Gabriel Mata (pronunced: gah-bryehl mah-tah) is a Mexican American dance choreographer, educator, film maker, and performer. He also navigates the world as queer, Latinx, immigrant, and as of recently a permanent resident to the U.S. He received his MFA in dance from the University of Maryland - College Park. The StarTribune has called him “Sly, subtle and totally virtuosic, theatrical dancer-choreographer Gabriel Mata holds the stage with expressive movement and witty words.”
Mata’s artistic research and practice stems from social activation, egalitarianism, and decentering practices in performance. Gabriel’s movement training comes from Western concert dance. While honoring the tutelage and opportunities, he looks to uproot and reimagine how dance is interpreted and engaged without notions of hierarchy. Through a contemporary modern approach, Mata creates dance works that explore his intersectionality and interrogate dominant forms of suppression. Gabriel incorporates talking dances as a way to connect to the community, shape bilingual communication, and undoing limitations of language.
His dance works have been performed in Minnesota, California, New York, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington DC, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. His work has been commissioned and presented by sjDANCEco, the Festival of Latin American Contemporary Choreographers, the Luna Dance Institute, Joy of Motion, Dance Place, Silicon Valley Pride, the Hispanic National Bar Association, and the Caroline Calouche Dance Co/Charlotte Dance Festival.
He has performed for haus of bambi, Post:Ballet, Zenon Dance Company, Mark Foehringer Dance Projects, and Pearson Widrig Dance Company. He performed for eight seasons with sjDANCEco. He has taught at American University, The John Hopkins Peabody Institute, and is currently teaching at Coppin University. Recently, he was awarded the DC Commission for the Arts, Humanities Fellowship Grant and the Performance, Events, and Festival Grant, and the Kennedy Center REACH Campus Office Hours Residency. He is a mentee for DANCE/USA’s Institute for Leadership Training.