Robert Salas - Movement Theatre CoLab - SoCal



Movement Theatre CoLab
Photo by Kathee Miller - Affinity III Festival at Yoga Soup

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Company Biography
Robert Salas directs the newly formed Movement Theatre CoLab. MTC is a new company with seasoned artistic collaboration. Its dance artists have been performing, touring and creating dance works together for two years and are proud to officially join the multitude of strong Southern California dance companies.

Works have been presented in Santa Barbara Dance Alliance's "New Works Concert" and "Dance at the Top of the Hill," as well as the Nancy Evans Family and Friends Concert, Encore Dance Invitational, MixMatch Dance Festivals 2011-12 by Hart Pulse Dance Company, SpectorDance's Emerging Choreographers Showcase 2011, The So-CAL Dance Invitational Concert 2011, Kenneth Walker’s Dance Project – The Ballet Project and for Patrick Franz’s La Danserie. It was these performance and choreographic presentations and a need to have a committed group of dancers to create new works that spawned the founding of Movement Theatre CoLab.

Artist Biography
The philosophy of Movement Theatre CoLab is to provide a platform for movement exploration and collaboration of the arts: Dance, Music, Visual and Sculptural expression. Their work is an attempt to visit the fertile lands of collaboration brought to light by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes.

Robert Salas has been involved in dance and movement for about 29 years, first as a martial artist, where he studied Chung moo kwon, Tai Kwon Do, Shorin Ryu, and Aikido. It was this early influence of martial arts that an appreciation for structured movement and movement as a vehicle of cathartic expression took root.

This desire for physical expression brought Robert to theatre and dance during his early years in college. Having been fortunate enough to work professionally with the California Shakespeare Festival under Director Mark Lamos in Taming of the Shrew and Romeo and Juliet, his passion for performance took flight.

In his junior year in college at Humboldt State as a theatre major, Robert realized that dance was his preferred form of theatrical expression. He applied and was accepted to study dance at the University of California, Irvine. Robert received his BA and MFA from UCI.

As a performer he has danced with Terry Lewis Dance Ensemble, Francisco Martinez Dance Theatre, Long Beach Ballet, South Bay Ballet, The Montgomery Ballet and Le Ballet Pallas.

As an instructor been teaching dance in Community Colleges and private studios. He has taught dance at Ballet Pacifica Conservatory, Dance West, Cypress College, Cerritos College, Irvine Valley College, Academy of the Performing Arts at Huntington Beach High School and current is at Moorpark College as a tenured faculty member.

Robert received his BA and MFA in dance from the University of California, Irvine. He has studied ballet, jazz, modern dance, acting and mime with such notable teachers as Finis Jhung, Israel "El" Gabriel, Claude Thompson, Hama, Jamie Rogers, Athena Pallas, Natalie Clare, Nina Weiner, Lena De Marco, James Penrod and Paul Jones. He continues to study contemporary modern technique with Holly Johnston. His instructors in Laban studies where Janice Meaden, Ed Groff and Peggy Hackney. Robert enjoys exploring the principles of Laban theories of Space, Shape and Movement and how they reveal the complexities of the Human experience.

Robert teaches all levels of Modern dance, Ballet II/III, Choreography, Ballet Variations, Dance Appreciation and Dance Production. Robert also directs the Moorpark College Modern Dance Touring Ensemble; a touring and outreach performing company. As a choreographer, Robert presented his work in Santa Barbara Dance Alliance’s “New Works Concert” and “Dance At The Top Of The Hill.” Nancy Evans’ Family and Friends Concert, SpectorDance’s Emerging Choreographers Showcase 2011 and for Patrick Franz’s La Danserie.
It was through these performance and choreographic presentations that a need to have a committed group of dancers to create new works that spawned Movement Theatre Colab. I am excited for this prospect and look forward to the experiences of this collaboration.

Artist Statement

 I am intrigued by the possibility of the creative potential in every facet of our lives. Individualality on it own is the norm but when combine with the multitudes of creative thoughts, it brings new breath to our art. Per my company's philosophy, I seek to persue as many venues of creative exploration as possible to enliven ourselves and our art.

What do you hope to gain from this experience?

As usual to seek others that shares the same collaborative spirit. I am seeking to inspire and be inspired. In addition to my personal objectives, I seek provide an experience to my dancers as well: to add to their development as dancers.


Have you participated in Festivals before? If so, what worked and what didn't work for you? What would you like to see more or less of?

Yes, I have participated in other choreographic festivals. In one such festival with Spector Dance I loved that we, the company and I, stayed with patrons and got to share in discussion about ourselves and the their views on art. I don't like when this communal sharing is lacking.

Verbal Description of the work you would like to bring


I am working on a new piece that is evolving and defining its own direction. I am hoping to mix up my movement style and integrate more theatrical elements.