Dr. Leonard Cruz was born in Pampanga, the Philippines and grew up in San Antonio, Texas. He started dancing at the age of four learning Filipino and Hawaiian Folk Dances. In 1983 he was a Finalist for YoungArts in Miami, Florida and was later named Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He received his Bachelor of Arts and Master’s of Arts Degree in Dance from U.C.L.A and obtained his Master of Fine Arts in Performance/Choreography from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. At the same institution in 2013 Cruz was awarded an AOP Fellowship and obtained his PhD in Urban Education with a focus on the performing and creative arts.
He has performed with Robert Wilson, Kei Takei’s Moving Earth, Shapiro and Smith Dance, Sally Silvers, and for five years with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane and Co. In 1993 he moved to Germany and was a guest with Pina Bausch in Wuppertal and a member of the Folkwang Tanz Studio in Essen-Werden. From 1994-2001 he danced at the Bremer Stadttheater under the Directorship of Susanne Linke and Urs Dietrich.
Leonard Cruz Tanztheater was founded in Bremen, Germany in 1997 and has toured throughout the USA, Europe, and Asia. Cruz has been a Bessie Schoenberg Choreographer at The Yard in Martha’s Vineyard and was nominated for the Kurt Jooss Prize in Choreography. Leonard specializes in Southeast Asian and Pacific Dance Forms, Improvisation in Performance, Contemplative Practices in the Arts, and Contemporary/Modern Dance integrating Laban Movement Analysis. He has been a certified yoga instructor since 2013 and a Broga Instructor since 2015.