Taíno Afroborikua and award-winning choreographer Mar Parrilla is the founding artistic director of Danza Orgánica (DO). She is a proud mother, an interdisciplinary movement artist, an educator, and a community organizer. After attaining a BA in Languages (Italian, French) from the Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mar crossed the ocean to Nueva York, where she completed a Master's degree in Dance Education at New York University. Now a Boston resident, Parrilla is a recipient of several awards from the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Boston Foundation, and BARR foundation among others. She is also the recipient of the Brother Thomas Fellowship Award from the Boston Foundation, and the Outstanding Community Arts Collaboration Award in Dance from the Arts/Learning Organization.
Mar is the founder of the acclaimed program Dance for Social Justice™, as well as the founding producer of the acclaimed Boston-based annual festival: We Create!. Parrilla is a luminary artist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where she has been commissioned to create artistic work- and continues to collaborate with in several capacities. In 2018, Danza Orgánica received a Creative Development Residency at Jacob's Pillow, where they also performed at the Inside/Out Festival. Currently, they continue this partnership with Jacob's Pillow through their signature program: Dance for Social Justice™. Since 2018, DO has been working in close collaboration with members of the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe through a multiyear partnership with the Aquinnah Cultural Center towards the development and presentation of Âs Nupumukômun. They are also collaborating with Puerto Rico-based artists on an ongoing cultural exchange towards the continued development of Melaza: a project that explores the colonial relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States of North America. Most recently (2021), Danza Orgánica was awarded the Powering Cultural Futures Multi Year Partnership with the BARR foundation.
Mar Parrilla has also been an educator since 1998. Her teaching has brought her to NYC and Boston public schools, as well as higher ed institutions such as: Boston University, New York State University at Stony Brook, Wesleyan University, Roxbury Community College, and Emerson College. Her focus lies on Decolonizing Practices, which she embeds in her Dance for Social Justice™ curriculum.
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Mar's Artist Statement
Soy descendant of Taíno Arawak from the Americas y Caribe by way of Borikén; of African people who were forcibly displaced to the Caribe, and of mestizaje from Spanish and Portuguese people. I identify as AfroTaíno Borikua. I live in Massachusetts, the unceded and occupied territory of the Massachusett, Nipmuc, and Wampanoag tribes.
My work explores the imprint of colonizing systems of oppression in our being. I see Art as a liberating lover. My relationship with dance is based on risk-taking, self-discovery, and spontaneity. I am freest when my body can sing through movement. In my creative practice, I am intrigued by the embodiment of my experiences and their outward manifestation. I’m equally intrigued by the collectivity of movement, and its power to examine old paradigms, inspire radical realities, and create new frameworks. My approach entails extensive research, intentional collaborations, and a movement practice that focuses on process rather than product.
Massachusetts- Aquinnah Cultural Center (Aquinnah, Martha's Vineyard), Institute of Contemporary Art, Bessie Schonberg Choreographic Residency at The Yard, Jacob's Pillow Dance Inside/Out Festival, Jacob's Pillow's Creative Development Residency, Brown University, Dartmouth College, Harvard School of Law, Museum of Fine Arts, Mobius, The Dance Complex, John Hancock Hall, Green Street Studios, Jose Mateo Ballet's Dance for World Community Festival, Cambridge River Arts Festival, Figment, Boston Center for the Arts, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Mills Gallery (through Boston Center for the Arts), Wellesley College, Roxbury Community College, Spontaneous Celebrations, Third Life Studio, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Hibernian Hall, and the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
NYC- The Brooklyn Museum, Judson Church (through Movement Research), Gibney Dance, Dixon Place, Mark Morris Dance Center, Cloud City, The Far Space, The Flea, SOB's, Spoke the Hub, the State University of NY, Djoniba Dance and Drum Center, Dance New Amsterdam, NYC Dance Parade, University Settlement, HERE, Clemente Soto Velez, Dance Theater Workshop (through Movement Research), and Downtown Arts.
Additionally, mar has performed in venues such as: WaterFire Arts Center (Rhode Island), Alvin Ailey, Symphony Space, DNA, New York University, Long Island University, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia), the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and Andanza, in Puerto Rico.