MERIDA, YUCATAN: Eryc Taylor Dance returns to Mexico
Eryc Taylor Dance
In a multi-purpose “give back” to the people of Mexico, Eryc Taylor Dance (ETD) will return to the Mexican state of Yucatán from November 14 through November 20 with free, open to the public concerts, workshops for professional dancers, and Movement Expression Workshops for young victims of violence, mistreatment and abuse. The ETD tour, in partnership with Umbral Danza Contemporánea, will visit two cities, Chocholá and Mérida, and conclude with performances on Nov. 18 and 19 at the International Dance Festival Avant Garde at Teatro José Peón Contreras in Mérida, Yucatán’s capital. This is the third Eryc Taylor Dance company tour to Mexico, and their third year presenting at the International Festival in Mérida.
Eryc Taylor, Artistic Director of Eryc Taylor Dance, has deep family connections to Mexico, spanning generations. According to Mr. Taylor, “It’s a special joy to offer the healing powers of movement to the most vulnerable minority groups in the Yucatán. It’s more important than ever to reach out to our global neighbors to spread cultural unity through movement.”
Chocholá, a city steeped in Mayan culture with little exposure to the outside world, has an indigenous population still speaking the Mayan language. Chocholá’s population has been exposed only to native folkloric dance. The ETD visit will include dance workshops for local children, introducing them to contemporary music and modern dance technique. In addition, they will learn repertory from “Cycles,” a new ETD work that premiered in October at the company’s 2017 NYC Season. The dance students will be invited to perform for the company, and will also serve as “guest stars” at a local ETD performance. The Eryc Taylor Dance visit to Chocholá will conclude with presentation of five company works at a free, outdoor concert at the town’s municipal palace, hosted by Chocholá’s mayor.
After four days in Chocholá, the company will travel to Mérida, Yucatán’s capital, to work with young residents of Refugio Casa Crisal AC, an orphanage for girls who were violated, mistreated, or abused. Using techniques culled from ETD Outreach Movement Workshops, ETD dancers will use movement as a tool to inspire and heal, while serving to improve the participants’ physical and mental health. Read DANCE MAGAZINE May, 2017 profile ETD Outreach’s Program: This Outreach Program Proves That Dance Is a Powerful Healing Tool
The Eryc Taylor Dance tour of the Yucatán will conclude with performances at the International Dance Festival Avant Garde at Teatro José Peón Contreras in Mérida, November 18 and 19. Each evening will feature five Eryc Taylor Dance original works:
● Cycles (2017), commissioned by Douglas Sills of the Sills Foundation, will be ETD’s first “full piece” commissioned work. A sixteen-minute abstraction of space and sea, Cycles brings together two weightless environments and plays with the harmony between the two. The matrix that makes up all organisms is broken down and reassembled, sparking evolution. Cycles use the natural movement of entropy to navigate the weightlessness and vacuum of space. Original costumes by up-and-coming NYC-based artist Ether are geometrical structures - an exoskeleton - that outline the dancer’s bodies. British electronic Artist/DJ Swarm Intelligence has created the soundscape that transports listeners into another world. “Cycles” is a commissioned work by the Sills Foundation, and is dedicated to them in perpetuity.
Cycles features ETD company members Alex Tenreiro Theis, Nicole Baker, Chris Bell, AJ Guevara and Taylor Ennen.
● Chaise Lung (1992 - duet reconstruction), a theatrically quirky and comical take on tango, is 24 years old. The work, created in collaboration with choreographer Laura Peterson, premiered at The Kunsthaus Tacheles in the former East Berlin. Chaise Lung was presented on tour throughout Germany and the USA, including Lincoln Center Out of Doors in 1993. Salomon Lerner’s score, originally composed by Astor Piazzolla, brings a fresh and contemporary twist to the musicality. It is the fourth original score Mr. Lerner has created for Eryc Taylor Dance.
Chaise Lung features ETD company members Alex Tenreiro Theis and Taylor Ennen. Original costumes designed by NYC artist Dav Burrington; Lighting by Jason Fok.
● Song for Cello and Piano (2016), a quartet made in collaboration with the company, to an original composition by friend, author, and composer Daniel Tobias, premiered in Mexico at José Peón Contreras in September 2016. The piece, which began as improvisation, evolved through score structuring and character development into a full repertory work. Dancers: Alex Tenreiro Theis, Nicole Baker, Chris Bell, and AJ Guevara. Original hand painted costumes by acclaimed fashion designer Scooter LaForge. “Song for Cello and Piano” is a commissioned work by Michel Wallerstein, and is dedicated to him in perpetuity.
● The Missing (2010), though choreographed prior to Song for Cello and Piano, "The Missing" serves as the work’s sequel. A passionate score, also by Daniel Tobias, is the backdrop for a dark and haunting solo, which premiered during the Eryc Taylor Dance season at The Joyce SoHo in 2010. The original choreography, made in collaboration with former ETD dancer Michelle Pellizzon, has been reworked to reflect the evolution of the female soloist in Song for Cello and Piano. The Missing exposes the protagonist’s inner turmoil, coming to terms with abuse, and the struggle to rise above a dominant force. Dancer: Nicole Baker.
● The Box (2015), a collaboration between former ETD dancer Jesus Olivera and Eryc Taylor, premiered at The Teatro Armando Manzenero in Merida, Mexico and in NYC at The Alchemical Theater in 2015. Originally created for three female dancers, the work explores the inequality of female sexuality in society. The Box returns to the ETD 2017 season with four dancers, two male and two female, with choreography reworked to reflect a more extensive definition of sexual identity. The current political climate regarding gender and sexual identity makes the reconstruction of The Box particularly timely. Dancers: Nicole Baker, Alex Tenreiro Theis, AJ Guevara and Chris Bell. Original music by Salomon Lerner.
Company Members participating ETD’s tour of the Yucatán: Nicole Baker, Chris Bell, Taylor Ennen, AJ Guevara and Alex Tenreiro Theis.
Eryc Taylor Dance was founded in 2006 with a mission to advance appreciation of dance by creating and presenting original performances, conducting master classes and workshops, and awarding grants to aspiring choreographers. The Company has been home to over twenty New York City dancers since its founding. Every year, ETD provides three emerging New York-based choreographers with $1000 grants to fund the creation of a new piece and subsequently produces and hosts a work-in-progress show featuring each of the new works.
Eryc Taylor holds a BFA in Dance from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pa, and an MFA in Dance from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Eryc Taylor has studied abroad at both the London Contemporary School of Dance and the Centre de Danse du Marais in Paris. Taylor has been awarded several major scholarships, including residency at Jacob’s Pillow, and spent two years with Merce Cunningham's Junior Ensemble (RUG). He is currently on the University of the Arts Alumni Council.
Taylor has performed works by Merce Cunningham, Mark Dendy, Group Motion, Paul Taylor, Milton Meyers, Sean Curran and Gus Solomons Jr, and strongly believes in artistic collaboration. With Eryc Taylor Dance, he has worked closely with Chris Annas-Lee, Mark Beard, Gerald Busby, Simon Hayes (Swarm Intelligence), Sidney Grant, Scooter LaForge, Salomon Lerner, Laura Peterson, Daniel Tobias, and Stephen Michael Smith, to name a few. Read more about Eryc: http://etd.nyc/artistic-director/
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