Amphibian Stage Productions - Fort Worth Theatre


Tad Poles

View the video here

Amphibian Stage Productions will present its outreach troupe, Tad-Poles (formerly Jumbies Fort Worth), at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth on Saturday, November 23 for a free public performance of Tad-Poles: Mexico 2013 in the lobby from noon to 1 pm. The show, presented in conjunction with The Modern's exhibit titled Mexico Inside Out: Themes in Art since 1990, will include costumes, storytelling, dance and live music depicting Aztec and Maya gods as well as typical dances and music of the state of Veracruz. The performers will also showcase the beauty of the Tango as performed on stilts.

Tad-Poles is an outreach program of performance, dance, theatre, music, art, history, geography and workshops. This project has been created for at-risk children in under-served schools and has a threefold focus to:

  1. foster cultural pride and encourage cultural tolerance and collaboration
  2. give children in underserved communities the opportunity to experience the arts free of charge
  3. encourage good health through joyful physical activity

Guest artists Peyrak Herrera Lievanos, Melanie Smith, and Sinuhe Padilla Isunza join Amphibian for two weeks of visits to schools, community centers, and several festivals. Costumes have been created specifically for this year's program by Mexican artist Laura Barbata to highlight the rich variety of Mexican culture.  

Tad-Poles: Mexico 2013 will offer a free public performance at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth on Saturday, November 23. The event begins at noon. To get more information call 817-923-3012 or email
Amphibian Stage Productions is located at 120 S. Main Street, Fort Worth, TX 76104.

About the artists:

Born in Mexico City, Laura Anderson Barbata lives and works in New York and Mexico City, where she is Professor at the Escuela Nacional de Escultura, Pintura y Grabado La Esmeralda of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, México. Her transdisciplinary work has received grants and awards from Bellas Artes and FONCA. Since 1992 she has worked primarily in the social realm, and has initiated projects in the Amazon of Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Norway, the USA, and Mexico. Her work is included in various private and public collections, among them the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, the Museo de Arte Moderno Mexico City, and Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart, Germany. Barbata's book, Transcommunalities, documents her ten years working with stilt dancers around the world, for whom she designs wearable sculptures and stunning costumes.

Born in Mexico City, Sinuhé Padilla Isunza began his studies at the Casa de Cultura in Corporal Expression, Music, and Dance. In 1992 he began to study Nahuatl cosmogony, sacred music, and ritual dance under Master Ehekateotl Kuauhtlinxan. With his group Reptil Ensamble-Fusión he merged these disciplines with other influences such as jazz, Afro-Latin music, and trova. In 1998 he graduated from the Instituto Mexiquense de Cultura, majoring in Contemporary Dance and Choreography, and soon began teaching dance-theatre, music (guitar, percussion, jazz, ensemble techniques) at the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Mexico. Interested in researching Arab and Andalusian roots of Latin American music, Mr. Padilla went to Spain in 2000 to study Flamenco history, music and dance at the prestigious schools Amor de Dios and Conservatorio Flamenco. Four years later he traveled to South America, investigating various forms of Afro-Amerindian music in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Bolivia, where he also collaborated in various projects involving music, dance and performance. He currently lives in New York, where he leads two Latin fusion bands, Jarana Beat and Cumbiagra. This marks the third year Mr. Padilla has worked with Amphibian.

Peyrak Herrera Liévanos has been studying and performing as a stilt dancer since 2002. He received training from the Zancudos de Zaachila, and continued to research stilt dancing in various cultures in Mexico, including the ancient Aztec and Maya people. He is the Artistic Director of Teatro Pro-Alterne, a performance troupe that specializes in Mexican regional dance and stilt dancing in the style of Mexican cultures. The company also teaches workshops for at-risk children in Mexico City. He has performed in dozens of festivals, including Festival Del Desierto, Festival Cultural SEGOB, Turissste, Festival Internacional de Lerdo, Festival de Ecatepec de Morelos, Museo Diego Rivera "Anahuacalli", and many more. He was recently commissioned by the Mexican Secretary of Culture to create stilt dances based on the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico City.

Melanie Smith studied at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas in Mexico City and received further training with Mexican dancers Marina Acevedo, Marco Santana, Luz Ureña, and Cesar Bernardo Ortiz. She also studied stilting and aerial dance with Eduardo Morales in Mexico City and with Serena Vione in Barcelona, Spain. Ms. Smith has performed Mexican stilt dancing with and choreographed for Teatro Pro-Alterne since 2005. She has also performed with various other dance and theatre companies, including Fonámbules, Zaltimbanqui, Dreamshow, Monosabios, Circo del tiempo, OCESA,  Comunidad Multidisciplinaria Arte SURÉ, UNORCA, UNAM, Garra Producciones, Zankers and many others. 

Tad-Poles is generously sponsored by:

  • Alcon Foundation
  • Wells Fargo Bank
  • BBVA Compass Bank
  • The Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County
  • Target
  • Texas Commission on the Arts
Area schools, please contact: 817-923-3012 or to schedule a performance.

Call 817-923-3012 or email for more information and to register.