Young Choreographers Showcase Interview: Zaquia Mahler Salinas

Alright Young Choreographers fans, the showcase is so close we can taste it, and we still have more choreographers for you to meet! Today, contestant Zaquia Mahler Salinas has shared a little bit about her work for the showcase.

Tell us a little bit about your history in Dance:253304_2214218513283_430422_n
Dance has always been a huge part of my life. As a kid, I studied dance at a local studio several times a week and it was like a second home to me. When I turned sixteen, I started school at San Diego City College.  There I took my first modern dance class and had the opportunity to choreograph my first piece- I was hooked!  In 2009, I transferred to UC Santa Barbara and had even more opportunities to perform and choreograph, including the creation of my Senior Honors Project. In 2009 I graduated with my BA in Dance with Honors and moved back to San Diego with the hopes of contributing to the dance community that has provided so much for me.  I currently choreograph for and serve as the Assistant Artistic Director for Visionary Dance Theatre. I am so excited and pleased to be a finalist in this competition again this year- last year was a truly beautiful experience and I am looking forward to presenting again this year!

Why do you believe your work should win this competition?
It is hard for me to say that I feel like I SHOULD win- I by no means feel like I am the “best” choreographer presenting in this showcase.  Of course I would like to win and be able to pay my dancers more than a few bucks and a big hug, have some extra money to use towards future dance projects, use the recognition to develop my career… but I am also competing against other choreographers who’s work I enjoy watching and am inspired by.  Having the opportunity to present work alongside so many of my friends and colleagues who I feel are generous and talented is a prize in itself!

What are the themes involved in your piece? Is this a new exploration for you?
youngchor.3795.1The piece I am presenting this year focuses on energy, sensation, interaction and rhythm.  We are bringing an animal-like quality to the movement- instinct, quickness and power.  The music is a strong driving force behind the ideas and presentation of those ideas for this work and I hope the audience can feel the rhythm with us! The piece has developed into something a little different that I had originally imagined, but I am very pleased with what we will be showing.  I am pleased to say that this is a new exploration, and it has been super fun to navigate this new concept with the dancers.

What do you want your audience to know coming into the performance?
I would like for them to know that I am honored to present my work for them, and that I hope they enjoy the piece and are compelled in some way.  I hope that they can sit back, relax and enjoy the show because I have a feeling it is going to be a blast!

Only a few days left to get your tickets!
Visit http://www.sandiegodancetheater.org/ChoreographersPrize2013B.html
and let your vote count!
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