Photo credit: Canaan Mattson
Sam Aros-Mitchell (he/him/his) is an enrolled member of the Texas Band of Yaqui Indians. As an Indigenous art-maker and scholar, Aros-Mitchell ’s work spans the disciplines of performance, sound/light/scenic design, choreography, and embodied writing. He relocated to the Twin Cities (Dakhóta and Anishinaabeg land) in 2020 and was among the first cohort of Native artist fellows at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis to serve as Native Directing Fellow.
Aros-Mitchell holds a Ph.D. in Drama and Theater from the joint doctoral program at UC San Diego/UC Irvine, an MFA in Dance Theatre from UC San Diego, and a BFA from UC Santa Barbara. He is currently teaching a course at San Diego State University titled: AMIND 440: American Indian History, Revisioning History from the American Indian Perspective. He has also taught at Arizona State University, UC San Diego, Cal State San Marcos, and Macalester College
As a choreographer, Aros-Mitchell has completed two recent works, a solo titled Ania Bwia Bwia Toochia, performed by Aros-Mitchell at Red Eye’s Works in Progress in May of 2023, and Finding Sentience, performed by Semaphore Dance Repertory in November of 2023.
Aros-Mitchell is one of the few artists in the United States who teaches M.B. or Muscle/Bone technique, originally developed by artist Min Tanaka. This technique calls attention to the relationship between the mind, bones, joints, and the body in motion and stresses the importance of moving in community. In April of 2023, Aros-Mitchell received an Arts Impact for Individuals Award from The Metropolitan Regional Arts Council for his Entering Aniam Dance Residency, a dance program created for Native and BIPOC artists in Minnesota.
Since 2017, Aros-Mitchell has worked with Rosy Simas Danse (RSD) as a performer, teacher, and community engagement organizer. He has performed with RSD in Skins (2018), Weave (2019) Simas short film, yödoishëndahgwa’geh (2021), and she lives on the road to war (2022-2024). Aros-Mitchell has also appeared in Prairie/Concrete with Aniccha Arts, founded by Pramila Vasudevan in 2023 and Morgan Thorson’s Untitled Night, commissioned by The Great Northern in 2024. Aros-Mitchell is currently collaborating with Dante Puleio, Director of Limón Dance in NYC by restaging/reconstructing two original Limón pieces, the Indio solo from Danzas Mexicanas (1939) and "the Deer solo" from The Unsung (1970). This marks a new passage for Aros-Mitchell and for Limón Dance, in that José Limón and Aros-Mitchell share the proud lineage of Yaqui ancestry. Sam Aros-Mitchell is a 2023 McKnight Dance Fellow.
Aros-Mitchell’s chapter, José Limón, The Unsung: Yoeme Syncretism As A Means Of Survivance will soon be published in a book that celebrates the life and work of Yaqui choreographer José Limón, titled Transcending Amerincaness.
In 2019, Aros-Mitchell founded Aros and Son Publishing, which is dedicated to publishing the work of Native writers. In 2021, Aros and Son published a collection of poetry titled, Longview Road, written by Yaqui poet and writer, Manny Monolin.