Dora Arreola

Dora Arreola has more than twenty years of professional experience as a theater and dance artist.  In 2014, she was awarded a lifetime achievement award as a “Sinaloense Ejemplar en el Mundo” for her extraordinary contributions to the arts, by the state of Sinaloa, Mexico, where she was born.  Also in 2014, the company she founded, Mujeres en Ritual Danza-Teatro, celebrated their 15th Anniversary / Quinceaños at Centro Cultural Tijuana (CECUT), releasing a new documentary and book, titled Mujeres en Ritual: Gender & Transformation (by Dora Arreola and Sergio Rommel Alfanso Guzman, CONACULTA 2014).

Arreola took part in Grotowski’s Objective Drama Project at the University of California-Irvine in 1987, and was a participant at Grotowski’s Workcenter in Pontedera, Italy until 1989. Arreola went on to pursue Suzuki training, contemporary dance and Butoh. She founded the experimental dance theatre company Mujeres en Ritual in 1999, and has worked as a performer, teacher, director and movement specialist in Mexico, the United States, Nicaragua, Canada, Poland and India. She received her MFA in Directing from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2009.

With her company, she created a repertory of seven productions, often featured in diverse international festivals, such as Perfecto Luna at the 2001 Vancouver Fringe Festival, and El Sueño de Sor Juana at the 2003 NY International Fringe Festival. Fronteras Desviadas/Deviant Borders toured in Mexico, in the U.S. at New WORLD Theater and Alternate ROOTS (2005), in Nicaragua at the 2006 Festival Internacional de Teatro, and in Montreal, Canada at Concordia University’s 2007 Symposium on Interdisciplinary. Arreola premiered her latest solo work, I, Rumores Silencio, at the 2009 Meetings with Remarkable Women Festival in Brzezinka, Poland. She choreographed and performed Versalii Icones at Judson Church in NYC (2009). In addition, Arreola has directed more than 30productions, including Cherrie Moraga’s The Hungry Woman andMoliere’s The Imaginary Invalid at UMass-Amherst, and Ananya Dance Theater’s Daak at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis (2008).

Arreola was co-founder and Academic Coordinator of Centro de Artes Escénicas del Noroeste (Northwest Center for the Scenic Arts) in Mexico, and served on the academic committee to create the first undergraduate degree program in theater at the University of Baja California in 2005. She has taught workshops and master classes at universities and cultural institutions including: the Institute of Jerzy Grotowski, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Amherst College, University of Minnesota, California State University-San Marcos, University of Baja California, California Center for the Arts, and Smith College.

Arreola has received grants from the Ford Foundation, Cultural Contact (US-Mexico Funds for Culture), and Fideicomiso para la Cultura de Mexico y Estados Unidos. She was a key collaborator on a bi-national theater project supported by the Animating Democracy Initiative (2000-03). She also received a commission from the National Performance Network (NPN/DTW) Suitcase Fund.

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Art2Action is the U.S. fiscal sponsor for the transborder company, Mujeres en Ritual Danza Teatro, under the Artistic Direction of Dora Arreola.

Mujeres en Ritual Danza Teatro is a bi-national ensemble of women artists from México and the United States, founded by Artistic Director Dora Arreola in 1999, to investigate techniques of the body. The projects of Mujeres en Ritual explore women’s issues and experiences in the border region. Their work is based in the expansion of internal images, the dynamism of contemporary and traditional dances, and ritualistic structures. The company develops their own physical training, techniques of acting and contemporary dance, and workshops with the community. Mujeres en Ritual has received recognition for their powerful presence, strong visual images and scenic sensibility.  Since its creation, the company has been commissioned for a number of national and international dance and theater festivals. They have performed in México, the United States and Canada, including: International Theater Festival presented by Teatro Justo Rufino Garay in Nicaragua, 2006; New WORLD Theater’s Summer Playlab and Alternate ROOTS 2005; Tijuana’s annual Cuerpos en Tránsito International Festival, 2001-2004; New York International Fringe Festival 2003; Durgas San Diego Women’s Performance Festival 2001 and Vancouver Fringe Festival 2001; Festival Otoño Cultural Yucatán 2000. 

La compañía Mujeres en Ritual Danza-Teatro es un ensamble binacional de bailarinas y actrices  de México y los Estados Unidos, fundado en 1999, para investigar las técnicas del cuerpo. Los proyectos de Mujeres en el Ritual exploran temas del género y las experiencias de las mujeres en la región fronteriza. Su trabajo se basa en la expansión de imágenes internas, el dinamismo de técnicas dan císticas contemporáneas y danzas tradicionales, y de las estructuras ritualistas. La compañía desarrolla su propio entrenamiento físico, técnicas de actuación, danza contemporánea y  talleres comunitarios. Mujeres en Ritual ha ganado reconocimiento por su poderosa presencia, fuertes imágenes visuales  y  sensibilidad escénica de sus integrantes. Desde su creación, la compañía ha sido invitada a participar a varios festivales de danza y teatro a nivel  nacional e internacional. Se ha presentado en México, los Estados Unidos, Nicaragua y Canadá.

Mujeres en Ritual creates original work and facilitates residency activities accompanying performances, including community-based workshops for women, GLBTQ groups, or mix-ability groups, in English, Spanish, or bilingually.

NEW!  Download the Antígona en la Frontera Press Packet (Spanish)


Maestra Dora Alicia Arreola Salazar:  Sinaloense Ejemplar en el Mundo

LaMaMa Spoleto Open – La Urdimbre – Mujeres en Ritual (Video, Italian & Spanish)

TCG Site-Specific Work en la Frontera, Interview with Dora Arreola

USF:  Moving in Harmony – A world of motion and dance revolves around professor of theatre, acting and movement. Video & article on Dora Arreola.

Network of Ensemble Theatres (NET) Interview with Dora Arreola,by Andrea Assaf, on Creating Physical Vocabulary for DRONE

New book by Dr. Virginie Magnat (Routledge, 2013):  Grotowski, Women and Contemporary Performance: Meetings with Remarkable Women. On women’s contributions to the Grotowski legacy, including Dora Arreola.

VIMEO – Dora Arreola – Mujeres en Ritual Danza Teatro

Facebook – Mujeres en Ritual