Photography by Jean-Paul Builes
Andrea Ordaz is based in Los Angeles, California creating contemporary modern dance choreographies that investigate the human condition through subtle and nuanced embodied patterns of thought. She attended Los Angeles County High School for the Arts prior to pursuing higher education. She received a B.F.A. in Performance & Choreography from the University of California, Irvine and an M.F.A. in Dance graduating as a Chancellor's Club Fellowship and Latino Excellence Achievement Award recipient.
With her dance making, Ordaz paints the internal beauty and hauntingly external landscapes of female identity utilizing her first-generation American perspective. The aim of her work is to weave together the fluid, layered, and grounded narratives of womanhood in intimate and thought provoking manners. Her process-based, non-linear, and concert style works speak to her feelings and intuitions that celebrate the complexity of human experience in the context of the modern world. Through deep and responsive somatic-based movement exploration, she developed her understanding and approach to art making as a rich and vibrant form of cultural expression through self-examination. She examines movement as language and turns to the body in historical and experiential ways and shares her findings through performance and writing. This is most evident in her thesis research "Mexican-American Female Identity in Choreographic Process" and dance work Agave Americana. With local and national experience, most recently participating in BlakTinx Dance (Los Angeles, CA) and Breaking Ground Dance Festival 2020 (Tempe, AZ), and international experience performing, choreographing, and directing at Conservatory S. Cecila of Rome (Italy), she found a passion for fostering creative environments and working collaboratively with other artists.
Currently, Ordaz is Dance Faculty at The Wooden Floor and works as a freelance choreographer founding and directing A.Ordaz Dance, a space dedicated to making and sharing dance that represents the amalgamation of culture and identity. She finds that her choreographic endeavors are not separate from her role as an educator. Her personal pursuit of locating mind and body wholeness translates in her teachings that occur both in the studio and stage where she continues to advocate for dance and higher education, women in the contemporary arts, and the Mexican American contemporary dancing body.
She credits her lineage of teachers, professors, and mentors for her dance knowledge. Some of those artists include Loretta Livingston, Lisa Naugle, Tong Wang, Don Martin, Noa Shiloh, S.Ama Wray, Fiona Lummis Eddy, Julie Friedrich, Gina Buntz.
Image courtesy of ACDA/Skye Schmidt