Photo: Cheryl Mann
Photo: Cheryl Mann
Photo: Cheryl Mann
" 'Purple Skin' itself is practically flawless... Martinez’ ability to lean into newly found creative energy since the pandemic began has yielded the best work of her career." Lauren Warnecke, See Chicago Dance
"Accompanied by Stravinsky’s sparsely appointed 'Dumbarton Oaks', Martinez tries to excavate the guts of this multi-layered score which was, unlike the other Stravinsky, not originally intended for dancing. Martinez pulls, as per usual, from a grab bag of styles including ballet, jazz and even hip-hop, with some goofier moments giving the sense of a band of bumbling boys bro-ing out on a bright summer day. Not to be forgotten, the cast’s two women hold their own with a cute and sassy duet and extraordinary partnering as the group of men tangle them up and over themselves." Lauren Warnecke, Chicago Tribune on 'Bliss!'
"Furthermore, it is significant that Martinez was the choice for this world premiere, not just for joining a very small list of women who’ve made work for the Joffrey. The list of local choreographers is smaller still: By my count, she’s one of three in the last decade..."
Lauren Warnecke, Chicago Tribune.
"Utterly deserving of the finale, 'Dos Lados' embraces the spectacular mood of the Spanish guitar and brings us the full power of this extraordinary 13-dancer ensemble. Creating literal toe-curling intensity coupled with a coy connection with the audience, this performance was a stunning showcase of sheer talent..." Christi Geary, Arts Wave Guide.
"Stephanie Martinez’s 'In Close Proximity' matched classical and street aesthetics, contrasting loose, shrugged shoulders with stylized gestures in individualized break-out solos and duets that were both intense and gentle." Libby Hanssen, Kansas City Star.
"Martinez’ choreographic vocabulary was the highlight of 'Otra Vez' – an intoxicating mélange of ballet, partnered dances like Tango and Pasodoble, even a little formal Fosse-inspired jazz." Heather Desaulniers, Dance Tabs.
"The women of the company wear long black dresses, a softer, dancier version of Doc Martens, and huge head-pieces of flowers. They move with angular power, all contraction. Feet seem to dig in, legs wide, as if they are birthing the very ground they walk on. The camera dances along, with powerful sweeps that take in the mural and invite us to enter the magical world." Camille Bacon-Smith, Broadstreet Review on 'Her Blood a Wild River'
"To know Stephanie Martinez is to love her. It doesn’t surprise me that she is creating during this incredibly difficult this year. But she seems fired up like never before, exploring new mediums and platforms for her work and, honestly, making some of the best dance of her career. That kind of spunk is, in part, what made her such an endearing and magnetic performer onstage, and what, hopefully, will propel Para.Mar Dance Theatre forward in the new year." Lauren Warnecke, See Chicago Dance
Stephanie's video reel is here
Chicago based choreographer, Stephanie Martinez, started her dance training at Joseph Holmes Dance Theater and Giordano Dance Center before gaining a scholarship to Hubbard Street Dance in 1990.
With over 30 years professional performing experience, she has danced for Amaranth Dance Company, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Concert Dance, Inc, Same Planet/Different World Dance Theater and Dance Chicago amongst many others. In 2009, her choreographic debut, AviMar for Luna Negra Dance Theater instantly secured her status as a sought-after dancemaker.
Over eleven years of award-winning choreography, Stephanie moves her audiences along a journey guided by the kinetic momentum of her work. With original creations for Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Charlotte Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Eugene Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Ballet Memphis, Kansas City Ballet, and National Choreographers Initiative among others, Martinez’s versatility expands the boundaries of contemporary ballet movement. Martinez has created over 60 ballets on companies and collegiate programs across the country.
In 2015, Stephanie was awarded Joffrey Ballet’s “Winning Works: Choreographers of Color” commission and the Chicago 3Arts Award in recognition for her work as a female artist of color. More recently, she was awarded an NEA grant for her premiere of Bliss! with Joffrey Ballet. Dubbed “a chameleon” of choreography by the Chicago Tribune, Martinez’s psychologically revelatory works challenge the viewer’s notion of what’s possible.
Stephanie is the founder and artistic director of Chicago-based repertory company PARA.MAR Dance Theatre. Founded in July 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. PARA.MAR was created together, with, and for diversity and access to excellence in contemporary dance - created, curated y hecho en Chicago.
Stephanie's piece, Kiss, premiered in June 2021 for Cincinnati Ballet and will have its West Coast premiere at the inaugural Carmel Dance Festival in July.