DANCE THEATRE OF SAN FRANCISCO launched two years ago by Executive Director, Annie Henry, to cultivate innovative programs that inspire and educate its community with its developing repertoire of contemporary ballet created by progressive artists.
DTSF recently named its first artistic director, Dexandro “D” Montalvo, whose career started in New York where he began dancing in commercial work, “mostly music videos with a hint of reality television and short tours that would allow for an underage dancer.” In the Bay Area, Montalvo danced for Robert Moses’ Kin for six seasons, where he was also an associate choreographer. He has also been a teacher at the Alonzo King LINES Dance Center, University of San Francisco, the LINES Pre-Professional Training and BFA Programs, as well as the company rehearsal director for ODC’s Youth Company (Dance Jam).
The company’s third season, its first with Montalvo at the artistic helm, is coming up this month, November 6-8 at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco. The program features a world premiere by Amy Seiwert, Toward September by Robert Moses, and two new works choreographed by Montalvo.
For these performances, Montalvo “want[s] to bring in choreographers who I feel are inspiring, ground-breaking and unique, while keeping an aesthetic of remarkable technical prowess … I can’t even tell you how excited I am to cultivate this new repertoire with my dancers, and with the choreographers who I’ve been so inspired by in the past.”
What is your first dance memory?
My first memory is dancing for an audience at a family wedding while I was very young. I remember I was a complete ham and was performing for everyone on the dance floor. At the time I wasn’t aware that I was going to go down this career path, but in retrospect, everyone should have seen it coming.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Seeing all the happiness that dance brings to the people around me, students and professionals alike. The sheer love and dedication I see on a regular basis reminds me of how fortunate I am to be surrounded by people who share the same love for the art.
Favorite dance move/ style?
The Moonwalk, hands down. “When in doubt, moonwalk it out.”
A favorite song to dance to?
There is no way I could choose just one, it almost seems impossible to try to pinpoint a favorite. I’m a sucker for a strong beat.
Janet Jackson was always a dance idol to me. I have always been a fan of her dancing and the choreographers she uses. Growing up I watched all of her videos and taught myself the combinations so I could always say I knew them.
Guilty dance pleasure?
Nothing dance related could ever be a guilty pleasure, well to me at least.
Shortlist of inspiring people, books, moments, classes, etc?
I am constantly inspired by ODC and LINES Ballet. Both organizations have a way of cultivating communities of people that truly have an appreciation for dance and both have amazing programs in place to teach and train the new generation of dancers.
Current artistic obsession?
Honestly, I would say that my artistic obsession is the DTSF dancers. They are a constant source of inspiration to me and always have me excited to create dances with them. It has always been a dream to lead a team of artists and I feel honored to walk into rehearsal with them every day.
If money were no object, where is the next place you might travel?
Travel to London again. They have a rich dance scene that has embraced many different forms of dance as well as a culture that I would love to investigate more.
What’s a future goal or dream that you have for DTSF?
I would love for DTSF to be an organization that can provide work for artists of many different disciplines while still cultivating a community that shares a bond of love for the arts. I would love to have the company regularly tour internationally and have a theater and school for the arts. One of the biggest reasons Annie and I decided to work together is because we both have very big goals for this company.