Fellow: Awarded 2009
Field of Study: Dance
Competition: Latin America & Caribbean
Omar Carrum was born in Mexico City in 1973. He began his formal dance training in 1990 at the Estudio Profesional de Danza Ema Pulido and in 1992 he became a founding member of the internationally touring dance company, Delfos Danza Contemporánea, where he continues his career as a dancer and choreographer today.
He has been as a featured performer in over sixty works of dance, theater, and opera, working with an international roster of choreographers performing in some of the world’s most prestigious theaters and festivals for dance. In 2000 he received the award as the Best Male Dancer at the 21st Annual INBA-UAM National Choreographic Competition. As a dancer, he has been the recipient of the FONCA grant (National Fund for Culture and Art in Mexico) in 1995 and 2001, and the FOECA (State Fund for Culture and Art in Mexico) grant for artistic development in 2001.
In 1998 he moved to Mazatlán when Delfos Danza Contemporánea transitioned to its new home. Along with Claudia Lavista and Victor Ruiz (Artistic Directors of Delfos), he helped to create La Escuela Profesional de Danza de Mazatlán, which has emerged as one of the leading dance conservatories in Mexico and Latin America. He has been a faculty member teaching modern dance, jazz, choreography, yoga, and nutrition since the school’s inception. In 2007 he became the school’s Academic Director.
Choreographically Omar Carrum’s works are quite simple and deeply personal. His works are multilayered pieces that range from the narrative to the abstract and are often heightened by multimedia elements.
His critically acclaimed work Estuve pensando (I Was Thinking) has been presented at major international venues for dance, including the Joyce Theater in New York City, the Ponec Theater in Prague, and Café de la Danse in Paris. In 2002 his work Mi mente en polvo (My Mind in Dust) received First Prize at the 23rd annual INBA-UAM National Choreographic Competition. Marcela Sanchez, noted dance critic for the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, described Omar Carrum’s work as “aiming for the simplicity and profundity where the intensity of emotions was capable of lasting beyond madness or even death … if what Omar was looking for was to explore the land of pure expression, he certainly found it.”
He was a recipient of the “Young Choreographer” grant by FONCA and the “Artist with Trajectory” grant by FOECA to create the video-dance Mateo. And in 2007 he received a second FOECA grant for his project En el vacio… el reflejo (In the emptiness… the reflection).
His work has been presented at various international dance festivals and venues in Mexico, the United States, Brazil, South Africa, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Portugal, South Korea, Italy, France, Singapore, Peru, Spain, Czech Republic, Japan, Greece, and Canada. In 2007 he was invited as an International Guest Artist at the 25th Anniversary of the Bates Dance Festival—one of the world’s leading summer dance festivals. He has also served on the juries of two important Mexican contemporary dance competitions: The Northwest Coast Choreographic Competition (2007) in Hermosillo and at the Lila Lopez International Dance Festival (2008) in San Luis Potosi.
Artistically, Omar Carrum has become obsessed with the concept of madness—the instinctual impulses, the loss of control, the reckless emotions—and how it can be manifested on stage. He explores the infinite possibilities that each uncertain moment provides the dancer when he is moving. His goal is to explore the emotional terrain as it weaves its fine and subtle elements.
Profile photograph by Martin Gavica.