Mike Esperanza is an acclaimed artist from New York City who has established a national presence in the graphic design and dance communities. As a designer, his work has been recognized in publications such as Print, Communication Arts, and Graphis. Esperanza has also created award-winning work for Columbia Tristar, Sony, Telemundo, Nissan, The Colgate Company, The Irvine Company, Fashion Island, and Santana Row. Originally from California, Esperanza obtained a degree in graphic design from California State University, Fullerton. Esperanza relied on his education to sustain a dance company for twelve years in Los Angeles and New York City, where marketing and photography became an integral part of building a business brand, including print and online presence. Esperanza’s organic approach to photography captures the body in its shape-shifting form. “I treat the frame the same way I compose movement on the stage. The visual context is created based on the need of the client. Some are simple and forward while others generate tension to push the flow in and out of frame.”
As dance maker and choreographer, Esperanza has presented on prestigious stages including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Sergerstrom Center for the Arts, McCalllum Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Salvatore Capezio Theater at Peridance, The Royal Conservatory in Cordoba, Spain, and the Australian Circus Festival. The Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company, Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, and other universities around the United States have commissioned Esperanza’s work. Esperanza’s talent garnered the 2005 “Dance: Creation for Performance” grant presented by Dance/USA and the Irvine Foundation, the 2010 “Innerstate” tour presented by ODC Theater, the 2010 paid engagement award at the Palm Desert Choreography Under the Stars Festival, the 2014 Reverb Dance Festival commission award, and the 2014 CUNY Dance Initiative.
Esperanza is currently continuing his visual and creative exploration through film. Two of his recent works have been screened nationally and internationally. The National Center for Choreography in Akron, Ohio and the San Francisco Dance Film Festival named Esperanza a choreographer for the 2018 “Co-Laboratory” Project. The Project pairs a choreographer with a film director to created a dance film in ten days using the City of Akron as a backdrop. The film But first… premiered at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival in 2022.