Spring Forward 2021

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Live-virtual performance
From the Heart
Dance-maker and Performer: Jatara Newell (She/Her)
Music: Better by Jessica Reedy

From the Heart is about opening up about my past and overcoming through hope and perseverance.

Reactions of the Defending Mind
Dance-maker and Performer: Enoch Lai (He/Him)

With every decision the mind makes, it is for the benefit of the body. For every reflex the body makes, it is for the safety of the mind. Seeking comfort, escaping illness, building resistance, and resisting pain. There is a secondary figure in play, watching over the host and providing it with insight and knowledge to reach higher and survive another day. My piece reflects the actions of the subconscious mind and the instinctual movements that entail such an entity. Not every movement can be consciously controlled, but perhaps can be consciously dampened and taught to soften or sharpen based on the host’s decisions. Sometimes it may seem the subconscious and conscious minds are in conflict and there doesn’t seem like a resolution to make the correct decision, but in the end our minds will perform for the betterment of the body and, in turn, provide protection for the head.

Includes partial nudity

Dance-maker and Performer: Jessica Barajas (She/Her)
Cinematographer: Abigail Barajas
Editor: Jessica Barajas                       
Music: You don’t even know me (Karaoke version) by Faouzia
Underground and First Light by Lindsey Stirling

When I first started dance, I was really shy and very reserved – always playing it safe and never going full out. I kept to my own little bubble and kept myself enclosed, but it was eventually time to break free and explore my true creative self. To be free to be more expressive and showcase who I truly am without overthinking what others may think. Now, I don’t look back and keep on striving forward.

Dance-maker and Performer: Lillian Lewis (She/Her)
Cinematographer: Weston Lewis
Editor and Director: Lillian Lewis
Music: SIN (DEMO) and The Producer by Labrinth

The juxtaposition of feeling wrong in the “right” place, while simultaneously feeling right in the “wrong” place. Finding comfort in only doing things for yourself. The incapability to be concerned with what anybody else wants you to do.

Shedding the Shame
Dance-maker and Performer: Edward Legaspi (They/Them, He/Him)
Co-cinematographer: Ryan Hewins
Editor:  Edward Legaspi
Music:  Chromatica II by Lady Gaga, Habibi by Sevdaliza, Taste the Rainbow by Kevin Jz Prodigy

This piece goes through different phases of dealing with different expectations placed on us throughout life. We have to decide and struggle if we want these expectations to be part of us or if we want to reject them. I believe queer people are expected to act a certain way ever since they are born. We go through different trials to find ourselves, but it is through our own self-acceptance we can find serenity.

Mature themes, some profanity through the music

A Moment of Power
Dance-maker and Performer: Imran Afzal (He/Him)

The planet’s ancient powers such as earth, water, and wind have created vast eras of creation and have allowed species of all kinds to inhabit this planet, while the ancient powers are surrounding at all moments of time. Throughout the periods, mortal creatures who inhabit the planet become extinct, and pass on as a new cycle begins, but these ancient powers are forever.

Heartbreak Anniversary
Dance-maker and Performer: Andrea Robinson (She/Her)
Cinematographer: Eliezer John “EJ” Resus
Editor:  Andrea Robinson

Heartbreak happens to everyone, and it comes in many forms. Starting a relationship at a young age and believing you will love that person forever was always something that I thought was the right thing. For me, it ended in pain. I was hurt, lied to, scared, and heartbroken. I thought I could never find anyone else until I found the one I’m with today. Not all relationships are perfect, so this current relationship was never perfect, and we have had our ups and downs. When you truly love someone and they treat you better than the last, you do your best to stay with them and love them forever because you never know what will happen next.

Dance-maker and Performer: Betty Dương (She/They)
Cinematographers: Rachel Fabunan and Emily Taing
Director and Editor: Betty Dương
Music: Fragile by Eryn Allen Kane

Betty Dương has always faced the challenges of discovering her own identity as a Vietnamese American. Growing up, Betty learned to repress and conform to “American” culture which greatly impacted her relationship with her family. As Betty grows older, she begins to unpack her own family history and realizes all the sacrifices that her family made after the Vietnam War for the life they have today. This is Betty’s journey on reconnecting with her Vietnamese identity.

Dance-maker and Performer: Brianna Gomez (She/Her)
Collaborators: Antonio Gonzalez, Pedro Gamez, Luis Chavez, and Lawrence Serrano
Music: Half Remembered Dream and We Built Our Own World by Hans Zimmer

  • end•less portrays the constant and never-ending loop of time. the perception of where things begin and where they end can never be solved by staying in the same environment you got lost in.•

Pandemic of Silence
Dance-maker and Performer: Lindsey Farris (She/Her)
Cinematographer: Tyler Humphreys
Director and Editor: Lindsey Farris
Music: The Sound of Silence by Disturbed
Sound: Corona Purge Announcement by TJFunpark
Costume Design: Lindsey Farris

This piece describes the life of a person going through the COVID-19 virus of 2020. We see how the pandemic has impacted this one life from the very beginning of the outbreak to the present. This piece will show the different phases this person went through, including how time and space during this period caused silence and disconnection. The pandemic changed the lives of many in different ways and this life was changed emotionally/mentally.

