General Info > News Releases > News Releases 2011-12 > 04/18/2012 -Mendocino College 2012 Spring Dance Festival


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

Leslie Saxon West, Dance Professor
707.468.3079 voice


Dance collage

Hip hop, contemporary, jazz, Mexican Folkloric, Middle Eastern, traditional Chinese dance - 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 May 6 at 2:00 pm in the Mendocino College Center Theatre.

“Our Spring Dance Fest has become one of our most popular performing arts events at Mendocino College” says Leslie Saxon West, director of the dance program. “The production this year will not be as expansive as it has been in recent years, however the show will include a wide variety of dance that will surely be enjoyed by all ages.”

Diversity is a key component of this annual event. In addition to the theatrical forms of dance that most people are familiar with, such as jazz and modern dance, the production will feature many forms of dance that represent the diverse populations in our communities, the college, and the world.

This year’s festival will include traditional Chinese dance presented by the Developing Virtue Boys and Girls Schools. The boy’s school will perform the spectacular Dragon and Lion dances which feature huge dramatic costumes with moving eyes and tails.  The Girls School will present three beautiful dances reflecting traditional Chinese dance fused with elements of martial arts and storytelling. One dance, entitled Compassion explores compassion as the eternal state of the spirit. Elly Shulee, who choreographed the piece, explains that “Guanyin is the manifestation of great kindness and great compassion. Her thousand hands rescue beings from the ocean of suffering, and her thousand eyes behold all beings.”

College instructor Bernadette Alverio-Gray has choreographed five dances for this year’s festival. Her dances include a wide variety of accompaniment and flavor. Smiling, Bernadette exclaims “Old School is a fun upbeat piece that explores hip hop at an older age in life. From wheel chairs to walkers, these folks know how to get down!”In a lyrical contemporary dance that she has choreographed, entitled Letting Go, she explains that the piece represents a collection of personal stories. She says “In our journey through life, we all have to let go of things. The duets in this piece were choreographed by the dancers and represent their personal stories related to letting go, especially of significant people in their lives.”

Many Mexican Folkloric dances will also be featured in this performance. Under the direction of college dance instructor Juvenal Vasquez, a variety of festive and colorful dances will be performed by many of his students. These festive and colorful folk dances are a highlight of the shows and this year include La Moda, El Gusto, and Luz y Sombras.   

Another highlight of this year’s show will be Troupe Satya, a Middle Eastern Dance group directed by Janice Re, who will be appearing as guests in this performance. This exquisite group of dancers will be performing two dances, Unknown Hand II and Saplak II.

All tickets are $5 for everyone 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.

Created: April 18, 2012 @ 04:24 PM
Last Modified: July 31, 2012 @ 03:20 PM


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