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Meet Melissa Padilla

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Padilla.

Melissa is a multidisciplinary artist originally from Tijuana, Baja California. Her artistic development includes: graphic design, photography, drawing, theater, ballet, jazz and contemporary dance. Melissa graduated with honorable mention from the Professional Dance School of Mazatlan, directed by the Delfos Dance Company. She is currently a registered teacher of the CONTINUUM training system founded by scenic artist Omar Carrum; with this system Melissa has taught various workshops throughout Mexico and abroad.

Melissa also is the Co-founder and co-director of the contemporary theater collective Teatro de León alongside Colombian artist José Luis Sánchez. They have received grants for artistic support such as International Circulation Mincultura 2017 and Apromac 2017 to present their work RITA in various festivals throughout Mexico, Colombia, and France.

Currently, Melissa is a choreographer, dancer and teacher of Lux Boreal Dance Company and teaches CONTINUUM at the Center of Dance and Scenic Production of Baja California. She is about to start a master’s degree in advanced theater studies this year.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I think that my biggest struggles has been my parent’s support at the beginning, they weren’t so happy with the idea of me studying dance as a career, latter they accepted it and gave me the support and love. From there I would say, with Teatro de León, has been rough to find support and spaces to rehearse or create new work, create community and to grow an audience as a new and independent company. Tijuana it’s more a dance city than a theatre one, but little by little the people are getting to know us and our work, that is more a contemporary language and that’s a little weird sometimes for the local audience.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
As part of Lux Boreal, I think we are a company that can move around languages and styles, always bringing an honest work filled with love and passion. We developed different platforms to connect with other artists, such as the 4×4 Tj night, a contemporary contest where you have to create a choreography for a stage of 4 x 4 inch and 1-inch height, that convoke artist from around the world. We offer our regular training classes for local dancers, and in this time, to dancers outside the city who are interested because is through zoom.

With Teatro de León, we like to try things, to explore, experiment with different disciplines, “break the rules” a little. We like to speak about our thoughts, ideas and opinions in a very contemporary way. We like to express what we see it’s happening in our countries, in our daily lives as well as all the thing that happens in our insides through the days or episodes of our lives. We really like to perform in black boxes and experimental forums and have a good chat with the audience at the end to connect and reflect about the show or whatever shows up.

As a Teacher, I really love to teach CONTINUUM because you can move in 360° space awareness, always trying to keep the flow in a continuous form, studying your own and unique body and your unique way of achieve goals.

And in general, I like to think of myself as an artist than can be chameleonic, really passionate in everything I do and I’m not afraid to try new things, or at least try new things with the fear as my friend.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
To be happy and in peace, have time to rest and create space for creativity. Having a space to sleep and recreate, share with friends, having food. But I think success for is, been able to do what I love the most. D A N C E !!



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