General Info > News Releases > Archived Releases 2006-07 > 2007-04-23: 6th Annual Spring Dance Festival Celebrates


MENDOCINO COLLEGE, 1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah, CA 95482

Contact: Ross Beck, Director of Public Information & Marketing
T: 707-468-3012, Fax: 707-468-3008, Email:

File: NR-Dance-Spring 2007

PHOTO ATTACHED: MC-Spring Dance 2007.tif

Caption: “Dancers performing in the Mendocino College Spring Dance Festival, May 4 & 5 at 7:30 PM and May 6 at 2:00 PM in the Mendocino College Center Theatre.”

Photo Credit: Evan Johnson

6th Annual Spring Dance Festival Celebrates
Dance and Diversity

Spring Dance 2007UKIAH, CA - Hip Hop, Modern, jazz, ballet, tap, Mexican Folkloric, Chinese, Middle Eastern and more - just a handful of dance forms that will delight those who attend Mendocino College's Spring Dance Festival on Friday and Saturday, May 4 & 5 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, May 6 at 2:00 PM in the Mendocino College Center Theatre.

"The Mendocino College Spring Dance Festival has grown and has become a celebrated traditional community event" reports Leslie Saxon West, Director of the Dance at Mendocino College. "Again this year about 100 performers will take center stage to celebrate a form of art that goes beyond boundaries, uniting people from every walk of life all over the world."

Many Mexican Folkloric dances will be featured in the performance. Under the direction of college dance instructor Juvenal Vasquez, a variety of colorful dances will be performed by many of his adult and younger students. One featured dance, La Danza de los Viejitos, is usually performed by the youth, who imitate older people with humorous movements and masks. "They are not making fun of older people, but honoring them" states Vasquez. "In Mexico elders are appreciated for their wisdom and experience."

A new addition to this year's festival is Middle Eastern dance, which is now being taught at the college. "Zeina" choreographed by college Middle Eastern dance instructor Janice Re, incorporates movements from traditional and contemporary dance styles of the Middle East, performed to the traditional rhythms and instruments of the region.

A variety of jazz and hip hop dances will be performed by college dance students. Gabriel Francisco, a guest instructor in hip hop this semester, has choreographed "Zoom" for the more advanced hip hop dancers at the college. Gabriel has been teaching around the world for the last seven years, and has returned to Sonoma State University to finish his degree in dance. Gabriel recently taught a series of hip hop workshops in Russia.

Jenna Byrne, Modern Dance instructor at the college, has choreographed a dance entitled "The Gift" with original electric bass music played live by Kyle Madrigal. Byrne reports that "working with Kyle has allowed this piece to reflect a variety of moods and qualities. He has observed the choreography and created wonderful music to support the different sections. The dancers have given their gifts to their own sections of movement, contributed to poetry and shared their personal writings with each other."

Tap dance is another popular dance form featured at this year's event. "Spreadin' Rhythm Around, choreographed by tap instructor Maria Monti, was composed in 1935 and the dance reflects the style of the time. "Lots of fun and energy with a little added surprise!" states Monti.

This year's festival will include traditional Chinese dance presented by the Developing Virtue Boys and Girls Schools. The boy's school will again perform the spectacular Dragon and Lion dances that feature huge dramatic costumes with moving eyes and tails. These dances are bold, dramatic and extremely active. In contrast, the girl's school will be presenting two lovely serene dances entitled "Jasmine Flower Fantasy" choreographed by Gopika Misri and "Spring Time" choreographed by Virginia Chung.

Other choreographers for this year's festival include Lea Poisson, Sandy Metzler, Susan Era and Kirsten Turner as well as visiting dance students from Cal State University - East Bay.

All tickets are $5 and may be purchased in advance at the Mendocino Book Company in Ukiah, the Mendocino College Bookstore on the Ukiah campus or by calling 707-468-3079. Tickets may also be purchased at the door if available.

A listing of College activities is online at

# # # #

Created: April 23, 2007 @ 09:12 AM
Last Modified: April 23, 2007 @ 09:18 AM


  Copyright © 2001 - 2010     Mendocino College is not responsible for third party content.