Brandishing the provocative title of Perra de Nadie (Nobody’s Bitch), award-winning Spanish dancer/performance artist Marta Carrasco and her small ensemble were scheduled to perform in Los Angeles this weekend, but on arrival at Seattle’s airport, Carrasco and her company were denied entry and compelled to return to Spain.  Why the visa issued by the U.S. embassy in Spain was rejected is a story still unfolding. It is known that Spain’s Arts and Culture is a government entity so the performances were officially sponsored by the government of Spain. Much of what is known and Carrasco’s social media posting are captured in the following Stage Raw article by founding editor Steven Leigh Morris. The article is reprinted with the author’s permission. – Ann Haskins


Latino Theatre Company (LTC) announced yesterday that its presentation of Barcelona’s Perra de Nadie – a dance piece featuring award-winning Marta Carrasco — was cancelled after the four-member company was turned back in Seattle. They were en route to Los Angeles after performing at a theater festival in Colombia.

LTC had provided co-director/performer Marta Carrasco, performer Alfredo Diaz, business manager Manuel Illan, and lighting designer Danielle Guillaune with plane tickets. LTC Artistic director Jose Luis Valenzuela says they obtained work visas from the U.S. Embassy in Barcelona.

Yesterday, Valenzuela received a phone call from an unidentified U.S. customs official in Seattle telling him that the four were being turned back.

(Carrasco performed at REDCAT in 2005.)

According to a statement put out by Marta Carrasco Company upon its return to Barcelona, the four were separated into different interrogation rooms for five hours of questioning, during which their passports were confiscated, they were warned against touching their cell phones, and the security cameras were aimed at the floor. They provided their letter of invitation, that disclosed the terms of their employment and instructions to send LTC copies of their passports and corresponding visas. They were told they could make only one phone call, on the condition that they identified the call recipient to authorities.

“The atmosphere was hostile . . . Later, they tell us that all the documentation was correct but the visa that the American Embassy authorized us to be able to work in Los Angeles was not valid. (That statement was a lie, according to the American Embassy here in Barcelona.)”

The company’s statement said that they were accompanied by guards onto their deportation aircraft, and Valenzuela added that they were kept in isolation during an Amersterdam layover.

Stage Raw received notice that its request for comment from the U.S. Embassy in Barcelona might be addressed in three to four business days.

Valenzuela’s agitation was compounded after his personal Facebook account was taken down, shortly after he posted the missive from Marta Carrasco Company, though it is now back up.

“In authoritarian regimes,” he noted, “they come after the press, the intellectuals and the artists.”

Freedom of the Press Foundation reports that journalists are increasingly harassed at the U.S./Mexico Border for doing their jobs, citing “at least five journalists who have been stopped on the U.S. side of the border since December 2018. Some have been stopped numerous times, where they are put in situations that could threaten their privacy, reporting processes, and confidential sources.”

Marta Carrasco Company noted that 95% of the people being held in the Seattle Airport’s interrogation rooms were Latino.

Written by Steven Leigh Morris for Stage Raw and published on October 10, 2019– Republished by LA Dance Chronicle with permission of the author.

Featured image: Marta Carrasco and Alredo Diaz in Perra de Nadie (Photo courtesy of Marta Carrasco Co.)