Hector Bautista // Theater and Dance

Bautista+in+Paris.+Photo+courtesy+of+Lexii+Carrillo15.

Bautista in Paris. Photo courtesy of Lexii Carrillo’15.

Bautista in Paris. Photo courtesy of Lexii Carrillo'15.
Bautista in Paris. Photo courtesy of Lexii Carrillo’15.

This week’s senior arts profile is of Hector Bautista, a theater and dance combined major. He lived in Veracruz, Mexico until age sixteen, when he went to Canada to study abroad at an international school.

How did you first get interested in theater and dance?

I began in middle school. In seventh grade, I joined my school’s traditional Mexican dance team. I’ve always loved dancing. Where I come from, there’s a traditional carnival, so I was close to an environment where people danced a lot. I come from a conservative family, so at first I hid the fact that I danced from them, but they ended up being fine with me dancing at school. However, they didn’t want me to spend too much time dancing because they wanted me to focus on homework or helping the family business. When I got a scholarship to a UWC (United World College) school in Canada, I was away from my parents so I was able to be much more involved with dance and learn many different styles. Later, when I was at Mac, I took my first dance composition class, which led me to explore the world of choreography.

What kind of dances are you trained in, and which is your favorite?

I began with Mexican folk dance, then moved on to ballet in high school, and then modern dance, including the Graham, Limon and Duncan techniques. I’ve also taken workshops where I’ve tried gumboot, flamenco, salsa, breakdance, hip-hop and butoh, a Japanese dance. Currently at Mac, I take West African dance-based movement, modern dance, advanced ballet and breakdancing. My favorite dance form is ballet because it brings me to a state of cohesion. I find it fulfilling because it’s very challenging in a kinesthetic way.

How have you been involved in theater and dance productions at Mac and elsewhere?

My first choreographic work was a Mexican folk dance for the “One World Show” at the Royal Theater in Victoria, BC, which incorporated dances from around the world. Last fall I choreographed a piece for the fall dance concert at Mac and I’m choreographing one this semester too. I’m also choreographing a piece for the spring dance concert as my capstone. It’s a dance inspired by stories about youth and violence due to drug trafficking in Mexico. I want it to be something that speaks to people and makes us reflect on our society and world.

Have you studied abroad?

Yes, I went to Paris last semester. It was a different experience because I wasn’t taking university classes. I studied at a pantomime theater studio called Magenia and at the Theater of the Oppressed (which engages both the audience and actors). In addition, I took ballet [and modern dance] with a professor who is well-known in Paris, which was very challenging.

What was your most memorable experience in Paris?

I did a play at the Theater of the Oppressed, which was challenging because I needed to work a lot on my French. This experience made me get more interested in theater.

What are some of your fondest memories from Macalester?

I co-organized a fashion show my sophomore year, which was fun because I’m interested in fashion and we incorporated dance into it.

Have you been part of any student organizations or programs?

I’m part of Adelante, the [email protected] at Macalester; Visceral, Mac’s break dancing team and the Queer People of Color Collective. I also used to be a class representative during my sophomore year.

What are some of your interests or hobbies besides dance and theater?

I like fashion and photography. I’ve done projects in Mexico with fashion photography. I love just going outside and capturing details of the world. I’m also interested in learning languages; I’m currently trying to add Portuguese and German to my Spanish, English and French.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about majoring in theater and dance?

If you’re really passionate about the performing arts, Macalester offers really good programs. The Twin Cities are the second biggest theater scene in the United States, so there’s lots of opportunities. It’s important to know that theater and dance is a big commitment, though, but I do it because I have a passion for it.