The Mondavi Center staff is a diverse team with many interests, but all of us share a passion for the performing arts. As we look forward to the 2019-20 season, we'll be posting videos featuring staff members talking about the three shows they are most looking forward to seeing next season.
First up is our marketing manager, Dana Werdmuller. Below, Dana shares her top three picks and why she chose them.
In addition to being the marketing manager for the Mondavi Center, I am a visual artist and a big fan of theater, film and fairy tales (the more twisted, the better!). I am also interested in how art informs our social connections and vice versa. Although my three top picks are quite different in content and form, I realize they all share the element of visual storytelling.
Harlem 100 captures the energy and spirit of a very specific time and place in American culture and history, an era of artistic explosion and social influence that was a precursor to the Civil Rights movement. The multimedia aspect of this one is intriguing and I am looking forward to getting to know the community and the influential artists of Harlem from a century ago.
Choreographer Rosie Kay was embedded with a British unit during the war in Afghanistan in order to create her dance, 5 Soldiers. Her desire to authentically capture the movements and training of soldiers in the field through the elegance of dance is truly moving. Again, this work is multimedia, with sound effects from a war zone adding to the experience, and it connects art to a serious contemporary topic, connecting the viewer to perhaps an otherwise foreign physical experience.
Finally, I can’t wait to see Cécile McLorin Salvant’s Ogresse. Cécile has been to the Mondavi Center a few times now (though I have yet to see her perform) and this upcoming appearance feels really special. Fairy tales can be delightfully gruesome and fabulously whimsical—I love the contradictions at play—and this one is penned, produced and performed by the sublime Ms. Salvant. Two things about this piece caught my attention: the ogresse eats her beloved in the end, and I’ve heard the costuming is fabulous. I’m in!