‘Blast from the Past’ this weekend at Bernardo Winery
By Emily Sorensen
The Mojalet Dance Collective will be taking a little stroll down the musical memory lane Saturday, Jan. 26 and Sunday, Jan. 27 at The Vine Theater.
The collective’s 2013 season opener, “A Blast From The Past — Contemporary Nostalgia,” is a journey of music, song, dance and video from the turn of the century through the 1960s. “It’s a little departure from what we usually do,” said artistic director Faith Jensen-Ismay. “It’s a little more eclectic.”
Starting in the early 1900s, the show features popular music and examples of dancing of each decade, along with a video that explains the historical importance of the decade and how what was going on influenced the music of the era. Some featured artists are Scott Joplin, James P. Johnson, Cab Calloway, and The Andrew Sisters.
The performance features actor and vocalist Jonathan Meza and a number of performers from the Mojalet Dance Collective, including Sue Caslava, Lyndsey Gemmell, Andrew Holmes, Sabine Ismay, Faith Jensen-Ismay, Robby Johnson, Alyssa Kinnear, Mandy Langen-Kramp, Kathryn McLean. Also performing are members from Core Group and Jamolet, the younger-age dance group.
The idea for the show came from Jensen-Ismay’s research into Johnny Cash. As she looked into his influences, she found herself going further and further back into musical history as she researched the influences of Cash’s influences. “After I pick a piece of music, I like to find out who wrote it, and what it was inspired by,” said Jensen-Ismay. The show ended up being a much bigger project than she initially expected. “The challenge was to decide what to put in,” said Jensen-Ismay. “I chose artists that inspired me, or that had an interesting story.”
The concert, which Jensen-Ismay described as “a fun to do retrospective,” seeks to entertain both older and younger audiences. “Older audiences can have fun and remember, and younger audiences can learn new things about musical history,” said Jensen-Ismay. “We take people on a nostalgic journey.”
In addition to the music, Jensen-Ismay said the show had fun choreography to watch, from a duet Charleston to larger group numbers. “It’s definitely a concert. You don’t have to know anything about dance to appreciate it.”
Jensen-Ismay also hopes that the show will inspire audience members to go home and look these artists up on the Internet. “[Doing the research for the show] helped me to understand the people, experiences and artists,” said Jensen-Ismay.
There will also be a post-performance reception, included in the ticket price, where attendees can meet the performers and get to know the facility.
Shows are 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 and 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27. Tickets are $20, $15 for students and seniors. The Vine Theater is located at The Bernardo Winery, 13330 Paseo Del Verano, Rancho Bernardo. For information, call 858-243-1402 or visit www.mojalet.com.
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