José Alberto “Beto” Velasquez Campoverde is the foremost “rescuer” of the traditional dances, music, and costuming of the P’urhépecha people of western Mexico, who occupy much of the state of Michoacán. Michoacán is on a security advisory watch list for the U.S. Department of State for the level of drug activity taking place in the state. It is for that reason that Beto establish the Grupo Folklórico P’urhépecha in the early 1990s, to instill pride in young P’urhépecha people so they didn’t feel the need to abandon their homeland and head for fragile, unpredictable, unsupported lives in Mexico City or the U.S., and so that they would have a sustainable, healthy alternative to delivering drugs or being drawn into that world. The group consists of approximately 85 young P’urhépecha from ages 5 to 23, the older ones always teaching the younger ones. Beto teaches P’urépecha dance, music, and costuming throughout Mexico. Through arrangements with Native American tribes and with Mexican and Mexican-American churches and community centers in the U.S., the group has made tours to Connecticut and California. With Mexican-American architects, artists, and curators connected with Yale University, Socrates Sculpture Park, Cooper Union, and other organizations, Beto is supervising design and construction of the Centro Cultural P’urépecha in San Juan Nuevo, Michoacán, and will present some works of the company at a community gathering and fundraiser in New York City in April 2020.
Mark DeGarmo Dance (MDD) is a leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that educates NYC communities and children; creates, performs, and disseminates original artistic and scholarly work; and promotes intercultural community through dance arts. MDD commits its resources to serving social justice, equity, and equality issues across multiple fronts through dance arts in NYC, the U.S., and internationally.
Housed and working on the Lower East Side since its 1987 founding, MDD has been an anchor resident member nonprofit organization of the Clemente since 2001. MDD is proud to participate in CSV’s annual Open Studios event and showcase how our international and NYC dance and performance programming supports the Clemente’s mission, and its determination “to operate in a multicultural and inclusive manner, housing and promoting artists and performance events that fully reflect the cultural diversity of the Lower East Side and the city as a whole.”
About Mark DeGarmo, Executive & Artistic Director:
Mark DeGarmo, Ph.D., is a New York City-based dancer, choreographer, writer, and researcher. Dr. DeGarmo is Founder, Executive & Artistic Director of Mark DeGarmo Dance, New York City; Dance Director of Crossing Bridges International Artist Residency, Michoacán, Mexico; and an Artist-Scholar with Creative Agency, Australia.
Our original performance and education works and programs celebrate the cultural diversity of the world and provide a platform for cultural diplomacy and exchange.
Arts Administration Internships: MDD’s internship program provides an opportunity for young artists and leaders to gain valuable real-life experience in nonprofit arts administration, operations, marketing, programming, and development with a leading NYC dance and dance education organization. We currently are partnered with internship placement programs through CUNY Cultural Corps in NYC and Slippery Rock University in PA. (Click here to learn how you can get involved with Mark DeGarmo Dance).
Dance for Dance: an annual community gala and fundraiser featuring Arts Advocate and Lifetime Achievement Honorees, recently including Miss America 2019, Nia Imani Franklin (2019), Patricia Aulestia (2017), Deborah Jowitt (2016), Oleg Briansky and Mireille Brianne (2015), Judith Malina (2014), and Maxine Greene (2013). (Click here to learn more about Dance for Dance)
Global Dance Circles: a quarterly international video series featuring 83 artists from 24 countries as of its 4th episode. (Click here to watch on YouTube)
Interview Series: Creativity and Creative Practice: video interviews with artists and scholars about their artistic and scholarly work and its responses to the times in which we live, hosted and curated by Mark DeGarmo. (Click here to watch on YouTube)
Las Fridas: A transcultural, transdisciplinary duet inspired by the life and work of Mexican painter and revolutionary Frida Kahlo. It has been called “brilliant” and “mesmerizing” by NY critics, and “a layered work of intense passion,” by NY audiences.
Partnerships in Literacy through Dance and Creativity©: MDD’s “evidence-based” seven-year interdisciplinary program that empowers elementary students to use dance, movement and creative writing as lifelong tools to fulfill their highest potential. The National Endowment for the Arts called MDD’s program “a national model.”
Volunteer Program: MDD’s volunteer program provides an opportunity for our supporters and community members to learn and participate in our programming initiatives, including archival work, Dance for Dance fundraising, and event production opportunities. (Click here to learn how you can get involved with Mark DeGarmo Dance).
Virtual Salon Performance Series: A performance of works in progress with a facilitated audience response. VSPS shifted virtually during Spring 2021 to continue to support MDD’s global artist and performer colleagues. The 2019-2020 season presented 51 international performers across 8 installments. (Click here to watch recaps of the 2019-2020 season on YouTube)