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Joel Valentín-Martínez
Associate Professor; Director, Dance Program

Joel Valentín-Martínez

Joel Valentín-Martínez is an Associate Professor and Dance Program Director in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University. He initiated his theatre/dance training in the San Francisco Bay Area at American Conservatory Theater, Teatro de la Esperanza, Magic Theater, Oakland Ensemble Theatre, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Rosa Montoya’s Bailes Flamencos, Oakland’s Dimensions Dance Theatre, and San Francisco State University. From 1990-2003, he was a member of Garth Fagan Dance (Tony Award winner) and toured with the troupe throughout the United States, Canada, the Middle East, Europe, Australia, South America, and the Caribbean. Select performance venues with GFD include The Joyce Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lincoln Center for the Arts, Kennedy Center, Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, Center for the Performing Arts at UCLA, Boston’s Citi Performing Arts Center-Wang Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre Chicago, American Dance Festival at Duke University, Stanford University, Princeton University’s McCarter Theatre Center for the Performing Arts, UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall, Toronto’s Harbourfront Center, American Center in Paris, Baseltanzt Festival, International Dance Festival Nordrhein-Westfalen, Italy’s Spoleto Dance Festival, Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, Jerusalem Dance Festival, Rio de Janeiro’s Teatro Municipal, and Perth International Arts Festival. During his years with GFD, Valentín-Martínez was a featured dancer in world tours, such as Garth Fagan’s Griot New York (1991) with live music by the Winton Marsalis Septet, and was subsequently featured on PBS’s Great Performance in 1995 (Sony Pictures Classics).

Since 2003, Mr. Valentín-Martínez has devoted his time to teaching at the university level and developing his own choreography projects. His work Pop Refuge (2019) premiered at Links Hall Chicago, Sur Grande (2019) was commissioned by La Compañia de Danza Contemporanea de Acapulco, Mexico, De aquí, de allá (2019) premiered with Mexico City’s Barro Rojo Artes Escénico, and #rupturapasaje2/#passagebreak2 (2019) with Andanza Compañia Puertorruqueña de Danza Contemporánea, Puerto Rico. Other works include Misplaced Flowers (2010) with live music by Fulcrum Point-New Music Project, and Tlatelolco Revisited (2008), both commissioned by Luna Negra Dance Theater, Chicago. He choreographed the musical adaptation of Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street (2009) at the Steppenwolf Theatre. He has developed choreography for Joel Hall Dancers (2010), and John Jota Leaños’ multi-media performance Imperial Silence: Una Ópera Muerta (2008-17), which has been performed at El Museo del Barrio in New York City, throughout California, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and Lisbon, Portugal. Prior to joining Northwestern, he taught dance at Arizona State University and the University of Rochester. Valentín-Martínez earned a B.A. in Dance Studies from the State University of New York and an M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


MFADance, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
BADance Studies, State University of New York


140 Cultural Forms
150 Modern I
250 Modern II
350 Modern III