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Dance Of Diversity

August 07, 1994

Regarding "A Look at the Rolodex of Dance," Jan Breslauer's article on the "Dance Kaleidoscope" festival (July 24):

Bravo to the efforts of keeping dance in view and its diverse viewpoints. In an already divided dance community, it is important to keep both sides of dialogues open with hopes that one day we can all merge as strong ambassadors that represent all cultural aesthetics of Los Angeles.

Since my name was brought up unnecessarily and for self-serving purposes by Frank Guevara, I feel I must respond as a Latino choreographer and artistic director, who has been through the ropes of auditioning for this event seven times and taken only once into the programming, and has served for two years as a panelist for the "Dance Kaleidoscope."

My art is by far the most important single element in my life; artistic merit and integrity surpasses skin color. That I happen to be of Mexican American background, of which I am extremely proud, simply reflects my underlying pulse by which my works come to life on a global sense, rather than limited to immediate territory and fad. As an artist I'd rather be known by the caliber of my work instead of the color of my skin.

Going through the process of auditioning can be discouraging for anyone, especially when six out of the seven times that I auditioned I was turned down. I thought of all the things that could go wrong, but never did I feel discriminated against because of my ethnic background.

I find the use of this excuse by any ethnic group passe and insulting to the rest of us who are serious about our mission as artists. Life is too short, life is even shorter these days to some, and the more we dwell on what is wrong with everyone, the less we get to where we need to get.

FRANCISCO MARTINEZ

Artistic Director

Francisco Martinez

Dancetheatre, Van Nuys

Although there are several comments I would like to contest, I would like to say that Frank Guevara's statements are unfounded.

He states that the auditioning process was "insulting." I was there at the presentation and even helped him with his props. What he showed as a work was really "insulting"; prancing around with a tire, large concrete brick and a link fence does not make for a controversial work.

Guevara has been well-supported by The Times' dance critics, and I feel it has gone to his head. Frank, where is that good old Hispanic integrity? And how about a good dose of humbleness?

RUDY PEREZ

Artistic Director-Choreographer

Rudy Perez Performance

Ensemble, Los Angeles

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