Letty Bassart

(hungry-minded choreographer, lover of words, passionate parent)

Letty is a choreographer, mother, whole hearted thinker and doer.  She fell in love with text watching her mother type radio ads for a penny a word, and with movement the moment she began demanding ballet lessons (and nothing else for weeks on end) at the age of three.  Her choreography is deeply informed by her immersion in and through hospice nursing, the Offices of Epidemiology and Disease Control, and the inner city classroom.  

Her work has been commissioned by Miami Light Project, the Adrienne Arsht Center, the City of Miami Beach, and Broward Community College, and has been shown throughout South Florida and at Dance Theater Workshop (now NY Live Arts) in NY.  She is a four-time recipient of the Miami-Dade Choreographer Fellowship (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012), a National Endowment for the Arts dance writing fellowship, Artist Access grant, and was the inaugural artist for the Movement Research Exchange between Tigertail Productions and Movement Research.   She has had the privilege of working with several accomplished collaborators including, dance/theater artists, Ilana Reynolds, Shaneeka Harrell, Joanne Barrett, Ivonne Batanero, Cristina Masdueño, and Grettel Trujillo; image makers, Lydia-Bittner-Baird, Laura Luna, and Carmen Cothern; and musicians, Gema Corredera and Daniel Bernard Roumain. 

As a performer, she worked extensively as a company member of Spanish dance company, Ballet Español Rosita Segovia (a group she had the good fortune of joining after only one month of Spanish dance training as a corps member and growing with eventually dancing alongside her very accomplished colleagues); the Florida Grand Opera; and with other cherished dance creatives that have come through Miami like Giovanni Luquini Performance Troupe and Katherine Kramer.

In 2011, Letty launched Thought Loom, an artist-run organization dedicated to nurturing choreographers and giving traction to dance ideas.  In its inaugural season, Thought Loom produced Metamoto, the first dance experience at the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center.  In 2012, Thought Loom received a $50,000 Knight Foundation Arts Challenge grant for its Synapse Performance Project, a project that supports dance think tanks and the unfolding of the ideas that emerge from those dance think tanks into performative acts in formats of all kinds.  In many ways, Thought Loom is a material extension of Letty's ChoreoNotes column, a regular column that delved into dance thinking and the notion of place for the Miami ArtZine, as well as from her formative experiences as a young child enamored with things like James Burkes' Connections. 

Her passion for helping others pursue their artistic vocation has led her to roles in arts leadership, first as Director of Programs and Operations for Arts for Learning, the Miami affiliate of Young Audiences where she worked with 100 local artists and educators to reach more than 10,000 young people each year.  And, most recently, in her role as Director of Artistic Programs at the National YoungArts Foundation (www.youngarts.org),  where she had the honor of working with photographer and VP, Lisa Leone to connect some of the country's most promising 15-18 year-old artists to mentors, master artists, and artistic heroes. 

After a year in western Massachusetts, where she spent time with remarkable artists and people, she has made her way to Los Angeles, where she is an MFA (choreography) candidate at UCLA. 

She is the daughter of Cuban exiles, native to Miami and graduate of New World School of the Arts High School. 

 

Artist Statement

My work is driven by a reverence for human experience and obsession for the telling details. Each work is created with an ardent curiosity for that which can only be revealed through the doing. Together with my collaborators, I use movement, text, and objects to face the task of threading the formlessness of many highly individualized wisdoms into each creative act. The process seeks to weld endless questions and their respective responses into an elastic skeleton. This creature travels through time, shapes, and unravels itself.  

I am in a constant state of learning. 

 

Photos:  Lydia Bittner-Baird; and Gesi Schilling