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ASU fellow gathers voices in the Latinx dance community

Herberger fellow convenes Latinx dance community for 3-day event.
April 26, 2018

'Dance in the Desert' to offer 2 public events

A fellow at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is gathering people in the Latinx dance community to forge bonds and consider a closer collaboration.

“Dance in the Desert” is a three-day assembly in Phoenix that will culminate in two public events on Saturday.

Yvonne Montoya, a choreographer and fellow in the School of Film, Dance and Theatre, got the idea to create a gathering a few years ago when she attended a dance event as a mentee and asked to be paired with a Latina choreographer. The organization knew of only one and she was busy.

“The leadership couldn’t identify a multiplicity of mentors for the younger generation of Latinx choreographers,” said Montoya, founding director of Safos Dance Theatre in Tucson.

“I realized we were very disconnected and disenfranchised. I had the idea of bringing us all together to get to know each other, who we are, where we’re located and what we’re doing.”

Montoya said the group will talk about whether to become more organized.

“This is a pre-convening. It’s not even a pilot,” she said. “It’s for us to talk about our strengths and how we want to move forward.”

Montoya organized the event as part of her work as a Projecting All Voices postgraduate fellow, an initiative of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts to advance the creative voices of underrepresented communities.

Much of the Dance in the Desert assembly will be private for the 29 participants, who are dancers, choreographers, administrators and students.

“The choreographers can show works in progress and get feedback from not just a group of peer dancemakers but also a group of other Latinx dancers who understand if they’re doing a flamenco contemporary fusion dance. A lot of times, our mentors don’t understand diverse aesthetics or the aesthetics in which we work that are culturally relevant.”

Video by Deanna Dent/ASU Now; "Braceros" music by Samuel Peña, ASU School of Music community engagement coordinator and founder of AZ Beat Lab

Montoya said the event will include dancers from a variety of forms.

“It’s not just concert dance or contemporary dance. We have flamenco artists. We have dancers who are trained in urban or hip-hop. It’s across the board. And that’s a question we’ll be asking: ‘How do we define dance as individuals but also in our different communities?’ There’s a huge diversity.”

She would like to have an officially organized event within the next two years.

“I think there is so much potential here in Arizona to be a center for dance in this region, which is something that’s lacking. We’re a border state so we’re a gateway to Latin America.

“I think we have the population to support work that’s created by Latin American or Latinx dance makers, and I think this is a pivotal moment to come together, share social capital and move forward.”

Dance in the Desert will include two public events on Saturday, April 28: A “Community Share Out” will include a performance and open discussion from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Grant Street Studios, 605 E. Grant St. in Phoenix. The “Pachanga” will include performances and a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at Phoenix Hostel and Cultural Center, 1026 N. Ninth St.

Top photo: Dance performance freshman Genna Oppasser (top) and other dancers practice their routine during rehearsal at Grant Street Studios in Phoenix. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU Now


Les Schiefelbein endows Global Dispute Resolution Program and scholarship at ASU Law

April 26, 2018

Les Schiefelbein, CEO and founder of Schiefelbein Global Dispute Resolution, has announced a gift to the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University to establish the Les Schiefelbein Global Dispute Resolution Program and Endowed Scholarship.

A goal of the global dispute resolution program is to provide students at ASU Law an innovative and interactive environment to gain knowledge, experience and develop professional connections that will help prepare them for practice in international arbitration and mediation with global law firms, multinational corporations, governments and nongovernment organizations. Les and Linda Schiefelbein Linda and Les Schiefelbein. Download Full Image

The program will feature an annual International Arbitration Forum where top lawyers, counsel for global corporations, internationally recognized arbitrators and mediators, and leaders at arbitration institutions will engage in discussions on timely issues in international dispute resolution.

The Les Schiefelbein Endowed Scholarship Fund will provide scholarship support for law students pursuing careers in global dispute resolution.

"The generous gift from Les and Linda Schiefelbein to create the Global Dispute Resolution Program, at the law school's Lodestar Dispute Resolution Center, will improve our ability to offer a world-class legal education to our students and prepare them for careers in the field of global dispute resolution," said Douglas Sylvester, dean of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. "Through this collaborative program, our students will have opportunities to interact with and learn from leading lawyers, arbitrators and mediators across multiple disciplines."

"International dispute resolution is complex, constantly evolving due to the breadth of a global economy and the fast pace of technology innovation and the need for new practitioners, both men and women, is paramount," said Les Schiefelbein. "The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law has an impressive commitment to dispute resolution education, being ranked number seven in U.S. law schools for dispute resolution by U.S. News & World Report.

"It is the right place and this is the right time to provide a focused program to nurture the learning, talents, passion, and leadership skills for the next generation to be successful practitioners in global dispute resolution, especially where it is growing at a rapid pace in Asia, Europe and the United States."

Schiefelbein is a leading domestic and international arbitrator serving in complex commercial, government and technology disputes. Les has an extensive business and law background that includes 30 years as vice president and deputy general counsel at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. At Lockheed Martin, Schiefelbein advised senior leaders on a wide range of international aerospace, technology and national security matters and acted as counsel in many international arbitrations. He also is a retired colonel, Air Force judge advocate lawyer.

Schiefelbein currently serves as CEO and vice chairman of the executive committee of the Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center, a nonprofit that serves the global technology sector by promoting business practical resolution of disputes. He made the Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Center's "Tech List," a catalog of the world's leading technology arbitrators and mediators, in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Schiefelbein received his JD from the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.

Executive Director, Marketing and Communications, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law