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:
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?
The 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!