While Ohio State Dance continues to require contemporary and ballet movement practice five days a week from 10:20 a.m. – noon, in spring 2018, students had the privilege of opting for Suzan Bradford Kounta’s traditional West African class for their movement practice in lieu of ballet. Continuing with this effort to consider the African American continuum, in autumn 2018 the department offered Latinx movement practice taught by MFA Student Laura Rodriguez. This class focused on the Latin diaspora of movement and music from the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, South America and United States. Rodriguez increased students’ awareness and understanding of the unique Latin indigenous, contemporary, experimental dance forms and music so they are able to realize Latin community-focused works in their choreographic repertoires.
“The Latinx Movement Practice course structures movement investigation laboratories built from the markers of the Cumbia, Salsa, Merengue and Cha-cha to converge in rigorous movement labs, combinations and processions,” says Rodriguez. “Together we found healing, joy and empowerment in moving with each other while cultivating a greater appreciation for the Latin intersections of movement, music and culture.”
Laura "LROD" Rodriguez is deconstructing herself. A Chicana from the Tex-Mex borderlands who actively creates inclusive installations, surreal dance-works and integrates technology with care juxtaposing rebellion. Her movement research investigates lineages of Latinidad in dance, alter-egoism and discovering communal environments of radical tenderness.
Rodriguez is pursuing an MFA in choreographic research alongside a graduate interdisciplinary studies minor in Latina/o studies at Ohio State. Recognized as a multi-disciplinary choreographer; Rodriguez’ current mediums intersect dance, performance, visual art, mask making, costume design, lighting and interactive technologies. She recently worked in Peñasco, New Mexico with Guillermo Gómez Peña and La Pocha Nostra, Northwestern’s Summer Institute for Political Climates and Performance Ecologies and Columbus OH headlining the Chingona Fire Caravan performance at Wild Goose Creative.