Directed by Simeon Den, Marvin Tunney, and Malia Gallegos, DiosGracias VoceDans Theater is a company of curated dancer/singers, who utilize the full range of the body as the instrument for artistic expression; integrating butoh-inspired movement and contemporary dance forms with vocal production including singing, reciting text, and vocalizing.
Butoh dance, best described as “moving sculpture,” is an avant garde art form that emerged from post WWII in response to the Hiroshima atomic bomb devastation and today, the hybrid of Butoh dance continues to challenge the viewer to simultaneously appreciate the visual artistry of elaborate costumes, fantastic make-up, and a Zen aesthetic, as well as reconsider ones perception of Time, Space, and linear narratives.
DiosGracias VoceDans Theater specializes in site-specific performances, improvisation,.and is inter-generational, honoring the tradition of mentoring and the legacy of dance. Performers ages range from children to dancers approaching 70 years young.
Marvin Tunney and Simeon Den have been collaborators for over forty years. They were both trained at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in classical ballet, jazz, and Modern Dance, specifically the Martha Graham Technique. Between them they have performed in New York and Los Angeles concert dance companies, on Broadway, films and television including The Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Joyce Trisler’s Danscomany, “Chicago,” “Pacific Overtures,” and “The King and I,” with luminaries including Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse, Shirley MacLaine, Lena Horne, Yul Bryner, and Stephen Sondheim,
Tunney is a graduate of California School of the Arts and is a tenured professor in the Theater Department at CalArts.
Den is a graduate of UCLA World Arts and Culture, formerly on faculty at American Musical and Dramatics Academy, currently teaches yoga, and is on faculty at Musical Theater University in Rancho Mirage under the auspices of the Carol Channing Foundation.
Monilade Walker received her B.F.A. in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle Washington, 2006. She has danced for Wade Madsen, Maureen Whiting, Amy O’neal, Ron Brown and Somavox. Monilade’s focus is Modern Dance fused with Butoh and Theatre using Multi-Media. Her Work has been featured at “Futra”, Los Angeles, CA, “On the Boards”, Seattle, Washington,” Zulu Lounge” Boardners, Hollywood, CA , “The Giving Tree”, Art Share, Los Angeles, CA and Dream Circus Theatre, Los Angeles ,CA.
Malia Gallegos earned a BA in Dance from the Five College Consortium Dance Program in Amherst Massachusetts. Malia then earned her Certificate in Laban Movement Analysis from University of Washington at Seattle, and promptly joined Iona Contemporary Dance in 1990. Malia performed with Iona off and on for 19 seasons, as well as with the underground butoh-modern-drag experience, Giinko Marischino, under the direction of the inimitable Cocoa Chandelier.
While her first passion was disco at elementary school dances in the 1970s, Malia chose to pursue modern dance in high school, and claims her exposure to butoh in 1998 both ruined and saved her life. Malia’s teachers include Betty Jones, Cheryl Flaharty, Aissatou Bey Grecia, Pearl Primus, Rebecca Nordstrom, Cocoa Chandelier, and Simeon Den. Malia has performed with Iona Contemporary Dance, Giinko Marischino, Mystic Family Circus, Dream Circus, Somavox, and will debut with Diana Commins’ Mango and Coins in March 2014.
DiosGracias VoceDans Theater will be performing Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 3pm throughout the Festival grounds.