Mario Alberto Zambrano

Mario Alberto Zambrano

Lecturer on Theater, Dance & Media
(TDM 143, TDM 145A, TDM 146, TDM 143B)
Photo: Mario Zambrano. Credit: Nephi Nevin.


Mr. Zambrano, a multi-disciplinary artist, has been working in the performing arts for the last thirty years. A Presidential Scholar in the Arts, A Princess Grace Fellow, and an Iowa Arts Fellow from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he’s been a soloist and principal dancer for Nederalnds Dans Theater, Batsheva Dance Company, and Ballet Frankfurt. At age seventeen, he was the youngest full-company member to ever join Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.

While working at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Mr. Zambrano performed numerous choreographies by Twyla Tharp, including ‘Nine Sinatra Songs,’ and collaborated with her on the creation of ‘I Remember Clifford.’ During his tenure at Nederlands Dans Theater, he was principal dancer for Jírí Kylian, Hans Van Manen, Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon, Johan Inger, and Shusaku Takemuchi. In 1999, he was invited by Ohad Naharin to join Batsheva Dance Company in Israel and was an original member in the productions ‘Minus 16’ and ‘Naharin’s Virus.’ Closing his diverse dance experience, he worked with William Forsythe at Ballett Frankfurt for five years, performing in operas around the world. In 2009, Mikhail Baryshnikov invited Mr. Zambrano to perform alongside with him for an intimate Gala at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City.

Choreographically, Mr. Zambrano premiered his first ballet ‘Link’ on Hubbard Street Dance Chicago when only nineteen years old. He’s choreographed works on companies and universities across the globe: Nederlands Dans Theater, ‘Chaper 9’; Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, ‘Bio.lin,’ ‘Quartet Letters’; Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, ‘Volver’; TITOYAYA, ‘Mute Pressure’; The Joffrey Ballet School, ‘Ives’ End,’: Eugene Lang University, ‘27 for 17’; Harvard University, What Moves You? with Franseca Harper and Jill Johnson, and ‘All Are Welcome.’  In 2001, he wrote and directed his first short dance film titled ‘Sola.’ It premiered in Soho, NYC as part of the Dance on Camera Festival presented by Dance Films Association.

With a passion for literature and editorial mentorship, Mr. Zambrano was Fiction Editor and Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning literary journal published at New School, 12th Street. As an Iowa Arts Fellow he completed his novel manuscript Loteria, published by HarperCollins in 2013, which was chosen by Village Voice NYC, Vogue, School Library Journal, and Booklist as a Best Book of 2013. It was also selected by Barnes and Noble for their Great New Voices series and has been translated into five languages. Loteria is currently optioned for a television series by the Mark Gordon Production Company in Los Angeles. His shorter fiction /non-fiction has been published in The Brooklyn Rail, Gulf Coast, Guernica: Arts and Literature, and ‘How To Be A Man,’ Narrative 4, edited by Colum McCann.  Mr. Zambrano has attended residencies at MacDowell Colony, Vermont Arts Center, Yaddo, and Hawthornden Castle in Scotland. In 2016, he was awarded a Literary Fellowship from The National Endowment of the Arts.

As educator, Mr. Zambarno creates a learning environment both rigorous and focused on creative thinking matched with technical discipline. He’s taught classical and contemporary ballet, Improvisation Technologies (created by William Forsythe), choreographic composition, creative writing, dance on film, contemporary jazz, repertoire, and Gaga (Ohad Naharin’s movement language). Acting as visiting artist or faculty member, he’s taught at The Joffrey Ballet School, Eugene Lang University, The University of Iowa, The Iowa Summer Writing Festival, The High School for Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, and Harvard University. For two consecutive years he was invited to The White Oak Residency in Florida to mentor graduate students studying choreography at Jacksonville University.

Mr. Zambarno is a Lecturer in Theater, Dance & Media at Harvard University, curator of the Dance on Camera Exhibit at The Bok Center, and working on a dance film titled And The Boy, part of an interdisciplinary installation using literature, film and dance. Concurrently, he’s working on a new manuscript titled The Kingdom According combining myth and memoir.