Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre headlines 2019 Alabama Dance Festival

The performance is presented by UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center and the Alabama Dance Council. On the program are “Carne Viva” and “Make Believe.”

Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre will perform Saturday, Jan. 26, as the guest company-in-residence for the 2019 Alabama Dance Festival.

The performance is presented by the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center and the Alabama Dance Council.

Rosie Herrera is a Cuban-American dancer, choreographer and artistic director of RHDT in Miami. Known for its diverse ensemble of brilliant performers and creators, RHDT ranges in genres from theater, performance art and drag to opera and contemporary ballet. World Dance Reviews called Herrera “… a master of contrast, using it to create humor and to expose the layered meaning of a moment.”

RosieJoomlaOn the program are two works, “Carne Viva” and “Make Believe.” Performers include Ivonne Batanero, Loren Davidson, Herrera, Simon Thomas-Train, Britney Kerr-Tokumoto, Rayne J. Raney and Katie Stirman. Choreography for both works is by Herrera in collaboration with the dancers, including Hannah Darrah, Leah Verier-Dunn and Nile Russell.

The performance is set for 8 p.m. Tickets are $25, with a limited number of $10 student tickets. Tickets are available online at or by calling the Alys Stephens Center Box Office at 205-975-2787.

An Inside the Arts talk at 7 p.m. precedes the performance. Join Alabama Dance Council’s Bicentennial artists for “Stories in Motion,” dance making and storytelling.

A quartet originally developed to be a part of “Make Believe,” “Carne Viva” is an exploration into the violence of transcendence. Loosely translated to mean “open wound,” “Carne Viva” builds upon the themes of religion and romance for a work that is much sparser and physical than Herrera’s previous work. Brutal and elegant, “Carne Viva” is a visceral journey into the dichotomy of power within relationships. It was commissioned by The American Dance Festival with support from the Doris Duke/SHS Foundations Award for New Dance. Additional support is provided by Hilton Durham near Duke University. The development of this work was made possible through the Alan M. Kriegsman Creative Residency at Dance Place and was created at The Yard, an artist residency and performance center dedicated to contemporary dance, theater and related arts, as part of the 2017 Off-Shore Creation Residency.

“Make Believe,” which had its world premiere at The American Dance Festival in July 2018, uses religious iconography to explore themes of love and romance. In it, the company explores religious spectacle and how these rituals are unified by themes of paganism, magic and celebrity worship. “Make Believe” deconstructs what it means to believe in magic and how that bleeds into our constructions of spirituality and our understanding of romance. The work was originally conceived at The American Dance Festival during a 2013 choreographic residency.