the artistic director
edited by Justin Scholar
Photo by Linda Källérus
Richard Alan Lugo grew up in Westchester, NY, where he began his decade-long training in martial arts at the age of four. He then ventured into high school musical theatre and developed a passion for dance, regularly studying jazz, hip-hop, and tap. He performed a number of featured and principal roles onstage and, having earned a Helen Hayes H.S. Theater Award, he set himself on a path to fully pursue the performing arts.
Rich continued his education at Colorado State University, graduating in May 2009 with a BA in Dance. Throughout his time training in modern, ballet, and dance composition, he also served for two years as an on-scholarship member of the CSU Tour Dance Company under Chung-Fu Chang. While performing on campus, regionally, and with TDC in school communities throughout northeastern Colorado, Rich also danced at the American College Dance Festival (Irvine, CA) and the IX Festival Internacional de Danza Contemporanea Avant Garde (Merida, Mexico). He has worked with guest artists including Gabe Masson, Katie Elliott, Kim Neal Nofsinger, Mary Wohl Haan, and Diavolo Dance Theatre. Having also developed a great interest in choreography, Rich created 14 pieces during his time as a Dance major, three of which were juried by faculty for performance on the main stage and in the TDC repertory.
Encouraged by his experiences in Colorado, Rich moved to New York City upon graduation to begin his journey as the founder and artistic director of his dance film company, DANSPIEK. The company develops an accessible style of dance storytelling in its work through its collaborations with creative artists, both in front of and behind the camera.
As the Dance teacher at Fordham High School for the Arts in the Bronx, he finds himself coming full-circle to his early training as a martial artist. Through his curriculum he has built a strong sense of community with his students, where they perform together in pre-professional dance concerts on campus, and have been juried to perform onstage at the Bronx Borough Arts Festival. His students also develop repertory work with guest artist residencies, including RIOULT Dance NY, Limón4Kids, and Paul Taylor American Modern Dance.
Rich continues to explore dance as a storytelling medium and inspire young artists to express themselves through movement.