María Emilia García, 34 years old, became one of the most outstanding dancers in the Dominican Republic. This passionate artist who is a member of the Ballet Nacional Dominicano studied dance in several prestigious places in Cuba, Spain and the United States. Kariculture.net met her.
Dance should be one of the most complete branches of art. Through it, dance, acting, music and the most sublime and at the same time the strongest emotions are combined when contemporary and classical are mixed. For this and more, for Dominican dancer Maria Emilia Garcia this was always one of her great passions.
“Since I was a little girl I loved to dance. I even danced commercials, as my mother tells me. Dancing was part of my life from an early age. I started my studies at the Centro de la Cultura in Santiago de los Caballeros, my hometown. I was selected to attend courses in a special group, I met there my best friends and a home where I discovered the power of dance until it became my philosophy of life”, explained the dancer.
Maria Emilia told that dance always was the protagonist in her life since childhood and on more than one occasion, she did not participate in school outings because of rehearsals and she stopped enjoying some parties because of her ballet classes since dance was her priority.
Ability, discipline and work
“When I was a young girl I had many aspirations. I started studying Social Communication at the university, but my paths always led me to dance and it was only in 2006 when I got a scholarship to pursue my graduate studies in dance in Spain that I forgot about everything and took up dance as a profession. Dance and art are what make me happy”, she said.
This young dreamer travelled to several schools around the world to enrich her technique. After the Centro de la Cultura, she moved to Ballet Clásico Santiago, then travelled several times to Cuba and North Carolina where she attended dance workshops at the Escuela Cubana de Ballet and the North Carolina School of Arts. Maria said that her interest and desire to continue dancing never stopped growing, a desire that led her to the Milwakee Ballet School where she studied for a year and was selected to participate in Michael Pink’s “Nutcracker Ballet” with the Milwakee Ballet in December 2003. She also recieved a scholarship in 2006 to study for a licentiate in choreography and performance at the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid, where she also completed two master’s degrees in performing arts and cultural management.
There is no doubt that María Emilia does not occupy the position of one of the most outstanding dancers in the Dominican Republic by luck or chance, this is a well-deserved position she earned for her ability, discipline and work.
2019, a year full of success
Among the most rewarding experiences that this career left her, was to represent her country in different international festivals being part of the Ballet Nacional Dominicano (Dominican National Ballet), especially when she was with her colleague and friend the dancer Alexander Duval.
When asked what she considers her most important contribution to dance in the Dominican Republic Maria Emilia said: “For me every moment was special and important; one moment gives way to the next, from my studies until I have the honor of being part of the Ballet Nacional Dominicano, a company to which I currently belong, until 2019 when I had the honor of performing my first piece as a choreographer for the Ballet Nacional. I was awarded a scholarship to participate in the American Dance Festival, I was nominated as a choreographer and dancer for the Premios Soberano (the most important awards of art and culture in the DR), I participated as a dancer, choreographer and manager in various national and international festivals. Really 2019 was a very important year for my career”.
At the age of 34, Maria Emilia managed to achieve some of her goals, and she told us that what she wanted most was as a dancer to represent the Dominican art inside and outside the country; as an educator to leave a little of her love and knowledge for this beautiful art in the hearts of the youngest; and also to continue being developed between cinema and theatre where she already impregnated her talent.
Supporting young Dominican talents
Speaking of dance, she said that in the DR it is still in full development. “Our country has great young talents accompanied by a great public school, the Escuela Nacional, and several private schools. I can imagine a positive future for dance in our country, but it should be noted that more state support is needed for the strengthening of public broadcasting companies, because a large part of these talents have to migrate to other countries to develop their art due to the few opportunities available in the field of work”.
The professor of classical and contemporary dance Maria Emilia Garcia noted that there are two dancers who inspired her from her first steps in dance: Michelle Jimenez and Stephanie Bauger. Both are examples of perseverance, struggle and great passion for art. “Also Bill T. Jones, American dancer, choreographer and director, I had the pleasure of dancing one of his most outstanding pieces at the American Dance Festival; I fell in love with his philosophy and the way he saw dance”, she said.