LAWTF Performer Vanessa Cruz

Vanessa Cruz

Friday, March 29th, 8pm—“Boxed In, Set Free”
Metal, Plastic, Skin
This experimental piece explores how vulnerability and fatigue impact Vanessa’s experiences as a Disabled woman, and how medical equipment has been a form of freedom, survival, and assimilation in this inaccessible world.

Vanessa Hernández Cruz (she, her, ella) is an interdependent Chicana Disabled dance artist, filmmaker, visual artist, poet & an Intersectional Disability Justice activist. She is from the unceded lands of the Tongva & Kizh lands colonially known as Los Angeles, California. She holds her BA in Dance Science from California State University Long Beach.

Over the past years, Vanessa’s work has been shown nationally & internationally. She had two exciting dance solos that premiered this past summer: “Metal, Plastic, Skin” debuting at The Odyssey Theatre’s Dance Festival, and “Exhale Static, Inhale Fumes” with her debut at The REDCAT’s NOW Festival.

In addition, slated for 2024 Vanessa along with Saira Barbaric & NEVE with the support of a grant from the Mellon Foundation, three have cofounded Mouthwater Festival, a new Disabled Arts Festival happening in Seattle.

Earlier this year she was commissioned by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) to create and perform a new work titled: “La Lucha Sigue/The Fight Continues” to celebrate & honor Corita Kent and Dolores Huerta. She recently was a guest speaker at Chapman University where Vanessa spoke about Disability dance & workshopped her contemporary ballet repertoire Nycto-Eternity. Vanessa was a guest artist-in-resident & collaborator for Bradford Chin’s dance MFA Thesis “The world was ending, so they danced, & they were free” at the University of California, Irvine.

In 2022, she premiered two solos: “Nycto-Eternity” & “Timeless Hourglass” at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles as a guest artist with the international dance company LuxBit Art Company based in Seoul, Korea. In the summer of 2022, she was commissioned through the DCA to produce the dance film Los Portales del Corazón for their ‘Dance in the Districts’ program. In 2022, she was selected into the first national cohort for the LatinXtentions yearlong Dance Mentorship Program led by David Herrera. She was also selected into The Box LA x Pieter Parking Space Residency based in Los Angeles, CA where she produced her dance piece “Exit?”.

Her performances transcend through time, space, energy, and most importantly through her ancestors. With this energy, she hopes to build community and to share the path that she is paving for future multi-marginalized Disabled artists. Through dance, community care, and interdependence she believes that collective liberation can be achieved.

Performer, Vanessa Cruz
Performer, Vanessa Cruz
Performer, Vanessa Cruz