Photo by Ian Michael Stewart.
New York, NY
Dancing Lab: Screendance Resident Artist
Mike Esperanza is a teacher and choreographer born in Manila, Philippines and raised in Southern California. His approach to visual construction and movement is influenced by his BFA in graphic design from California State University, Fullerton. His works have been commissioned by college and university dance programs including Chapman University, Loyola Marymount University, UNLV, Cal State Long Beach, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Utah Valley University, Shenandoah University, and others. In 2005, Esperanza was awarded the "Dance: Creation for Performance" grant presented by Dance/USA and the Irvine Foundation, and began BARE Dance Company. Esperanza has also been a finalist at the Palm Desert Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010, taking second place in 2009, and winning the paid engagement award in 2010. In 2011 BARE was part of the "Innerstate" roster presented by ODC Theater and funded by the Irvine Foundation. The program allowed the company to tour California and present the Lester Horton nominated show "Manhatttan". In 2014, Mike received the Steps Repertory Ensemble Commission award at the Reverb Dance Festival and became the recipient of the CUNY Dance Initiative grant creating a new for work, VENOMOUS, for LaGuardia Performing Arts Center. Mike Currently teaches at Peridance, Steps on Broadway and serves as a guest teacher at Broadway Dance Center.
Esperanza came to NCCAkron in July 2018 as part of a Dancing Labs: Screendance residency and created the dance film But First, in collaboration with director Erin Brown Thomas. But First premiered in October 2018 on the closing night of the San Francisco Dance Film Festival.