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2023 Spring Dance Festival

Mendocino College Dance Department presents the 41st annual 

Spring Dance Festival 2023!


Produced by Eryn Schon-Brunner


Celebrate dance at Mendocino College by joining us for an exciting selection of original dance works, by dance department faculty, choreography students and guests from the local dance community.  Contemporary, ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, middle eastern, performance art and more will enliven the Mendocino College Center of Visual and Performing Arts Theatre on May 4th, 5th & 6th at 7:30pm, May 7th at 2pm!


Tickets: $10 All Ages


Available at Mendocino College Bookstore, Mendocino Book Company, and online at www.artsmendocino.edu. or call (707) 468-3079. Tickets will be sold at the door, if available, cash or check only.



Perspective dance poster

*Dance: All types, submitted in movie file format and still photographs.

Mendocino College Dance on Film Festival 2020

Dance! Dance! Dance! Film!

Mendocino College choreography students turn the Shelter in Place ordinance into an opportunity to create dance on film.  With Mendocino College Spring Dance Festival 2020 cancelled, nine student choreographers under the direction of Eryn Schon-Brunner decided to transfer their new choreographic works to film for the first virtual Mendocino College Spring Dance on Film Festival. 

On May 8, 2020, new works by choreographers Clara Carstensen, Yves Charles, Margarita Diaz, Traci Hunt, Kai Krasts, Paloma Rodriguez Irizarry, Hannah Nicole, Jonah O’Conner, and Megan Youell can be viewed at Mendocino College Dance on Film Fest.


Last Week 
Traci Hunt

Last Week, by Traci Hunt, seeks to evoke feelings of nostalgia and a melancholic relationship with the past. What happens when the events that happened last week cloud what is happening right now? Traci was inspired by her personal experience of being unable to detach her present circumstances from everything that happened yesterday, over the weekend, or last week. “I think this piece has a lot of potential to be adapted,” Traci says, “and I do believe it has the potential to be further explored and fleshed out in group work on stage.”

The Other
Traci Hunt

The Other, by Traci Hunt, is an exploration of similarity and likeness in humans, a search to find out what we hold at our core that connects us all.  According to Justin Vernon, “It’s really hard to separate and truly decipher what one person is, because you don’t have one person without the other.”  This piece came about organically, and the shift to video definitely changed the course of the piece and its theme. “Nevertheless,” suggests Traci, “the evolution of the piece was fun to watch, and moving it to a video format allowed me as a choreographer to push the boundaries of what can be said through movement with the theme of likeness in mind.”

Hannah Nicole

Meraki, by Hannah Nicole, is a visual documentation of one dancer's exploration, due to the global pandemic of Covid-19, in a world which has been practicing social distancing, to experiment in a new environment: an abandoned garden area that was left forgotten.  Being secluded in your home for weeks on end can easily become an emotionally and mentally trying event for a person. “I was losing all inspiration for creating art,” claims Hannah, “but I found that, if I forced myself to continue dancing, my mood was instantaneously lifted. That is why I made this video; because no matter what you may be going through, sometimes all that is needed is to try to ‘reinvent yourself,’ see things through a new perspective, push through your struggles and see how you come out on the other side.”

Quarantine Dayz
Kai Krasts

Quarantine Dayz, by Kai Krasts, looks at how the youth play with the dirt and the grime of their world and situation. The piece is inspired by the nihilism occasioned by the apocalyptic world we now live in, and how the end is surely nigh. 

Work in Progress
Clara Carstensen

Work in Progress, by Clara Carstensen, is a dance about emotional pain and trying to pretend everything will always be okay, even if that only leaves you feeling numb.  It is the feeling of realizing you have lost something you didn’t know you were losing. “I choreographed this dance based on a very emotional event that happened recently in my life that changed my viewpoint on trust,” offers Clara.  “The title indicates that healing from emotional pain will always be a ‘work in progress’, and it is important to have patience with this process.

Paloma Rodriguez Irizarry

DEATH FLESH, by Paloma V. Rodriguez, expresses the waking of an emotionally dead body. The piece explores how the body’s lack of sensation leads to its collapse into darkness, and, at the end, brings the mind to a point of emotional reconciliation with itself.  “It was a dark and terrifying piece for me to create,” says Paloma, “because it brought out very uncomfortable feelings.” The video shows fragments of the creative process and the interactions of DEATH FLESH between the dancers. The creative process started in February, 2020 as part of the Mendocino Spring Dance Festival 2020, but the piece was transformed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Paloma Rodriguez Irizarry

LIMIT(LESS), by Paloma Rodriguez, confronts, explores, and penetrates the invisible barriers that we face. Her work challenges how the body perceives, interacts, and transforms these realities into movement. It illustrates how the environment changes the quality of movement, and it investigates how to play with these changes.  LIMIT(LESS) is a creative response to the cancellation of the Mendocino College Spring Dance festival 2020.

Breath of Life 
Jonah O’Connor

Suspense, Drama, and Art! All in one short video! This video conquers all of its kind, with intensity and dramatic cinematography. You will either be terrified, mesmerized, hysterical with laughter, or all of the above!

This dance illustrates the dark aspects of the pandemic—not only the medical side, referring to the Breath of Life, but also the social side, referring to the distress of having to shelter in place. “I have a newfound respect for people who create videos like this all the time, and I think I will do videos for my dance pieces in the future,” says Jonah. 

Megan Youell

Broken, by Megan Youell, represents the inner thoughts and coping processes of a woman after she has experienced trauma. “I think that sometimes we all feel broken in ways,” suggests Megan.

