Viveca Vázquez

She // Her // Hers

[ID: A portrait of a woman sitting on the floor in an interior space, in front of a couch. She sits with her legs extended in front of her, crossed at the knee, and her hands in mid motion at her waist. She has red curly hair with silver roots, blue framed glasses, and pink lipstick. She looks directly out at the viewer, with a small smile.]

Experimental Choreographer
San Juan, PR
2022 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Viveca Vázquez (b. 1950) is a pioneer of experimental dance and performance in Puerto Rico and a founding member of Pisotón (est. 1979). Vázquez is also a founder of Taller de Otra Cosa (Something Else Workshop), now headed by Teresa Hernández, which has established particular forms of making and producing contemporary dance concerts and events.

She has received commissions from dance Theater Workshop, PS122, Danspace, and MoMA PS1, as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture. In 1985, she began teaching dance in the Drama Department at Universidad de Puerto Rico, a position she has used to support and develop her creative work and production-scale capacities. She was later awarded a position as a performance artist at the College of General Studies, where she is now full professor and teaches entry-level humanities courses as well as the Gender and Performance course she developed for the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

In 2013, the Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art held a retrospective of her thirty-year career as a dancer, choreographer, and performer, accompanied by a bilingual catalogue with critical texts. This marked the first time the museum acknowledged dance as a contemporary art and celebrated movement and a movement artist.

From 1989 to 1996, Vázquez, along with Merián Soto, coproduced and codirected Rompeforma, the first international experimental interdisciplinary art festival in Puerto Rico, which had a big impact on artists and audiences alike. Presently, Vázquez and Soto are developing a documentary based on the festival, funded by the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Portrait photo by Abey Charrón.

  • Artwork by Viveca Vázquez
    Improvisation at a public investigation laboratory, Hidrante Gallery, San Juan.
    [ID: A photograph of a person who lunges with their right leg forward and arms above her head. She is posing in a small room, in profile. The walls are covered in white paper with black paint smeared on it.]
  • Artwork by Viveca Vázquez
    Miss Puerto Rico o La isla que se repite, 2013. Contemporary Art Museum of Puerto Rico. Photo by Antonio Ramírez.
    [ID: A black-and-white photograph of a woman in a leotard standing on a wooden ledge in front of a brick building; her arms are folded in front of her mouth and she looks out over them. She wears a headpiece that is shaped like the island of Puerto Rico.]
  • Artwork by Viveca Vázquez
    Madurándose / Ripening, 1985. Winter Events Dance Theater Workshop, New York. Photo by Tom Brazil.
    [ID: A black and white photograph of three dancers on a black stage. One bends over, touching the ground. To the right, a dancer flies, mid-jump, arms out, one leg bent behind her. The third dancer, arms and legs outstretched, is blurred in motion behind them.]
Artwork by Viveca Vázquez Artwork by Viveca Vázquez Artwork by Viveca Vázquez Artwork by Viveca Vázquez Artwork by Viveca Vázquez Artwork by Viveca Vázquez