On March 16 2020, California officially received its first stay-at-home orders in response to COVID-19. In March of 2021, we will reflect on our experiences of this unusual and significant time with A Year of DisDANCE; a dance film showing about the ways in which we have adapted, reconsidered, forgotten, revived, mourned, amplified or otherwise understood dance and movement over the past year. It has been a challenging time but the artistic spirit of resilience gives us hope, and we are excited to facilitate this project and showcase rad dance by the following movement artists: Desiree Cuizon, Marcos Duran, Marlene Garcia, Alyssa Junious, Tanya Lewis, and Alyssa Rose.
About the Artists and Their Works
Alyssa Rose (she/they) is a research-based, improvisational, multimedia and performance artist based in San Diego, CA. Alyssa is excited by flowers, harm-reduction, play, networks of care, listening through centering, patterns in the universe, collective liberation, and the way sunlight comes through a window or tree in the afternoon. Alyssa studied both pure mathematics and performing arts/dance at UC Santa Cruz, and considers themself a lifelong student. Alyssa firmly believes that embodiment practices and art making are modes of healing. As a queer, neurodivergent artist, Alyssa seeks space to cultivate holistic health, both individually and collectively.
“FINDING LIGHT” is a reflection of a continual journey towards joy. Joy as a survival tool. Joy as resilience. Joy to shake off the heavy. Joy in queerness. Joy-harvesting as a wellness practice and as a means to navigate crisis.
In March 2020 Marcos Duran completed an MFA in Dance at UC San Diego. From 2012-2017 he directed and performed in Marcos Duran Performance Group in NYC and was invited to share his work in venues such as Movement Research at The Judson Church, La MaMa Experimental Theater, 92nd St Y, Dixon Place, and Center for Performance Research (CPR). Marcos has been supported by the San Diego Fellowship, sponsorship with Fractured Atlas, and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Residencies at CPR. He also holds a BFA in Dance from UCSB, Pilates certifications from The Lab, and training certificates in CranioSacral Therapy.
“Minced”: Marcos has found mincing herbs and vegetables to be a therapeutic activity during the pandemic. It is a way to lose track of time, cultivate healthier eating habits, and experiment with how textured ingredients come together to nourish the body. Sometimes he feels like he has been cut up into many fallen pieces, and wonders how to put them all back together. This solo will celebrate the adaptation and progress of his multiplicity, and pay homage to his previous work with New York City choreographer Eun Hee Lee.
Desiree Cuizon (BFA Dance, SDSU) has danced with Joe Alter Dance Group (2009-2010), The PGK Dance Project (2012-2016) and San Diego Dance Theater (2015-2018), as well as various local artists including Somebodies Dance Theater, Anne Gehman, Blythe Barton Dance, Boroka Nagy, Khamla Somphanh, IsadoraNow, [the] movement initiative and more. In 2016, Brittany Taylor and Desiree premiered their first co-choreographed work, Avenue Lexicon, and continue to collaborate via B.A.D. Dance Collective. Desiree is also a certified Massage Therapist and Pilates instructor. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in order to work with dancers and athletes on injury prevention, rehabilitation, and refined performance skills.
“I Miss Your Face”: the phrase “I miss your face,” goes beyond just a visual of the neck up. With a desperation for human connection, we interact virtually. We might search for meaning in facial expressions, interpret nuanced gestures, we pause to listen better, learn patience with technological lag times, and reach out at a minimum of 6 feet apart to avoid being 6 feet under. Communication through a screen or through a window is now a norm. What do we choose to show? What do we want to see? Does all of this equate to the connection we seek?
Marlene Garcia received a BA in dance with an emphasis on choreography from San Francisco State University. Both as a performer and creator, her work embodies various movement modalities, morphing styles, textures and technique into captivating experiences. Improvisation and physicality are strongly present in her creative explorations and finalized projects. Marlene was awarded winning choreographer in The International Dance Festival Competition, 2018. She has been presented at ODC Theater, Root Division Art Gallery, Joe Goode Annex, LevySalon, Dancing in The Park SF and San Francisco Movement Arts Festival.
“Sleep Walking” is an exploration the emotional & physical sensations that come with feeling “out of control” during a global pandemic shutdown.
Alyssa Junious is an Artist, Educator, and Wellness Advocate. She received her BFA in Performance & Choreography and certificate in Arts Management from the University of California, Irvine. For the past 10 years, she has worked professionally in the concert dance, commercial and theater industry. She is the founder of Continuum Arts & Pilates based in her hometown of Oceanside. She currently serves on the steering committee for Rising Arts Leaders San Diego, grant selection committee for the William Male Foundation and the advisory board for The Hubbard Collective.
“San Ko Fa / Kalayaan” questions where do we find freedom in a world where we are tethered?
Tanya Lewis is currently the Assistant Artistic Director of Visionary Dance Theatre and has been with the Company for the last eight years. She has performed work for local, national, and international choreographers such as Erika Moore, Eric Geiger, Patricia Rincon, Monica Bill Barnes, Trixi Agiao, Jean Travers, Emily Navarra, and Spencer Powell. As a choreographer herself her Independent theater projects include You’re Late, You’re Late II, Prism and Ebb &; film projects include Becoming, Between Two Ends (featured in the 40North Film Festival), choreography for the short film Song of Birds and Bees. She is a University of California San Diego graduate with a BA in dance and a theater minor. Her awards include the Silver Award for Best Choreography from the International Film Festival and the Stewart Prize in Choreography from the University of California San Diego.
“6” is an exploration of what happens when we are suddenly denied touch. What does it mean to isolate and what happens when we suddenly snap back together.