Duende presents Donna Mejia!
February 17, 2017 N/A
We are VERY excited to present Donna Mejia for a weekend of dance, creativity, and thoughtfulness. Donna is a renowned dance performer, scholar and teacher and we are so pleased to bring her here!
Friday 7 - 9pm **KC Swing and Tango**
Swelling to the Surface: Breath and Body
I have a deep love for fantastical theatricality and great dance production. Alternately, I have a profound respect for the inherent intelligence of the body when it is freed from the bounds of showmanship. This workshop steps away from the focus on performance and skill acquisition to engage the domain of bodily
truth. We will begin with breath-work, and proceed gently towards a movement session rooted in fusion vocabulary, but unconcerned with counts, phrasing, sequencing and structure. I will offer theoretical highlights from my 25 years of study in sacred and transcendental dance traditions (North Africa, Central and West Africa, Caribbean Islands, Brazil, Louisiana). We will also discuss current understandings of why our brains and neurological systems respond to movement in such specific ways. Deliberate breath work will serve as the barometer for integration and the touchstone of expanding the senses. I offer my pledge of a thoughtful, conscientious and carefully guided passage… an invitation to let dance move through you and bring you to a broader sense of self. This will not be a workshop about any specific beliefs or dogma. Rather, it will serve as an intentional laboratory for one aspect of dance celebrated by over half of the world’s cultures… dance as a technology for expanded consciousness. Comfortable clothing will be very important for your best experience. All experience levels, body types and gender expressions will be embraced and welcomed.
Saturday 9 - 11am **KC Swing and Tango**
Loaded Soul – Twisted Funk
AKA “I Eat Beats for Breakfast”
Some would define power as the ability to produce large and dramatic movements of virtuosic prowess. I define power as the ability to channel tremendous force but not be removed from one’s center; the strength to metaphorically “swallow the hurricane.” This requires steadiness in one’s core, nuance, a grounded way of
moving through space, and, above all, courage to face forces stronger than one’s self. In this class, we are going to take the thickest, hardest and crunchiest beats I could locate and translate them into our dancing bodies. Some big moves are on the menu, but I aim to also build intricacy and rhythmic clarity in our movement through remixed hip work. With music and hardcore beats as a guide, drill practice is about to get juicy. Please note that this workshop will utilize music with adult lyrics and themes. (This is the “R” rated version of Donna Mejia). Come ready to play hard.
Sat 12 - 2pm **Sylvester Powell Community Center Breakout Room**
Keynote Lecture: Spotlight on Hyper-sexuality: Historical Perspectives, Projections, Gender Expectations, and Our Choices
Historically, “bellydance” and Near Eastern dance has frequently been categorized as licentious, unrefined, artless—and in cases of extreme misunderstanding—vulgar. Yet despite this regrettable labeling and caricatured imaging, the dance form persists in attracting practitioners from all communities and walks of
life. Near Eastern dance movements are the oldest to survive industrialization. For that reason alone the dance deserves careful examination, study and reflection on its continued relevancy and ongoing transformations throughout the ages. In this presentation, Donna Mejia will provide an overview of the historical, social, legal and religious influences that continue to perpetuate discriminatory views of Near Eastern dance as hypersexualized. She then highlights developments in gender studies that challenge our coding of what society presumes to be masculine and feminine, or “inherent” in gender differences. With her usual candor and humor, Donna will address the very controversial issues we have all encountered… at one time or another… in our love for, and dedication to, this genre. As a special treat, Donna’s presentation includes rare film footage and a recommended reading list for further study.
Saturday night show - details TBA - want to perform? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org!
Sunday 9 - 11am **KC Swing and Tango**
Like a Boss
Donna guides experienced movers through an intermediate practice session. For this workshop, Donna respectfully requests dancers have a practiced level of courage and fitness when attempting balances, turns, lunges, fast hip work, and extended sequencing/choreography. Mastery is not a requirement, but comfort approaching the unfamiliar in movement is what will be needed. Donna will teach her distinctive fusion class with a full, professional level warm up. Has it been a while since you practiced jumps, turns, balances, cross-the floor progressions, inversions, and choreography to refresh your intermediate/advanced practice? Donna invites you to bring new possibilities back into the body with a dynamic practice session.
Sunday 12 - 2pm **Sylvester Powell Community Center Aerobics Room**
Translating Two Worlds to Each Other: Improvisational Fusion Dance and Contemporary/Modern
Improvisation is part of every dance genre, but the contemporary or modern dance community has delved into theoretical explorations that can translate usefully to tribal fusion forms, and even take some of our community’s ideas much further. Some of these concepts were artfully ellucidated by Nancy Stark Smith, one of the original dancers of the Contact Improvisation movement started in the 1970’s. She calls her system “The Underscore”:
• Arriving energetically/physically
• Skinesphere and Kinesphere
• Mobilizing/Agitating the Mass
• Categories of Experiential Movement: Connection, coincidence, attraction, repulsion, influence,
confluence, divergence, intersection, contrast, resonance, collision and tangent
• Stages of Development, Reflection, Harvest and Resolution,
• Humorous concepts such as: telescoping, listening, observing, gapping, sway patterns, streaming, and
the “idiot button”
This workshop will highlight some essential practices from the other communities of Improv dance, and introduce movers to Nancy Stark Smith’s framework for improvisational dance. Our second inspiration for this practice will be GaGa technique, originated by Ohad Naharin of Israel’s Batsheva dance company. His transformative approach to dance practice has inspired leagues of devotees, and offers a rich entry point for improvisational dancing. No modern or contemporary background is required, and light partnering will be included. This is a perfect laboratory to investigate what the spirit of dance does in your body when ALL phrasing and structure is set aside. Please bring note-taking supplies and wear comfortable attire that allows complete freedom of movement without self-consciousness or constraint.
Payment: pay via paypal to email@example.com (please make it a friends/family payment so Paypal doesn't get a cut... are THEY teaching you bellydance? We think not.)
Early bird UNTIL DEC 31
$50 per dance class, $15 for the Saturday afternoon lecture.
Any 3 dance classes for $140
All 4 dance classes plus the lecture for $190
Dec 31 - Feb 16 at midnight:
$60 per dance class, $20 for the Saturday afternoon lecture
Any 3 dance classes for $170
All 4 dance classes plus the lecture for $220
$65 per dance class, $25 for the Saturday afternoon lecture.
Show tickets, time and location TBA soon.
More about Donna: https://
RSVP and connect on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/257737977894476/