Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Raul Salamanca’s early dance training began in 1993 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the Magda Aunon School of Ballet. He later went on to study on scholarship at the Boston Ballet School and the Arizona Ballet School. Throughout his training, Mr. Salamanca worked closely with distinguished teachers such as Laura Alonso, Ib Andersen, Magda Aunon, Devon Carney, Frank Galvez, Kee Juan Han, and Magaly Suarez, gaining a wide array of knowledge and exposure in the Balanchine, Bournonville, and Vaganova methods of ballet. As a student, Mr. Salamanca was an award recipient of the National Society of Arts and Letters and the National Foundation for the Advacement of the Arts. He was also selected to be one of the representatives for the United States at the prestigious International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. Mr. Salamanca launched his professional career in 1998 at the age of 17 with Ballet Arizona and later went on to dance with Boston Ballet, Les Grand Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, and Ballet San Antonio.
As a professional dancer, Mr. Salamanca performed leading roles in well-known classical ballets such as La Bayadere, Le Corsaire, La Fille Mal Gardee, Don Quixote, Giselle, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and La Sylphide. He originated roles in ballets by Ib Andersen, Stijn Celis, Lucinda Childs, Jorma Elo, Mark Morris, Mikko Nissinen, Moses Pendleton, Helen Pickett, and Dwight Rhoden. He has also performed in a wide range of works by 20th century masters such as Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, John Cranko, David Dawson, Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Ohad Naharin, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Anthony Tudor, and Christopher Wheeldon.
Mr. Salamanca’s performing career has taken him extensively all over the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Africa. He has also been invited as a guest artist to perform alongside some of the brightest stars in the ballet world in galas such as the “Gala of International Ballet Stars” and YAGP Gala “Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow.”
From 1999 to 2008, Mr. Salamanca served as contract negotiator for Ballet Arizona and as American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) union representative for Boston Ballet. While working with AGMA, Mr. Salamanca represented professional dancers from all over the world, improving their contract agreements and working conditions. Through his work, Mr. Salamanca helped Boston Ballet establish one of the industry’s leading contract agreements.
In 2012, Mr. Salamanca became Ballet Master and Director of Education for Ballet San Antonio. There he taught company classes, coached rehearsals, staged ballets, and consulted in the creation of an original Nutcracker. Mr. Salamanca also helped establish an outreach program with the Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio, a program that continues to thrive today.
Mr. Salamanca is currently the sole stager in the United States for world-renowned choreographer, Jorma Elo. He recently staged Elo’s work, One/End/One on Tulsa Ballet and will be traveling to Beijing, China in 2016 to set Elo’s Over-Glow at the Beijing Dance Academy. Mr. Salamanca has choreographed several works that have been performed at special events such as the Santana Row Dance Festival (sjDANCEco), Youth American Grand Prix, Los Gatos Ballet’s Youth Choreography Project, and Los Gatos Ballet’s Summer Intensive. His wide array of teaching experience includes the Boston Ballet School, Tulsa Ballet, Ballet San Antonio, Bay Pointe Ballet, Western Ballet, and the Academy of Classical Ballet.
In 2013, Mr. Salamanca joined the faculty of Los Gatos Ballet and became Associate Director of the Foundation. Through the Leaps and Bounds outreach program at Los Gatos Ballet, Mr. Salamanca continues to share his passion for dance through education and mentoring in the Bay Area at Kipp Heartwood Academy. With over 20 years of professional experience, Mr. Salamanca enjoys collaborating and consulting with performing arts organizations, most recently with the Silicon Valley Ballet. Mr Salamanca was offered the role of Artistic Director for the 2017/18 Season.
Outside of dance, Mr. Salamanca is extremely passionate about the wine industry and is a founding member and creative director for a private wine label start-up in Silicon Valley. Mr. Salamanca currently resides in San Jose, California.