ANNOUNCEMENT: For immediate release: June 29, 2021

The Board of Directors of Dancers Studio West is pleased to announce the appointment of Rufi Oswaldo as the dance service organization’s new artistic director. As previously announced, DSW’s current Artistic Director, Sasha Ivanochko, will step down in July to take on the artistic directorship of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. 

“Rufi is an involved member of Alberta’s dance community, whose love for embodiment is palpable” remarks board chair, Marie France Forcier, and “we are excited to see where his charisma, distinct perspective and broad experience as an artist and academic will lead the organization.”

Originally from Guatemala, Rufi has led a richly eclectic dance career informed by complementary intellectual pursuits for over 20 years. Initially a competitor in “Latin” dancesport, he pivoted to contemporary dance a decade ago, in search of deeper creative and socially conscious means of artistic expression. This search led him to the University of Calgary dance program, where he earned a BA in dance with distinction, before completing a Master’s degree in dance at York University. Through that same institution, Oswaldo is currently pursuing a PhD in performance studies to investigate the dynamics between interpersonal touch, gender, and race in dance. 

For the last 6 years, he has performed and choreographed for Project Oswald, an ad hoc interdisciplinary dance production company. His artistic and scholarly work has brought him across Canada, USA, Poland, Malta, Mexico, and Cuba, and has garnered support from many organizations, notably, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Oswaldo’s life experience as an immigrant and part of the 2S/LGBTQ+ community has led him to develop a strong sense of empathy, as well as practical strategies for boldly, yet kindly, increasing equity. When reflecting on the possibilities inherent in his new role, Rufi says “Sasha Ivanochko leaves us with a clear path and a shining example to follow. A call to lead is a call to serve, and I look forward to serving the Alberta dance community as the Artistic Director of Dancers’ Studio West. Moving forward, my hope for dance in Alberta is to further deepen our sense of community, nuance our creative exchange, and make space for a wider diversity of perspectives. Alberta is truly a special place for dance. I am excited to work with all of you to make it better!”

Welcome, Rufi Oswaldo!

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