EL PASO, Texas -- Dancers from El Paso and across the globe are uniting for a performance that promises to be eye-opening not just for its style, but also in how the group is overcoming the challenge of physical distance during the pandemic.
Performing in the Covid era
The Valleto Dance Company is staging a virtual performance that will feature nearly two dozen dancers performing in various spots across the globe, from El Paso to Italy. The dance will be livestreamed online.
Valleto's founder and artistic director, Valeria Gonzalez, told ABC-7 she felt like she had to do something productive with the talent being harvested in the group.
"I think my way of adapting to this new medium is really just exploring what else can I do in this camera, (seeing) what else can I explore and I think it also goes to dance on camera," said Gonzalez.
Bringing a passion home to grow
Gonzalez also serves as a dance instructor at UTEP and EPCC. The native El Pasoan has been dancing since the age of 5. At 16, she began pursuing it professionally across the globe. Gonzalez has spent the last several years back in her hometown trying to awaken a passion for modern dance.
"As a Mexican American, I think it's very important to connect to other cultures and keep learning to find other ways we can bring attention to women empowerment," Gonzalez said. "It's really not just about creative movement, material or contemporary dance, but it's also physical. It's also very personal," she added.
"Dance can heal"
The performance, called Moon, will feature 22 women from El Paso, New York City, Canada, Brazil and even Italy are inviting a live audience into their homes, as they morph their personal spaces into a stage.
"We use our voices, we use our faces; we use elements like our couches, our beds, the walls, and our kitchens," Gonzalez said. "We're using everything to really make this an experience so that it's not a dance, it's real. It's something that people who are watching are dealing with themselves."
Gonzalez thinks Moon will offer both human connection and female empowerment at a time when it's most needed.
"Because of my personal experiences, I know that dance can heal," Gonzalez said. "There's so much in the body that we hold: our trauma, our history, our past, our stress. And dance is a way to unlock all of that and really bring our feelings to the surface and as human beings we can really connect with that."
Moon will be livestreamed on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 3 P.M.
Tickets are $8.
Click here to buy tickets.
There is also a Kickstarter campaign to help support the dancers and the crew.