun in 2005). Danspace Project Out of Space Series presented Channel Sur and The Not Festival Project. The last two editions of the Not Festival include, Not Festival: On horns, hair, hens , haze and other (Orgi)anic things, a multidisciplinary, cross-cultural event that took place between September 24th and October 8th, 2011 in New York, and Not festival: An atypical point of view, if you allow me which took place in Copenhagen from Oct. 22nd to Oct 27th, 2012.
In June 2000 at the Asyl Gallery in Chelsea, NY, Lara Malvacías presented Purchase, an interactive performance installation, that challenged the usual perspective of viewer and performer; the audience has the opportunity of choosing the dancer(s)-set-music-costumes and seeing their own performances in a chosen space.
He studied Visual Arts at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and The Arts Students League of New York. As a visual artist he has exhibited his work in Venezuela, Spain, Berlin, Copenhagen, Baltimore and New York, and has designed both costumes and sets for his own dances and those of Jeremy Nelson. He has designed costumes for Allan Good in New York and for companies in Greece and New Zealand as well as the sets for Yoshiko Chuma’s Unfinished Symphony; the sets and costumes for Bill Young and Dancers’ Fault and Again, Then Soar in New York. In January of 2003 he designed Set and Costumes for the company Phoenix Dance Theater in England.
Since 2006, Luis Lara Malvacias created, coordinated and developed the Collaborative Arts Project in the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds-England. This pioneering project offers the opportunity for dance students to work and experiment with a variety of artistic disciplines and media to create a final work in unusual performance spaces. The students work in collaboration with their peers and with professionals from other disciplines, and then present their final work in a series of events/performances at the end of a month long process. The 2012 project was focused on the everyday life events and environments, in this particular case the city of Leeds. For the first time the final performances were open to the general public. This project formed part of the cultural events of the City of Leeds during the 2012 Olympic games.
He has taught at several dance Schools including Movement Research, Dance Space Center, Dance New Amsterdam and The Greenspan Center in New York, Stephen College in Columbia, Missouri, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Connecticut College in Connecticut and Texas Christian University. Internationally he has been invited to teach at the Summer Dance festival in Tokyo, Japan; Sasha Waltz & Guests Dock 11, Tanzfabrik and Studio LaborGras in Berlin, K3 in Hamburg, Tanzlabor_21 in Frankfurt and Tafelhalle Theater in Nuremberg (Germany); TanzQuartier in Vienna and SEAD in Salzburg (Austria); Danscentrum Jette in Brussels; Christian Blaise Company in Grenoble and Centre National de la Danse in Lyon (France); Perypezye Urbane in Milan, UVA grapes dance Festival in Sicily and Belfiore Dance in Torino and Opificio del Arte in Biella (Italy); The Northern School of Dance in Leeds, England; The Danish School of Performing Arts and Dansenhallerne in Copenhagen; Danscentrum (in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo) and Skona Dance Group in Malmo (Sweden); Festival Internacional de Teatro in Curitiba, Brazil; Biblioteca Nacional and IUNA in Buenos Aires and Centro Coreografico de Mar de Plata in Argentina; Centro Cultural Mistral and Festival Danzalborde in Valparaiso, Chile; Grupo ThejaDanza, Intituto Superior de Danza and IUESAPAR in Venezuela; Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Colombia and Danza Abierta in Costa Rica.