Omar Román De Jesús
Like all good infatuations, Cielo Elena (World Premiere) began with a pair of pants sold at a 60% discount. The brainchild of choreographer Omar Román De Jesús, cinematographer Xhon Dang, sound designer Jesse Scheinin, and lighting designer Christopher Chambers, this fifteen-minute performance film takes viewers through six movements celebrating individual and interpersonal relationships to the human body. Cielo Elena splays intimacy open, posing questions about ecstasy, kink, queerness, vulnerability, and risk while participating in an ongoing effort to liberate concert dance from moral rigidity. Through the durable medium of film, this work intentionally makes space for eyes to linger then adjust, discomforts to stir then process, and audiences to pull back the curtain on what else might be consumer friendly at 60% off.
Following the World Premiere of Cielo Elena, the six characters of De Jesús’s 12-minute film Los Perros del Barrio Colosal take us on a wild romp through the challenges of creative decision making through the exaggerated mannerisms of daytime television. Diving dramatically into the adventure of an imagination yet to be physicalized, they ask us to consider the far side of the moments when our ideas threaten, with disjointed urgency, to swallow us whole.
Creation and production of Cielo Elena were made possible by generous support from the Baryshnikov Arts Center and Boca Tuya’s individual donors.
Omar Román De Jesús
Omar Román De Jesús (Bayamón, Puerto Rico) is a Queer LatinX choreographer and company director who creates rhythmic narratives through contemporary dance forms, improvisation, and dance theater techniques. De Jesús is a recipient of the 2020 Jacob's Pillow: The Ann & Weston Hicks Choreography Fellowship.
He has been commissioned twice by Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña to create work for the International Dance Festival of Puerto Rico, where he was awarded the Ambassador of Dance medal. De Jesús has won choreographic competitions including the Joffrey Academy of Dance's Winning Works Choreographic Competition and the Whim W’Him’s Choreographic Shindig. He has received awards including the Audience Award at The Dance Gallery Festival, 1st place prize at the Reverb Dance Festival and the Parsons Dance GenerationNOW Commission for their 2017 Joyce Season. He has also created work for Bruce Wood Dance, Jacob Jonas The Company, and educational institutions like The Ailey School, Kennesaw State University, James Madison University and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. This past fall, his work was presented at PRISMA International Dance Festival (Panama), Encuentro ENDANZANTE (Colombia), the Chop Shop: Bodies of Work Contemporary Dance Festival (Seattle), and it will be presented at the upcoming Jerusalem International Choreographic Competition. De Jesús is the recipient of 2022 commissions with Ballet Hispánico Instituto Coreográfico, the Limón Second Company, the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group, MOVE NYC, the Baryshnikov Arts Center, and the Paul Taylor Dance Company. De Jesús is currently teaching as faculty at The Ailey School. He is fond of education and has experience teaching workshops and master classes all over the world for dancers, special needs communities, people with physical disabilities, and marginalized communities.