Keep you in the Dark
Dance-maker and Performer: Ami-Maxine Hill-Tell
Cinematographer and Editor:  Ami-Maxine M. Hill-Tell
Costume Design: Ami-Maxine M. Hill-Tell
Music: Bury a Friend by Billie Eilish

This piece will tell about the terrifying experience during and after being positive for COVID 19. It begins with a subtle cough, chills, and unusual senses of feeling sick. I brush it off, and continue with my day hoping it will go away by the end of the week. Headaches increase, I’m trapped in my head, I can’t escape this space… I can’t escape myself. Internal battles with myself, I’m not the enemy, I can’t give in. The feeling gets worse, When will it end, Is there light at the end of this journey?

The Ninth Wave
Dance-maker and Performer: Kamryn Siler (She/Her)
Choreographers: Kamryn Siler and Kayla Rachal
Cinematographers: Kamryn Siler and Kamille Flack
Editor: Kamryn Siler
Music: the lonely by Christina Perri, Bruises by Lewis Capaldi, Bad Blood by Alison Mosshart and Eric Arjes, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by The Smashing Pumpkins, You Are My Sunshine by Johnny Cash

Wave after wave, but the final is the worst.

Mature Themes

West coast
Dance-maker and Performer: Hana Kondo-Bacon (She/Her)
Cinematographer: Deven Griffith and Maya Kondo-Bacon

Nature has always inspired me to find my natural state of being. This is a movement exploration at the place where the cliffs meet the ocean. Find my edge while grounding my flow.

Imran A. Afzal is a transfer student from Mt. San Jacinto College who is currently a junior majoring in Dance with a minor in Education. After he receives his BA, he will pursue a master’s degree and also obtain his teaching credentials. He plans to teach dance at a high school and to become a professor at a college where he will teach and share the cultural knowledge, he received from hos educational journey.

Jessica Barajas is a third-year dance major. Based in the Inland Empire, she began her dance training during her freshman year of high school. She has been trained in the genres of modern, contemporary, ballet, jazz, and hip hop. She also has a bit of training in Latin social dance and gymnastics.

Betty Dương is a second-year Dance major at the University of California, Riverside with a concentration on dance making. Betty is currently training under Voyage dance team and 909 dance team. Throughout her dance journey, Betty aims to share her dancing making and storytelling abilities to tell real-life experiences through the art of movement.

Lindsey Farris is a first-year transfer student to the University of California, Riverside. She was a part of the varsity show choir and dance team in high school and was a part of the dance company at Citrus Community College. Now, she is majoring in Dance at UCR and minoring in Education.

Brianna Gomez is a third-year undergraduate Dance major at University of California, Riverside. She began her dance training at the later age of fourteen at AB Miller High School in Fontana, California, under the artistic direction of UCR alumna Rosa Rodriguez-Frazier, Nicole Robinson, Joey Navarrete and many more. She continues her dance training at both UC Riverside and Riverside City College.

Ami-Maxine M. Hill-Tell is a 20-year-old young woman who has trained in the art of dance for about 14 years. She’s studied with famous dancers such as Debbie Allen, Eartha Robinson, Misty Copeland and Lauren Anderson. She double majors in Psychology and Dance at UC Riverside in hopes of becoming an arts therapist.

Hana Kondo-Bacon is Japanese-American woman born and raised in the East Bay of California, currently residing in the coastal town of Aptos. Hana has reintroduced dance into her life four years ago after a long period of emotional turmoil. Dance has given her a new understanding of life, reconnecting her to nature, people and herself. Continuing to discover her own way to move through life, dancing has helped heal and guide her path. Attending UCR as a transfer junior, Hana looks forward to the ongoing exploration of mind, body and space.

Enoch Lai hails from an extensive background in the performing arts, mainly focusing on the dance arts and performing in a local studio in Anaheim, California. He gained experience for a number of dance forms ranging from ballet and jazz to hip-hop, tap, and contemporary. Only starting improvisation and making choreography when he started high school, Enoch hopes to gain enough academic experience in the lyrical arts of dance making and performance to perhaps choreograph in a professional setting as well as seeking out his ambitions in the realm of the sciences. In addition to his pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts in Dance, Enoch is also seeking to earn a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering and hopes to apply for Graduate School and earn an M.D. as well as a Ph.D.

Edward Legaspi is a fourth-year Business major concentrating in Management with a Dance minor. They also go by Giselle (Gigi) Lauren as they are a voguer in the House of Lauren. Their main practice is vogue femme but they also enjoy moving and learning in different styles. They hope to inspire people to celebrate themselves through my movement.

Lillian M. Lewis. Throughout life, my struggle with mental illness has given me the desire to understand the inner workings of the human brain. My immediate goal through my dancing is to create pieces which represent moments in my life or how I am feeling and experiencing the world. In the future, I want to develop movement practices that will be beneficial to the mind and body, and that will help people embrace self-care and self-love.

