RODRIGO ESTEVA and MIRAH KELLC MORIARTY
Co-founding Directors > View Curriculum Vitae here
Rodrigo and Mirah are the co-founding directors of DANCE MONKS (Bay Area/Yucatán) which they founded in the year 1999 while living in the mountains of Xalapa, Mexico and Ook'ot International Dance Festival, a gathering of artists from around the world. Their interdisciplinary, experimental work delves into the intimate and ancient relationship between people and Nature. They view dance as a potent medium to rekindle our relationship with the environment and one another. Rodrigo and Mirah are committed to making art as a way of life; as a daily discipline in deep listening and responsive action. They often collaborate with artists and change-makers whose work involves old world mythology, folklore, and ritual of the diaspora.
Rodrigo and Mirah have taught and performed internationally over the last 20+ years as a duet and extensively with world-renowned companies including as members of the physically integrated AXIS Dance Company (2007-08, Oakland), Pearson Widrig Dance Theater Company (1994-2001, NYC), Apostalia Papadamaki (1993-96, Greece) and Gerado Delgado (1992, Mexico City), in major festivals, universities and venues throughout the United States and Mexico as well as in Canada, Peru, and Europe, including at The Joyce Theater (NY), The Kennedy Center (DC), The Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival (NY), Bates Dance Festival (ME), Middlebury College (VT), CounterPULSE (San Francisco), PS122 (NYC), Dance Theater Workshop (NYC), Central Park Summer Stage (NY), Symphony Space (NY), Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (VT), San Francisco International Arts Festival (SF), Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts (Arizona), Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (FL), European Dance Development Center (Amsterdam), Bates Dance Festival (ME), Bard College (NY), University of Veracruz in Xalapa (Mexico), ODC (San Francisco), Iberoamericana University (Mexico City), FAEL (Festival de Artes Escenicas) of Lima, among many others. View the Complete curriculum here.
Mirah was raised in Vermont and is of Slavic and Irish Lucht Siúil (traveling people) heritage. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in Dance (2014) from Hollins University in conjunction with the William Forsythe of Germany and Duke University/ADF. She also studied dance formally at the School for New Dance Development (SNDO/EDDC) of Amsterdam, Oberlin College (OH) and received her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) at Goddard College (VT) with a focus in Interdisciplinary Arts. Mirah began her training as an elite-level gymnast qualifying for the National Junior Olympics (1990) and grew up performing with the Avante-guard multi-generational company, Cradle to Grave Arts/Working Ground, directed by Hannah Dennison choreographer and practitioner of Body-Mind Centering (Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen) and Experiential Anatomy (Irene Dowd). Their company classes included studies with renowned guest teachers including world-renowned postmodernist Simone Forti (Italy) and visionary Liz Lerman of the Dance Exchange. Mirah has also studied dances of the African Diaspora for over thirty years including with Dr. Yanique Hume and Baba Richard Gonzalez. She is a Nationally certified Yoga teacher. Mirah comes from an ancestral lineage of seers, which is integral to her Site-specific artmaking process.
Rodrigo was born in Mexico City and began his training in classical Ballet with Dagmar Kortum and at the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico (National University of Mexico). He performed with the renowned late Gerardo Delgado, En Dos Partes, of Mexico City including as finalists in INBA/UAM. Rodrigo studied formally at the Trisha Brown School (NYC), The Merce Cunningham School (NYC) and Nikolais and Lois Dance Lab (NYC) with support from FONCA Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (National Endowment for the Arts in Mexico). He is a Certified Shiatsu Therapist and graduate of the advanced studies program at the Acupressure Institute of Berkeley with twenty years of experience in this form of traditional medicine.
DANCE MONKS' original works have been made possible thanks to the support of the Berkeley Civic Arts Grant (2018-19), Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (2016), Kenneth Rainin Foundation (2016), Zellerbach Family Foundation (2007 & 2016), East Bay Foundation for the Arts (2008-09), NOH Space (2008), The Open Circle Foundation (2007, 2009, 2010, 2013), sponsors and generous individuals.