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Letty Bassart is a choreographer and researcher whose work takes many forms.
She creates trans-disciplinary, inter-genre, multi-platform works & installations for theaters, concert halls, galleries, and “other” locations (e.g. car ports, lawns, store fronts, warehouses, beachside, plazas). For her, “these renderings seek to pour love, rigor and compassion into every crevice of cultural production.” Her choreographic efforts have been recognized through four independent Choreographer Fellowships (Miami-Dade); as well as a National Endowment for the Arts dance writing fellowship to attend its Institute for Dance Criticism at the American Dance Festival, and Knight Arts Challenge Award. And have been supported through multiple grants and commissions (e.g. Adrienne Arsht Center, City of Miami Beach, Miami Light Project).
Since beginning her choreographic work in 2003, she has partnered with esteemed co-creatives to generate more than thirty long form (e.g. 5+ hours) and short form works (7 minutes-50 minutes). Highlights include A Symphony Apart, orchestral installation by Musicians of the Charlotte Symphony (role: conceptualizer); Some Ways to Continue, long form performance installation for UCLA’s Room 200 (roles: conceptualizer/score creator/performer); Un-Nameable One, Two, Three, dance theater work for MLP Here and Now Festival (roles: conceptualizer/score creator (text & movement)/writer/director); and GOOD, GOD, GO, evening length dance theater work for Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (roles: choreographer/director/costume designer/writer).
Letty is an avid researcher (and dramaturge), whose inquiries constantly question the formal, ideological, and physical tenets of performance practice. Moreover, research is a key element of her choreographic and directorial processes which often involve thousands of hours dedicated to gathering source materials. The work, whether “improvised” or “set,’ becomes through visceral responses to these findings.
In her early career, she worked as a collaborative dance artist with Ballet Español Rosita Segovia [Director, Rosita Segovia (Spain)], Giovanni Luquini Dance Theater [Director, Giovanni Luquini (Brazil)], Karen Peterson and Dancers [Director, Karen Peterson (engaging w representations of the body on stage)] and as part of several independent, dance theater projects, performing frequently locally and abroad.
Her devotion to performance as possibility, led her to launch Thought Loom (2009-2017), an artist-run company dedicated to giving traction to dance ideas. Thought Loom teamed up with cultural anchor institutions like New World Symphony and Miami Light Project, as well as more nascent grass roots operations like O, Miami Poetry Festival, and Bas Fisher International to support provocative makers (e.g. Octavio Campos, Shaneeka Harrell) in enacting projects for concert halls, gallery spaces, historic street corners and buses. Her commitment to employing visual, literary, and performing arts strategies as a pathway to creating ideal learning conditions (equitable, plentiful, individualized) prompted her to join program design teams at nonprofit organizations like Arts for Learning, the Miami Affiliate of Young Audiences, and the National YoungArts Foundation.
She has more than 25 years of teaching experience in studio, university, professional community, public school, and national conference settings (sample teaching areas include— studio practice: improvisation, composition, “contemporary” dance, classical Spanish dance; theory: questioning dance epistemologies, re-thinking form-durational & “site-specific” dance practice(s); and education/art-in-service settings: arts-integration methods (ELL, preschool, school, and after-school), designing effective one-time/short-term/long term teaching residency structures for emerging artists).
She received her MFA (2020) in Choreography from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance. Her graduate research received generous support via a Smith College Teaching Fellowship (fall 2016), UCLA Graduate Opportunity Fellowship (2017-2018), and UCLA Merle and Gerald Measer Scholarship (2018-2019). Letty holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Barry University, and is a graduate of New World School of the Arts’ High School Dance Division.
To learn more about Letty, click here