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As artistic director and choreographer for 6 Degrees, Toni Leago Valle combines writing, acting and dance to create multi-sensual works that challenge the audience to address current political and sociological issues.
Valle is trained in contemporary, modern and aerial dance. She is professor of practice at the University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance, where she teaches Dance Production, Marketing for Entrepreneurs and Introduction to Dance, and is head of production for both the spring and fall dance concerts. Valle has been the company manager for Karen Stokes Dance since 2010, is a certified level 1 aerial instructor and a certified Level 1 GYROTONIC(R) Method instructor. She was also recently featured as one of four Texas aerialists in Arts and Culture Texas Magazine.
Valle received a B.A. in dance from UH in 2000. She has received two Individual Artist Grants from Houston Arts Alliance—the first in 2002 to produce “It’s All Relative” and again in 2007 for her third evening-length concert, “tetris,” which premiered in January 2009. As resident choreographer for Dancepatheatre, Valle premiered “Glass Before Marriage,” “LifeSavor” (2003) and “Mockingbird” (2004). As an individual choreographer, Valle premiered the solo, “I Am Mother” (2005), a white-painted goddess inspired by Japanese Butoh dance that Valle performed two weeks before she delivered her son, Dante. The goddess character was later adapted for Psophonia Dance Company’s “Phantasia 2005” at the Hobby Center for Performing Arts. Valle presented “Interview for a Date/I Take My Clothes Off” at the Big Range Dance Festival 2006, for the preview of “CRACKED,” her second evening-length concert that premiered in December 2006 as a recipient of the DiverseWorks Artist Residency. Her choreography has been seen at DiverseWorks, Jewish Community Center (JCC), UH, San Jacinto College, HSPVA/Houston, Freneticore Theatre’s Fringe Festival and various art openings and outdoor events. In 2010, she premiered her new dance company, 6 Degrees in “Baptism.” In 2012, she co-produced and co-choreographed “Regifting Lions” with Catalina Alexandra and Lynn Lane. In 2016, Valle presented an encore version of “CRACKED.” Valle premiered her latest work, “Never Again,” a vaudevillian look at Texas Legislation and the Resistance, to five sold out performances in 2018. Most recently, she presented two excerpts from “Never Again” at the Houston Women’s March in 2019.
Since 2004, Valle has partnered with vocalist Misha Penton in various works, both as a collaborator and choreographer. Penton has written and performed original music for “CRACKED” and performed text written by Valle in “Mockingbird.” Valle has also choreographed for Penton’s “The Ottavia Project” and “Autumn Spectre.” Most recently, Valle was featured in Penton’s experimental opera on film, “The Captured Goddess” in 2015.
Valle has choreographed and performed in her own works since 1999. As a performer, she was a company member with Karen Stokes Dance for 12 seasons and Becky Valls & Company for Young Audiences for 19 seasons. Valle was also featured in four installments of Becky Valls’ “Memoirs of the Sistahood” series. Since 2000, she has performed with Chapman Dance, Dancepatheatre, Divergence Vocal Theatre, Karen Stokes Dance, Psophonia Dance Company, Suchu Dance and Vault. Valle has been featured in numerous concerts, including “Natural Acts in Artificial Water” and “Open Book, Open House” by internationally known choreographer Stephan Koplowitz, “A Weekend of Texas Contemporary Dance” and Marta Lichlyter’s “A Thin Line” as part of UH’s” Choreography in Action” series on PBS.
For 12 years, Valle served as project coordinator of Dance Source Houston, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting dance. She coordinated the production of “Weekend of Texas Contemporary Dance” at Miller Outdoor Theatre and was responsible for maintaining the dancesourcehouston.org website, DSH dance newsletter, DSH marketing table and the printed dance card.
The “Austin-Houston Choreographer Exchange,” “ Life Museum” and two collaborations with Buffalo Bayou ArtPark are a few of the concerts Valle has co-produced. She has also offered administrative, production and promotional services for art organizations such as Ad Deum Dance Company, Ars Lyrica, BBAP, Chapman Dance, Divergence Vocal Theatre, Houston Ballet, Mercury Baroque Ensemble, Psophonia Dance Company, Sandra Organ Dance Company, Leslie Scates, Society for the Performing Arts, Karen Stokes Dance, Suchu Dance, Vault and many others.