Border / Zone… between us

16112882_459015117820393_2403868806841955938_oClaudia Lavista from Mazatlán’s Escuela Municipal de Danza tells me she’s heartbroken she won’t be in town for our Mazatlán Women’s March on Saturday evening. We do hope you will join us, and bring your whole family, all your friends and colleagues. If you are coming with a group from the same workplace, school or club, please wear your uniforms to show your group pride. Otherwise, there is no clothing recommendation. Do, however, bring the sign you would like to carry. “Defending Dignity,” “Women’s Rights are Human Rights,” “Diversity and Inclusion,” etc. Get out a piece of cardboard and a marker, and exercise your voice. The march is NOT political, please, and is peaceful and respectful. We will meet at 4 pm on the malecón where Alemán intersects it, in front of the Hotel Freeman, and walk to the Cliff Divers/Glorieta Sanchez Taboada.

This post, however, is about an event AFTER our march, at 8 pm. Claudia tells me, “It’s our first cultural action against the Trump wall idea!” And does it look beautiful! (BTW, Colin, kudos on the pics!) The performance is a collaboration between Vermont’s Middlebury College and our own EPMD (professional dance school). Click on any photo to enlarge or view a slideshow.

Here is the full event description:

EPDM and Dance Company of Midleburry Present Border | Zone… entre nosotros

Please join us for this evening of new contemporary dance performance, Border | Zones… entre nosotros on Saturday 21st of January at the Angela Peralta Theatre, 8:00 pm. Tickets are 200 pesos and can be purchased at the box office 9am-3pm and 5-7pm or Saturday 9am-2pm.

Centering on themes of the boundaries and borders between nations, people, and ideas, this performance was produced as part of an international collaboration between Middlebury College (Vermont, USA) and the Mazatlán Professional School of Contemporary Dance (EPDM). The project features an exchange between the students of the Dance Company of Middlebury (directed by Scotty Hardwig) and choreographers Omar Carrum and Claudia Lavista, who have created choreography with the company.

During the last two weeks, the Dance Company of Middlebury has had the opportunity to study in Mazatlán and integrate with the classes, teachers and students of the EPDM — this provides them both with a new cultural lens and introduction into the training methods and high-level of artistic creation at the school, as well as an opportunity to work with internationally renowned choreographers like Carrum and Lavista. This exchange also allows for the students of both schools to experience different processes of studying and training in dance, the different approaches of the two schools, as well as connect to other international student dancers and perform together.

For this performance, Hardwig has created a new work, “Sun Breaks Down,” in collaboration with the student company, and the evening will also feature a repertory work by Carrum and Lavista entitled, “Dulce, Disonante, Entorno,” alongside works from the students of the EPDM. This performance will be followed by a tour of these works in the United States by DCM, as well as by EPDM student dancer Paola Reyes Guzman who will be performing a new original work by Xitlali Piña Poujol.

Formed in 1980, the Dance Company of Middlebury includes student dancers, selected by audition, who create new work annually under the direction of professional faculty choreographers and designers at the Middlebury Dance Program. This model creates a pre-professional environment for students to engage in intensive dance training, experiencing the inner workings of the choreographic process from varied perspectives. Each year, DCM premieres a new piece in Vermont in conjunction with a national or international tour.  This year’s company, directed by Scotty Hardwig, includes dancers Miguel A. Castillo, Mandy Kimm, Deborah Leedy, Amanda Lorena Neira, Andrew Pester, Otto Pierce, Liv Reuss, and Emily Schreffler.

Border Zone | EPDM | MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE from DELFOS DANZA CONTEMPORÁNEA on Vimeo.

We Burned Our Dancing Shoes!

DSC_0318… last Wednesday night at the Hotel Playa with the 24 new graduates of the Escuela Profesional de Danza. What a wonderful evening! It was a benefit to help send the kids to Florence, Italy, in July for a dance festival and ten days of workshops—they’ve been offered free tuition/scholarships and home stays. Click on any photo to enlarge it or view a slideshow:

I was most looking forward to dancing to my favorite local band, La Falsa Orquesta Cubana, and indeed, we danced to salsa, bolero, cumbia and conga till well after midnight. The highlight of the evening, however, were the three performances by the new graduates.

It is unbelievable how talented these young adults are! Representing ten different states of Mexico, they are, indeed, a national pride. I didn’t attend the Delfos fundraiser last weekend, but I’ve heard from 7-8 people how disappointing the choreography was. Not Wednesday night! This choreography rocked! There were three student-choreographed performances:

  1. Bripola, a two-person dance about the vibrations that occur when the strings of a small guitar are plucked and strummed.
  2. Diagram of the Trajectory of Laurence, another dance by two dancers, representing the steps forward, backwards, up, down and sideways through space.
  3. Passaro, a group dance representing the intense energy of flying birds.

Many of the graduates’ families came from out of state to support them, and donated items for the silent auction and door prizes. The dinner was also amazingly good.

THANK YOU to all of you who read this blog and bought your tickets and got a table together! Seeing the energy, excitement and talent in these young people gave everyone who attended such encouragement.

If you would like to support their effort to raise money for the airfare, you can deposit your donation to Bancomer #0193238377, in the name of El Espacio del Verbo. You can also donate from US$5 upwards via Internet on Fondeadora.

If any of the students would like high-resolution images of these photos without the watermark for your personal use, just let me know.

I do sincerely hope the event raised a lot of money for your journey. Best of luck! Show them just how talented Mazatlán and México are!