Jatara Newell is a student of UCR Dance program, a freelance dancer and event choreographer. She began dancing in high school by taking dance fundamentals in ballet, jazz, lyrical, and hip-hop. Outside of school, she also joined the Youth Praise Dance Ministry at church and that’s where her passion for dance grew. After graduating from high school, Jatara attended Riverside City College and decided to take dance more seriously. Initially, her major was Business but her love for movement became the focus and changed her program of study to Fine Arts with an emphasis in Dance. These days, she continues to happily be a student of dance, owning a business, and pursuing a career in commercial dance. Her hope in life is to inspire the next generation of dancers to follow their dreams, change the world, and generate wealth!

Andrea M. Robinson is currently studying at UC Riverside to receive a BA in Dance, specifically in Modern and Hip-Hop. She alsos hold an associate degree in Humanities with a focus in dance from Mt. San Jacinto Community College in Menifee. She is mainly self-taught when it comes to being trained in dance over the years. She is an aspiring choreographer that hopes to enjoy performing onstage with famous artists and famous dancers.

Kamryn N. Siler is a triple major in Dance, History, and Art History, as well as a minor in Theatre, Film, and Digital Production. Her future educational aspirations are to get a master’s degree in Education and Teaching Credential. She then hopes to become a high school educator, like her mother.

Artistic Director
André M. Zachery (he/him/his) is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist of Haitian and African American descent, and is a scholar, researcher and technologist with a BFA from Ailey/Fordham University and MFA in Performance & Interactive Media Arts from CUNY/Brooklyn College. As the artistic director of Renegade Performance Group his practice, research and community engagement artistically focuses on merging choreography, technology and Black cultural practices through multimedia work. André is a 2016 New York Foundation for the Arts Gregory Millard Fellow in Choreography and 2019 Jerome Hill Foundation Fellow in Choreography.

His works through RPG have been presented domestically and internationally, receiving support through several residencies, awards, commissions. These have included the LMCC Arts Center on Governors Island, Dance/NYC Coronavirus Relief Fund, CUNY Dance Initiative, Performance Project Residency at University Settlement, ChoreoQuest Residency at Restoration Arts Brooklyn, 3LD Art & Technology Center, HarvestWorks and a Jerome supported Movement Research AIR. Awarded grants have been from the Brooklyn Arts Council, Harlem Stage Fund for New Work and a Slate Property SPACE Award. Commissions have come from the Brooklyn Museum, Five Myles/BRIC Biennial and Danspace Project.

RPG has earned mentions and favorable reviews from publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Village Voice, Culturebot, Infinite Blogspot, Futuristically Ancient, Hyperallergic, the Brooklyn Rail, the Daily News and AFROPUNK. As a technologist André has collaborated with various artists through RPG, the design team of 3LD Art & Technology Center and The Clever Agency on design installations, immersive media productions, film productions, film editing, projection mapping and performance collaborations.

André has worked on major projects across artistic mediums as a choreographer, media designer and consultant with artists such as Daniel Bernard Roumain, Cynthia Hopkins, Davalois Fearon, Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE, Arin Maya, Rags & Ribbons, The Clever Agency, Kendra Foster, Manhattan School of Music, Burwell & Sasser and Spike Lee.

​As a scholar he has been a member of panels, led group talks, facilitated discussions and presented research on a myriad of topics including Afrofuturism, African Diaspora practices and philosophies, Black cultural aesthetics, technology in art and performance and on expanding the boundaries of art making within the community. He has been a panelist and presented his research at institutions such as Duke University, Brooklyn College, University of Virginia and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. André has taught at Brooklyn College and been a guest faculty member at the dance programs of Florida State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, The Ohio State University, University of California Los Angeles and University of California, Riverside.
@renegadepg   @amzrpg

Jose L Reynoso (he/él) (MFA PhD) is Assistant Professor of Critical Dance Studies at UCR. He writes and teaches about the history, theory, and practice of dance and other forms of cultural production primarily in the U.S., Mexico, and other countries in Latin America. Jose’s book manuscript examines the relationship between dance and politics before and after the Mexican Revolution of 1910.

As Visiting Assistant Professor for the spring 2021 quarter, I extend enormous thanks and gratitude to the entire University of California Riverside Dance Department and chair Joel Mejia Smith. To guest instructor Carlos Funn, thank you for taking time guiding this cohort that is presenting work with your experience and perspective as one of the most innovative artists pushing boundaries in the field. To the production team of Lily Szeto and Kathleen DeAtley for undertaking this labor with me to ensure that student artistic work is lifted and centered, thank you.

Finally, a thank you to the entire DNCE 115E cohort of Spring 2021 for your determination, dedication, patience and grace to bring your works forward. It has been an honor to guide your learning process this quarter and see the growth in thought, consideration and creativity from you all. Be proud of your efforts and I look forward to seeing great things from each of you in the future.