Arizona Dance Coalition Statewide Calendar of Events
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DancEstrella (Estrella Mtn CC) presents Visibility (Avondale)
April 30 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm MSTFree
DANCESTRELLA PRESENTS Visibility
ESTRELLA MOUNTAIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE’S PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
APRIL 29 & 30 | 3 pm & 7 pm both days
Estrella Mountain Community College’s student company, DancEstrella, will present four performances of Visibility. This program features practicum dances (final projects by dance majors) by Deckontee Lowery and Assistant Director, Denise Lopez; collaborative choreography by students in dance performance classes, and a full company work by Artistic Director and faculty member Janaea Lyn McAlee. Two student choreographers from Buckeye Union High School District dance programs will also participate in this DancEstrella production.
Presented by the Arts and Composition Division, performances will take place at the EMCC Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30, 2022, with shows at 3 & 7 pm both days. General admission is free and audience members will have the opportunity to participate in a Q & A session with the dancers at the end of each show. Seating is limited and masks are encouraged.
The dances choreographed for Visibility are based on the students’ sense of personal identity and how that can contrast with the ways we are perceived by others. Professor McAlee explains “The quote we selected for the show is by Rumi, ‘I differ a hundred ways from what you see me to be.’ The dances interpret different aspects of this idea. We can be intentional when we project a certain side of ourselves, or conversely, mask our true feelings. Prejudice and stereotypes can also impact how and in which ways we feel seen or invisible.”
The practicum dances include I’ll Rise Up by Deckontee (Dee) Lowery. Dee was halfway through her final semester when the Covid-19 shutdown occurred two years ago. She returns to DancEstrella to finally present and perform in this work with three other graduating dance majors. I’ll Rise Up portrays her efforts to overcome many obstacles on her educational journey. With support from the college community, she will finally graduate this May. The song Dee had selected, Rise Up by Andra Day, became a public of anthem for dealing with pandemic induced stress, something she feels now adds to her dance in an even more poignant fashion.
Currently serving as Assistant Director for DancEstrella, Denise Lopez, will also present a quartet for her practicum project. Rhamnousia is a Greek name for the goddess Nemesis. Denise described her intention this way, “we live in a world where we are constantly moving like robots, whether it’s physically or mentally. So, we forget there are others living among us, or can make assumptions about them too quickly. Once you do an act of kindness for a stranger, the experience of joy found in a simple human connection can be transformative for both people.”
Graduating dance majors, Carissa Salgado-Garcia and Jade Teller, joined the dance program before the pandemic and forged a strong bond during their time at EMCC. They will present a duet that celebrates their friendship as that special relationship with someone with whom you feel known and valued for who you fully are.
Now You Don’t, Now You See Me, was inspired by the James Baldwin quote “‘Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within,” Choreographed for the full company by Director McAlee, she explains “I am interested in how what we conceal and what we reveal seems tied to how we have been wounded by the people in our lives. The defenses that we erect to protect ourselves ultimately becomes their own prison and it is through the support and care of others that we begin to let them to fall away.”
Other dances choreographed and performed by the students in EMCC dance performance classes are collaborative reflections on the ways people choose to present themselves; the assumptions others make about us; and learning when, how and with whom to disclose and/or hide aspects of their identity. For the first time, student choreographers from Buckeye Union High School District dance programs will present their work as well. An outgrowth of the annual EMCC Dance Day, this community connection provides high school choreographers with the opportunity to perform as part of a pre-professional college company and bring their dances to a larger audience.
Estrella Mountain Community College offers an Associate of Fine Arts, Emphasis in Dance degree and all dance classes, including participation in DancEstrella, are open to all EMCC students.
Visibility Show Information: ude.niatnuomallertsenull@stnevE
Dance Program Information: Janaea Lyn McAlee, Residential Dance Faculty | ude.niatnuomallertsenull@ecnad
Dancer: Denise Lopez | Photo by Linda Keyes
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