Prior to joining the Faculty at The University of Texas at Austin, Joel Valentín-Martínez was an associate professor and Dance Program Director in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University, and has also taught dance at Arizona State University and the University of Rochester. He holds a B.A. in Dance Studies from the State University of New York and an M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
From 1990 to 2003, Valentín-Martínez was a member of Garth Fagan Dance and toured with the troupe throughout the United States, Canada, the Middle East, Europe, Australia, South America and the Caribbean. He performed at around the world, in prolific venues such as The Joyce Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lincoln Center for the Arts, Kennedy Center and Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, to name a few. During his years with the company, Valentín-Martínez was a featured dancer in world tours, such as “Garth Fagan’s Griot New York” (1991) with live music by the Winton Marsalis Septet, which was subsequently featured on PBS’s Great Performance in 1995.
Valentín-Martínez’s own choreographic projects include Pop Refuge, which premiered at Links Hall Chicago in 2019; Sur Grande (2019) commissioned by La Compañia de Danza Contemporanea de Acapulco, Mexico; De aquí, de allá (2019), premiered with Mexico City’s Barro Rojo Artes Escénico; and #rupturapasaje2/#passagebreak2 (2019) with Andanza Compañia Puertorriqueña de Danza Contemporánea in Puerto Rico.
Other works include Misplaced Flowers (2010), with live music by Fulcrum Point-New Music Project, and Tlatelolco Revisited (2008), both commissioned by Luna Negra Dance Theater, Chicago. He choreographed the musical adaptation of Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street (2009) at the Steppenwolf Theatre. He has developed choreography for Joel Hall Dancers (2010) and John Jota Leaños’ multimedia performance Imperial Silence: Una Ópera Muerta (2008–17), which has been performed at El Museo del Barrio in New York City, throughout California, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and in Lisbon, Portugal.