ETD Officially Back on Tour! #BUILDABRIDGE / by Nicole Baker

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In a multi-purpose “give back” to the people of Mexico, 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 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 year, the Company has also been developing an international cultural exchange program directly with Umbral: #BuildABridge.

Being of Mexican decent myself, I have a deep connection to Mexico and family history that spans generations. 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.

The first city we visit on our tour is Chocholá, a city steeped in Mayan culture with little exposure to the outside world. It has an indigenous population still speaking the Mayan language! Chocholá’s population has been exposed only to native folkloric dance. Our 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 the companies 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 my programming with ETD Outreach Movement Workshops, my dancers will use movement as a tool to inspire and heal, while serving to improve the participants’ physical and mental health.

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. We are so grateful for this experience and cannot wait to touch ground in Mérida!