The photos above were take by Alexia Severson.
Mesilla Valley Dance Collective brought a creative and original re-imagining of Pandora’s Box to the Black Box Theater on February 25th and 26th, 2017. The Las Cruces-based dance company refashioned the classic narrative to explore the loss of a loved one and the ensuing stages of grief. In the show, Pandora releases all manner of emotions ranging from anger and reflection, to hope and acceptance which are explored through original choreography featuring jazz, ballet, and modern dance.
The idea for the show was proposed by one of the members of the dance collective, Miranda Williams, in the wake of losing her friend and co-worker to pancreatic cancer in March 2016.
“When speaking with friends who were asking me how I was dealing with it, I would often use the metaphor of having a box with all of my emotions closed up in it. So long as the box is shut, I can compartmentalize my sadness and go on living life,” says Williams. “But, eventually, you have to open that box and start to process what’s inside it. That concept became the seed for this show. The collective members really embraced the idea and ran with it.”
This show was collaboratively created and choreographed by the Mesilla Valley Dance Collective members, as well as the following guest performers:
Featured Guest Performer
The founder and former creative director of Mesilla Valley Dance Collective joined the cast once more in 2017 as Pandora.
Jessica Trembly began her dance instruction in Arizona at Eastside Ballet Center and the New School for the Arts and Academics. She later performed as a senior company member of the Eastside Ballet and Jazz Ensemble (2002-2003), graduated summa cum laude with her B.A. in Dance from UNM (2007), and began working with Keshet Dance Company in Albuquerque. In 2008 Jessica moved to Mesilla, NM and began working with NMSU. In 2009 she joined the professional modern dance company, Cor Ignis. She also owned Mesilla Valley Dance for 6 years, during which time she founded Mesilla Valley Dance Collective. In 2016, Jessica started a new adventure in Alamogordo, NM with her new studio: 575 Dance. Jessica’s philosophy is to teach dance with a friendly, gentle spirit and to instill a love of movement and understanding of technique while stimulating the imagination. She loves to work with all ages from small children to adults (even those who don’t think they can dance!).
Human Nature Contemporary Ballet (HNCB) is a local dance company from El Paso, TX, founded by Rafael Chavez and Jose Barraza. HNCB uses dance as a way of self expression with Ballet forming the foundation for our movement. We push to show the humanity behind the art and remove the mystique placed on dance. Our goal is for our audience to see the dancers as people, not as the ethereal beings often portrayed in classical ballet. Dance is something that transcends language and connects us not only as people but as humans.
Mountain Movement Dance Company
Mountain Movement Dance Company was established in 2016 by a group of local dance artists who saw a need for critical exploration of contemporary dance on the United States/Mexico border. The company came together with dancers who were formally trained in classical dance techniques and had diverse experiences with contemporary movement. The company focuses on creating opportunities for the community to experience contemporary dance training and performances. Mountain Movement Dance Company values the exchange of ideas and hopes to trigger a dynamic and inclusive contemporary dance culture along the border.
Georgina has always had a fascination with the stage. She dabbled with ballet throughout her life, but began her journey 6 years ago as a circus artist founding the troupe Odd-Lab Entertainment with her husband and friend of 10 years. Georgina has worked in different forms of dance including aerial arts and trained with the local aerial dance company Project in Motion. Georgina won a 1st place trophy in 2014 in a fire arts competition with her hula hoop contortion act, and earned the Runner-up title in 2016’s international “Hooping Idol” competition. Just recently, she gained recognition from the International Jugglers Association with chorography created for her hula hoop student garnering her a “Pink Flamingo Award”. Georgina now works as a professional circus artist under the stage name “FireFox” throughout the Southwest. Georgina will be joining the MVD as a special guest artist for the 2017 spring season.
Tumbleweed Collective is a contemporary dance company based in El Paso, Texas. Founded in 2016 by dance and music educators from distinct backgrounds, the company merges together to create a fusion of disciplines. From classical, contemporary to improvisation the company explores a collaborative creative process to generate their works. Tumbleweed Collective strives to provoke and uplift the spirits by connecting to profound emotions, embodying the collective human experience.
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