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Lester Tomé received his Ph.D. in dance from Temple University. His current research focuses on the effects of cross-cultural transfers on dance. He studies the Cuban ballet as an example of how, within today's global dance community, dancers are redrawing the ethnic and geographical boundaries traditionally associated with certain genres. In particular, he has examined Alicia Alonso's narrative and performative strategies in formulating a Cuban cultural identity in ballet—part of her endeavor to legitimize the practice of this European form in Cuba.
He has taught dance history, dance criticism, dance ethnography, dance pedagogy, salsa technique and Latin American studies in dance at Temple University, the University of the Arts, Bryn Mawr College, Denison University and the Chilean-North American Institute. Additionally, he has been a guest teacher at Haverford College and Franklin and Marshall College, and he has taught salsa master classes at Rowan University.
Tomé, who holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Havana, has worked extensively as a dance critic for newspapers and magazines in Cuba, Chile and the United States, including Cuba en el ballet, El Mercurio, Dance Magazine and the Durham Herald-Sun. He has published interviews of prominent dancers and choreographers such as Alicia Alonso, Paul Taylor, Glen Tetley, Moses Pendleton, Elizabeth Streb, David Parsons, Julie Kent, Svetlana Zakharova and Damian Woetzel. Moreover, he has contributed articles to Alicia Alonso's Diálogos con la danza (2004), The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers (2005), the journal Encuentro de la cultura cubana (2005) and The Cambridge Companion to Ballet (2007). He also wrote the program notes for the 2004-06 seasons of the Ballet de Santiago, in Chile.
In Philadelphia, he danced for the baroque ensemble Sprezzatura and the modern dance troupe Alley Ink, as well as in a staging of Paul Taylor's Esplanade.
He has been the recipient of travel grants from the Society of Dance History Scholars, at whose conferences he regularly presents. He also received a University fellowship and a dissertation completion grant from Temple University, as well as a New York Times Foundation-National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship to participate in the American Dance Festival's Institute of Dance Criticism.