Donna Mejia

Schedule

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Saturday November 25 at D2 Studio
(open to all levels) 

11:00-1:00 

Attending to Details: A Bodywork Session Based in Somatic Science

 

2:00-4:00

Loaded Soul – Twisted Funk 
AKA “I Eat Beats for Breakfast”

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Sunday Nov 26 at One Thousand Rivers 

(limited capacity, a more intimate environment for advanced dancers) 

 

11:30-4:30 (including a 1 hour lunch break)

Like a Boss

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We would like to acknowledge that this event takes place on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Pricing

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Full weekend (8 hours of instruction): $250

Saturday only (4 hours of instruction): $135

Sunday only (4 hours, limited size): $150

Saturday Morning only (2 hours): $70

Saturday Afternoon only (2 hours): $70

 

Workshop Descriptions

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Saturday Nov 25th at D2 studio
(open to all levels) 

11:00-1:00 
Attending to Details: A Bodywork Session Based in Somatic Science

Warm up and body work should do more than increase circulation and soften muscles. An effective training session has the power to prime the nervous system for quantum leaps forward in training, attune muscular intelligence, reveal unconscious default movement habits and expand the range of motion in joints. Donna Mejia’s workshop details the logic and unfolding of an effective bodywork session well beyond the basics of token stretches and mild cardio training. Donna will address optimal alignment, joint pliability, breathing techniques, categories of muscular engagement, tackling challenging movments, and working sensibly within your personal safety zones. The information presented can be customized for many levels of ability and experience, including rehabilitation and recovery phases. Our time together isn't just about dancing better, it is about living with full access to your personal best. Participants will benefit most if they can bring the following supplies: a yoga mat, a tennis ball, an old belt/strap, and a notebook. 

 

Saturday Nov 25th at D2 studio
(open to all levels) 

2:00-4:00 
Loaded Soul – Twisted Funk 
AKA “I Eat Beats for Breakfast”

Some would define power as the ability to produce large and dramatic movements of virtuosic prowess. I define power as the ability to channel tremendous force but not be removed from one’s center; the strength to metaphorically “swallow the hurricane.” This requires steadiness in one’s core, nuance, a grounded way of moving through space, and, above all, courage to face forces stronger than one’s self. In this class, we are going to take the thickest, hardest and crunchiest beats I could locate and translate them into our dancing bodies. Some big moves are on the menu, but I aim to also build intricacy and rhythmic clarity in our movement through remixed hip work and torso isolations. With music and hardcore beats as a guide, drill practice is about to get juicy. Please note that this workshop will utilize music with adult lyrics and themes. (This is the “R” rated version of Donna Mejia). Please bring a yoga mat for the warm up! Come ready to play hard.

 

Sunday Nov 26th at One Thousand Rivers 
(limited capacity, a more intimate environment for advanced dancers) 

11:30-4:30 
(including a 1 hour lunch break)
Like a Boss

Donna guides experienced movers through an intermediate practice session. For this workshop, Donna respectfully requests dancers possess an active, practiced level of courage and fitness when attempting balances, turns, lunges, fast hip work, and extended sequencing/choreography. Mastery is not a requirement, but comfort approaching the unfamiliar in movement is what will be needed. Donna will teach her distinctive Transnational Fusion class with a full, professional level warm up. Has it been a while since you practiced jumps, turns, balances, cross-the floor progressions, inversions, and choreography to refresh your intermediate/advanced practice? Donna invites you to bring new possibilities back into the body with a dynamic practice session. Please bring a yoga mat for the warm up.

About Donna Mejia

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Donna Mejia (Assistant Professor, CU Boulder Theatre and Dance Department)  is a choreographer, scholar, instructor, and performer specializing in contemporary dance, traditions of the African and Arab Diaspora, and emerging fusion traditions in Transnational Electronica.  This genre provides a rich arena for the study of cultural imperialism, gender representation and electronic/digital globalization. Donna is also an authorized instructor of the Brazilian Silvestre Modern Dance Technique and is a lauded representative of this esoteric study of dance after 20 years of practice.

For 10 years she was a faculty member at Colorado College and Director of the Colorado College International Summer Dance Festival. For twelve years she served as Managing Director of the award-winning Harambee African Dance Ensemble of CU-Boulder under the amazing leadership of Instructor Emerita Letitia Williams. The Harambee ensemble was awarded the prestigious El Pomar Foundation grant, was featured in the March 1996 issue of Dance Magazine, performed for President Bill Clinton and Nobel Laureate Archbiship Desmond Tutu, is part of the Denver International Airport time capsule, and was hailed as the “Best of Boulder” for 3 years.

Donna was the Guest Artist in Residence for Smith College Dance 2006 – 2009, and has been awarded residencies at the Naropa Institute, University of South Florida, Mt. Holyoke College, Hampshire College, University of Northern Colorado, Taipei National University of the Arts, Bucknell University, Earth Dance, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (three years) and the Bates Dance Festival (three years). She was nominated for a Pikes Peak Area Artist award in 2005.

In October of 2011 she was selected by the Fulbright Association to present the Selma Jeanne Cohen Endowed Lecture for International Dance Scholarship in Dance, notably for her paper “Digital Diasporas and Transnational Dance Communities: The Effects of the Internet on Identity Formation and Collective Cultural Memory.” Her research was also the featured keynote of Syracuse University’s 2012 Symposium on Public Diplomacy.  In 2014 Donna directed the first Viral Dance Colloquium; an interdisciplinary gathering of scholars and artists to discuss the impact of Internet usage on human affairs.  The digital archive for this event can be found athttp://cuboulderdance.wordpress.com/.  More recently she collaborated with poet Andrea Assaf in performances for the venerable La Mama Theatre in Manhattan, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and with vocalist Mankwe Ndosi for the famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY.

Donna’s current projects include directing the philanthropic performance group The Sovereign Collective, and working as part of the research and development team of Kenji Williams’ Bella Gaia/Origin Stories/Beautiful Earth Education Initiative.

Donna completed her undergraduate degree in Business Administration at CU-Boulder, and received her Master of Fine Arts degree on full fellowship from Smith College. She joined the University of Colorado at Boulder as an Assistant Professor of Dance in 2012. She is the first professor of tribal/transnational fusion globally. Donna balances her time teaching and touring throughout the U.S. and abroad.   Her choreographic commissions and performances continue to generate outstanding critical reviews from print and digital media.

Research Interests:

  • Gender representation/social coding in movement practices and dance traditions (both domestically and internationally)
  • Transnationalism, overlapping identities, multi-ethnicity and emerging models of global citizenship
  • Investigating how Internet usage is impacting personal identity and collective cultural memory production
  • Ethics/integrity/cultural appropriation issues in dance fusion and movement transformation
  • Hidden biases, historical trauma, blind spots, cultures of inclusion and peaceful coexistence
  • Evolving norms of cultural tolerance and representation in a remixing and “cut and paste”culture
  • Movement training/specialization in yoga, and the dances of Brazil, Mexico, the Caribbean, West Africa (Gambia, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Nigeria, Ghana), North Africa (Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Western Sahara), Ethiopia, Northern India, American Modern Dance,
  • Ethnomusicology of Hip Hop, Underground Electronica and DJ culture.
  • All things Sewing!  Please see the “Bobbin Banga” tab for further information.