As part of New York Art Life’s quest on discovering amazing artists, this time we’ve decided to learn about an incredible artist. This time, we’re featuring Beatriz Castro; performer, choreographer, and movement instructor. We’re excited to learn more about her history with dance her pathway to success and how she views the future of dance.
NY Art Life: Thank you for sitting down to speak with us. We’re very impressed with your work and cannot wait to learn more about what you do. How would you describe your craft?
Beatriz Castro: Thanks for inviting me. I’m always excited to speak about art and my experience with dance. I’m a performer and choreographer. I also do movement instruction with dancers for performances. I think dance is a very delicate, yet powerful art and it is vital to shift gears in different positions. That’s why I enjoy performing and choreographing at different times. It’s an incredible experience whether you’re on the stage or in the audience. Or watching from backstage!
NY Art Life: What a lovely way to put it. So where did you’re dancing and performing begin? And how did you like that experience?
Beatriz Castro: My first performance was in San Jose, Costa Rica at the National Auditorium. It was a play called Le Petit Pas. It was a wonderful experience as it exposed me to the excitement and premise of plays and facing the expression of a live audience. I loved that. Then I decided I wanted to continue performing. I did The Sleeping Beauty of the Forest, The Nutcracker, and The Sound of Music all in San Jose. It was truly magical. I didn’t want those days to end, but all good things come to an end and after a while, I was able to learn new techniques of modern dance. At first, contemporary dance seemed odd and different. Then, I began falling in love with it.
NY Art Life: It is truly captivating. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of what it is like to be a performer. As an audience, we are on the other side and always amazed at the work of performers. Would you like to continue that now?
Beatriz Castro: Yes, I always love performing. The energy of a crowd watching and waiting for your next move radiates something immaculate. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but I’ve also come into contact with newer experiences too. For instance, I was a performer on season 2 of Random Acts of Flyness showing on HBO. That was a different feeling. It was on camera, without a live, reactive audience. I still enjoyed it and I’m grateful for the experience. But I’m excited to be in a play again soon, which I cannot wait to share. But one thing that I believe in as an artist is having the drive to try new things. Being in different plays exposed me to a variety of dance techniques: tap, jazz, ballet, and contemporary. All of it was different each time but necessary for my growth and understanding as a performer. During the performances, I was committed to a specific choreography, but with time I reflected on the ways those dance techniques helped me explore myself and my understanding of the world around me.
NY Art Life: What an incredible perspective. Thank you so much for sharing that. And how would you describe your reflection on your experiences performing?
Beatriz Castro: I’d describe it as continuous learning and understanding. With every experience with a new dance technique, I learn more about the way I can move and perform. I learn about myself, my body, my expectations of it, and the way I can share it with others. It’s most exciting as a movement instructor and choreographer as I’m able to share with others what I’ve learned and watch them grow into it and experiment with it too. Most recently, I’ve been a movement instructor at Pure Movement Dance Center where I taught contemporary dance and improvisation. It’s very different when you watch others do what you do as a choreographer. I’ve also been experimenting with techniques as a movement facilitator at Continuum where I’ve met so many skillful dancers who are carrying on the art form. I’m immensely proud to teach them and facilitate classes for senior populations. Therefore I love trying new things; I’m always learning and exploring, even when I’m the instructor.
NY Art Life: That’s beautiful. What a wonderful way to live your passion. What advice do you have to fellow dancers hoping to be recognized?
Beatriz Castro: I don’t like lecturing artists. Artists deserve to explore and find out their own path in creating and practicing their craft. But one thing that I truly believe in is practicing and never giving up. The truth is, once you continue doing what you love, you’re going to improve and discover unexpected things. This is what will help you become discovered, and let you share your true passion with everyone else.