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Contours & Rhythms: The Mendocino College Repertory Dance Company Fall 2023 Performance

The following is a press release issued by Mendocino College:


Mendocino College Repertory Dance Company [Picture from Mendocino College]

Mendocino College Repertory Dance Company presents Contours & Rhythms, a captivating performance of contemporary and traditional dance, West African dance forms, Ballet, Galician dances, and regional Ballet Folklorico Jalisco dance. Under the direction of Eryn Schon-Brunner, dancers will bring to life new choreographic works by local and nationally esteemed choreographers: Jessie Beck, Rocio Ramos, Eryn Schon-Brunner, Adrienne Simpson, and Kirsten Turner. The performance will feature live music by Larsen Brunner, Tesser Call, Vivian Dickson, Troy Kruch, Brian Walker, with costumes by Kathy Katz, and lights by Steve Wilson.

Performances are November 16-19, in Mendocino College’s Center Theatre on the Ukiah Campus. At the soft opening on Thursday, November 16, 2023, 7:30pm, all tickets are $10. The Gala performance on Friday, November 17, 2023 begins at 7pm with food and wine generously donated by Saracina and Frey Vineyards—show at 7:30pm, tickets $15 general and $10 student. Cash or Check only. The Saturday, November 18, 2023 show will begin at 7:30pm, and the Sunday, November 19, 2023 show will begin at 2pm. Also, the Mendocino College CVPA Gallery will be open before the shows and during intermission for viewing the current exhibit. Tickets are available at the Mendocino Book Company, and tickets may also be purchased at the door. Get your tickets today! The performance of Contours & Rhythms is a family-friendly event.

According to Eryn Schon-Brunner, director of Mendocino College Repertory Dance Theater and adjunct professor of dance at Mendocino College, Contours & Rhythms explores the dancers’ ability to embrace culture and community in a positive, energetic way. “There is joy and a sense of community in the rhythms, fabrics, colors, and movements that collectively grace the stage this fall. Each choreographer has lived and breathed the dance form in which they are choreographing, offering the students a rich insight into the dance form.”

Don’t miss this performance by Mendocino College Repertory dancers Jessie Beck, Marlene Cabrera, Peter Campbell, Rachelle Coleman, Rebekah Gilbert, Chris Havemann, Gerry Juszczah, Nimka Kurzfeld, Nalani Larsen, Jennifer Lolley, Amy Jirout, Isabella Marino-Hernandez, Camille Meeker, Paloma Rodriguez, Adrienne Simpson, Lori Stubben, Katherine Uribe-Fajardo, Sara Westbrook, Gwen van Wyk.

Guest choreographer Jessie Beck completed her B.A. at Humboldt State University in Art Education and Dance. She shares that, “It was in college that my doorway blew open to African Dance, and I immediately fell in love with dancing to the drums!” Over the last fifteen years she has travelled to Africa to study Guinean Dance, and built impactful
connections with master teachers. Twelve Mendocino college dancers will perform two West African forms to the lively drums played by Troy Krush and Vivian Dickson.
Adrienne Simpson, born and raised in Ukiah, shares her passion and expertise in Galician Dance with the Mendocino College repertory Dancers. Her new choreographic work
presents several forms of traditional Galician Dance. Adrienne says, “This energetic social dance of Galicia (north of Portugal) is rich in Celtic-influenced foot work and formations that combine playfulness and precision.” Accompanied live by Tesser Call on Gaita (Galician bagpipe) and Brian Walker on pandeireta (Galician tambourine), dancers will fill the stage in bright traditional skirts, bodices, vests, and sashes. Tesser and Brian have been playing Galician music for over fifteen years, and in 2014, they started “As Meigas,” a traditional Galician bagpipe band.

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Eryn Schon-Brunner’s new work “Contours” explores the juxtaposition of straight and curved lines, propelled through time and space by live piano music performed by Larsen
Brunner. Additionally, this fall Eryn Schon-Brunner created “Hum,” a lyrical contemporary dance which explores the nuances of what it means to have a voice without speaking. Choreographer and dancer Paloma Rodriguez will debut a new dance on film work. Two other Mendocino College adjunct dance teachers bring new work to the stage this fall. Choreographer and dancer Rocio Ramos is teaching a Ballet Folklorico dance class at Mendocino College this fall, where students have been focused on dances from Mexico. Rocio draws on her experience dancing ballet folklorico as a child and young adult for her vibrant choreographic work, bringing the energy of regional Jalisco to the stage. Kirsten Turner is teaching contemporary ballet this fall at the college. Her new work is a compelling duet danced by Peter Campbell (2022 Dance Club Scholarship awardee) and Rebekah Gilbert.

Contours & Rhythms will run for one weekend only. Performances are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, November 16, 17, and 18 at 7:30 PM, and Sunday, November 19, at 2 PM. Tickets: $15 general, $10 ASB cardholders, seniors and children 12 and under. Tickets are available at the Mendocino Book Company, and tickets may also be purchased at the door. Get your tickets today for this family-friendly event! Cash or Check only. For additional information, call (707) 468-3079.


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MendoFever Staff
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Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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