Maria Torres is an acclaimed Choreographer and Director with extensive experience in theater, film, and television, and a strong background in performance. Her Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Cuban heritage has influenced her artistry and led to cultivating “Latin Jazz” as its own dance style; which since being introduced into the dance studio environment, is studied and taught around the world. Torres brings dance, theater, and musical acts to life by maintaining a dynamic vision and persistent work ethic. She has collaborated with global music icons Enrique Iglesias and Don Omar directing the finale number of the internationally televised Latin Billboard Awards and Don Omar’s “King of Kings” US Tour. Some of her full-length projects include co-conceiving, choreographing and directing the “Magic Of Salsa Kingdom”; the Off-Broadway hit Latin Heat; Swingtime starring Ann Hampton Calloway; and the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway musical Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz.
She also conceived, directed, and choreographed – A Night at the Copa as well as directed and choreographed 4 Guys Named Jose, for which she received Lucille Lortel and Carbonell nominations for “Best Choreography”. Torres is a two-time Clio Award winner including for her role as Creative Director for Seagrams DJ Live National Tour. Additional mainstage credits include “The Donkey Show”, “Best of Both Worlds”, “The Women’s Project”, “The Drama League Musical Celebration” honoring Betty Comden & Adolph Green and Disney’s “Golden Mickeys”. Maria was honored with the key to the city for her work as Director/Choreographer, Host and Spokesperson for the Pathmark Hispanic Arts Festival founded in NYC, which gained international momentum. Named Artistic Advisor and Director of Advanced Programming for The Miracle Center in Chicago, Maria conceived and Artistic directed “The Barrio Project”, a stage adaptation of Robert Renteria's critically acclaimed book of the same name. Torres is an Artist-in-Residence at The Rosetta LeNoire Amas Musical Theater, a member of Society Directors and Choreographers, AEA, AGVA, SAG/AFTRA and League of Professional Theatre Women. As director/choreographer, she is currently developing an original cutting-edge multimedia production, “Pasion," as Artist in Residence at c3, in addition to the heartfelt new musical, Havana Music Hall. With an established choreography background, Maria has fueled the success of a diverse range of projects. She choreographed Luis Valdes’ critically acclaimed revival of Zoot Suit for the 50th Anniversary of Center Theatre Group at The Mark Taper Forum in LA, as well as 5th Avenue Theater’s contemporary revival of Man of La Mancha in Seattle.
Broadway credits include the 6-time Tony-nominated show Swing (contributing choreographer), associate choreographer of On Your Feet as well as the showcase for Tony award-winning In The Heights and Mambo Kings. Film credits include feature films “Fugly” starring John Leguizamo, Rosie Perez and Radha Mitchell, “Lovin’ Brooklyn” (in progress) and award-winning short “Physical Attraction” both directed by Guy Guido, Oscar-nominated Disney film “Enchanted,” and “El Cantante” starring Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. Torres has also made magic for television winning two Choreography Festival Awards and fan-favorite awards for original pieces on “So You Think You Can Dance”, as well as creating a major production number for “America’s Got Talent”. Additional credits include choreography for AMC’s series TURN: Washington’s Spies, and Amazon’s The Tick. She has also participated in new media projects including Jordan Roth’s Making Mondays which gives live insight into the creation process via periscope, as well as developing podcast HourGlass: Time To Talk offering exclusive interviews with key players in the performing arts world.
As a philanthropist, Maria has a strong desire to encourage aspiring artists and create connections between supporting organizations that will essentially give back to youth and her own Latina roots. In establishing the Maria Torres Emerging Artists Foundation (MTEAF), she has been able to create unique opportunities for both students in underprivileged communities as well as determined professional youth to experience the performing arts at the highest of levels. Torres is actively engaged in the community with a focus on building a solid network that will uplift, inspire and “pay it forward”.