Yves Charles

Tally is an exploration of time, self, and environment. Shot in an empty swimming pool, the piece gives a voyeuristic glimpse into the life of a person in isolation.

Margarita Diaz

DNCE is a compilation of dance videos from Diaz’s sleepless nights, which weaves different genres into one cohesive film about just letting yourself feel and move. When getting lost in choreography, sometimes just letting yourself go and dancing mindlessly is the answer. “This is a virtual scrapbook of my many nights of just vibing with my movement,” says Margarita.

Margarita Diaz & Paloma Rodriguez Irizarry 

Unidas is a project that seeks solidarity within our movement. “She moves, we move, she aches, we ache, our greatest compliment to the earth is not to follow her but to move with her,” says Margarita. Unidas is a beautiful collaboration between two strong women who encourage each other to create even in difficult times.

Mendocino College Dance on Film Festival is just one section of the Mendocino College’s virtual art work that can be viewed in the Spring Student Art Show Virtual Art Gallery. Thanks to Doug Browe and Tony Novelli, who coordinated this virtual show, in which many different Mendocino College art forms will be shared, such as paintings and drawings, ceramics, culinary arts, theater, music, and creative writings.


NOTE: More information on these submissions can be found in Upcoming Performances in the Dance Department page.

Image: between_the_lines_dancers_oscar_medina-montelongo_photo_by_tomiko_jones_press_.jpg

Mendocino College Repertory Dance Company Auditions! 

Director: Eryn Schon-Brunner  - ebrunner@mendocino.edu

Informal Questions and Answers:  

MCRDC Orientation/Auditions: Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023 at 4-6pm, Rm 820 Mendocino College Ukiah Campus 

Rehearsals: Rehearsals begin Thursday, August 24th, 2023, 4-6pm, Rm 820 Mendocino College Ukiah Campus - individual rehearsal schedule dependent on casting.

Auditions will be for the MCRDC Fall 2023 Repertory Dance Concert, November 16-19, 2023. 

The company will perform dance works by guest artists and local choreographers. MCDRC is directed by Eryn Schon-Brunner.

Please contact us for more information at ebrunner@mendocino.edu or 707.468.3079 

Mendocino College Repertory Dance Company and Apprentice Company

The Mendocino College Repertory Dance Company is a diverse group of dancers who share an interest in dance as a performing art.  The company, which formed in 1986, produces at least one concert each year, featuring choreographic works by students, faculty members and guest choreographers.  Although the company maintains a primarily Modern Dance/Contemporary Dance repertoire, performances occasionally include dance theatre, jazz dance and ballet.

Company membership is by audition and varies in number from 12 to 30. Company membership consists of dancers with varied strengths, experience and technical levels.  In 1994, the company introduced an apprentice program, whereby less experienced students gain valuable experience while performing as company members.

Some of the our most innovative dance presentations include Behind the Masks:  Journey Into the Mist inspired by the Native peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, Vivaldi's Gloria which was presented in conjunction with the Mendocino College Masterworks Chorale and the Ukiah Symphony.  Over 100 performers participated in this magnificent evening-length work. 

The company occasionally presents its special children's presentation A Symphony of Movement which introduces elementary age children to the art of dance.  As part of this series, the company has presented contemporary versions of “Peter and the Wolf,” “Carnival of Animals” and many other favorites! Click here to see photos of past performances, and here to see a YouTube presentation of a Company repertory piece.


  1. To develop and maintain a high level of technical and artistic expertise in a variety of dance modes, both individually and as a group.
  1. To present at least one major dance performance a year.
  1. To educate the public in dance.
  1. To develop a repertoire of dance pieces in a variety of dance modes and styles. 
  1. To challenge and support artistic growth, both individually and as a group.
  1. To represent and promote the dance program at Mendocino College.
  1. To provide dance education to our communities.
  1. To develop and maintain the skills for working together as a team in order to accomplish these goals.
  1. To provide company members who have studied techniques in choreography, an opportunity to choreograph dances.

Company Membership

All Company members are selected through an audition process.  Prospective members are evaluated on technical skills, ability to learn a choreographed phrase, potential as a choreographer, and improvisational skills.  It is preferred that members have strengths in all of the above areas.  However, individuals may be chosen for Company membership based on specific areas of strength.  The goal is to maintain a well-balanced performing base within the membership that represents the diversity of our program.

Expectations of Company Members

  1. In order to maintain and grow in skill level, Company members are required to take at least one approved technique class per week in ballet, contemporary/modern dance or other forms of dance as agreed upon by the director.  An intermediate or advanced technique class is recommended.
  1. Company members should attend at least four dance performances (other than Repertory Company) a year.
  1. Company members are expected to seek and attend special workshops and master classes.
  1. Company members must enroll in all specified dance courses related to the Repertory Dance Company.  Members are expected to be punctual.  If a member is not able to attend class, he/she is expected to contact the instructor.
  1. All company members are expected to participate in full company dances when one is scheduled.  Members who do not wish to participate in the company dance but would like to dance in the performance may perform in one dance as a guest performer. 
  1. Company members are expected to explore areas of dance that are less familiar to them and to grow in experience in those areas.
  1. Company members are expected to attend company meetings and are expected to be punctual at those meetings.
  1. Company members are responsible for working in a positive, productive and supportive way with other members.
  1. Company members may be called upon to participate in additional rehearsals.  Individuals are responsible for attending these rehearsals.
  1. Members are responsible for practicing, on their own, dances they are performing in.