Carla Barragán

Carla Barragán is an Ecuadorian dancer, choreographer and educator working between Seattle. Mexico and Ecuador since 1998. She is co-founder and director of BQdanza. She is the 2008 recipient of the M.K.Williams Excellence in the Arts award by Pierce County Arts Commission. Besides her work as a choreographer, she is teaches Theatre fulltime at the Bethel school district, at Elk Plain School of Choice. This job provides Mrs. Barragan with and invaluable hands on experience with Performing Arts curriculum development for schools. Earlier, she has been a visiting professor at Universidad de Las Americas in Puebla, Mexico. Before settling to Seattle, she was a professor and coordinator of Performing Arts at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador, 1995-1998. In 1993 she received an MA in Dance Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and in 1990 a BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase, NY. The Seattle Children's International Festival, the National Dance Company in Ecuador, UDLA Danza in Puebla, Mexico, and others have commissioned her work. When she was a teenager, she was national gymnastics champion of Ecuador. As a dancer, Barragan has been a member of the Pat Graney Dance Company, Senta Driver's Harry and Elise Long's Spoke the Hub; and has been guest artist with Cuban Isabel Bustos, Kneejerk in San Francisco and LeGendre Performance and Crispin Spaeth Dance Group in Seattle, amongst others. She has received several awards that include the , Tacoma and Seattle Arts Commissions, King County Arts commission, CityArtists, twice 4Culture, The Thurstan Foundation, The Secretary of Culture in Puebla, Mexico, the Parrot Foundation in New York.

During 1990 to 1995 the co-directors were four dancer/choreographers, from Peru, Maria Paz Valle Riestra, from Spain, Veronique Robert, from Ecuador Carla Barragan and from the United States, Donell Stines Jones. Birlibirloque performed in New York at several off-Broadway theaters, such as the Washington Square Church, the Broadway Performance Hall, The Asian Cultural Arts Center at the Rockerfeller Foundation, Dia Arts Foundation, Nuyorican Poets Café, amongst others. In South America the company performed at ICPNA International Festival in Lima, Peru (93 & 94), at Agosto Mes de las Artes (96 & 99) Teatro Nacional Sucre (93) in Quito, and Teatro Centro de Arte in Guayaquil (94), Ecuador.

After original members left New York, Barragan continued to direct the company as she resided in Ecuador, San Francisco, performing at ODT, Dancers Group and Santa Cruz Dance Gallery; Seattle, performing at several venues including On the Boards, Dance on Capitol Hill, Velocity and Freehold Theater, and Mexico. "Enredados tus Hijos", was performed in festivals in Mexico, Cuba, and Ecuador, during the first half of 2001, and won an audience award in "Alas de la Danza" a choreography competition. Birlibirloque collaborated with Mexican artists creating a video called "Cuando tu te hayas ido", it presented "Flipeography" a flipbook exhibit; was commissioned to create Descuajaringado (now called PAWAY) by the Seattle International Children's Festival in 2002.

The company changed its name to BQdance, and now BQdanza. Our new piece, RAT RACE, combines video animation of intriguing images by visual artist Paula Barragan (the choreographer’s sister), with a carefully selected aggressive and subtle choreography that speaks of the animalistic images as well as of the interpreters lives. The projection, showing real dancers mingling with the characters in the drawings, drift in and out of the live dance.

Two more choreographies, Frame, and Thick were developed and got great reception in 2008, and 2010. Nincompoopiana, the dance and puppetry piece choreographed by Carla Barragán, weaves real and made-up scenarios in which the five larger than life puppets portray archetypes that seemingly don't get along, but realize they do need each other to survive. The project had a long run in which it was presented in it’s entirety at Velocity Dance Center in Seattle, and at public schools. It will be shown at Click TV On Demand, in Tacoma, during an entire year. Recent BQdanza members include Hendri Walujo, Sruti Desai, Katy Sullivan, Rosa Vissers. Mary Mabry, April Nyquist, Katie Striker, Stephanie Pederson, as well as current dancers Amanda Herman, Laura Aschoff, Elizabeth Anne Jacobson, Rachel Grant and Diana Garcia-Snyder.