By Shawnees Peacock
Mt. San Jacinto College student
Each month, Arts Council Menifee selects a recipient to be honored as “Artist of the Month”. For July, they have selected Alias Movement, a repertory and performance dance ensemble.
“Arts Council Menifee has many divisions, one of those being dance. We are blessed to have Alias Movement participate as performing artists at many of our events. They consistently bring a high level of beauty and grace that our audience appreciates,” says Bill Zimmerman, Arts Council Menifee’s new President.
Artistic directors Alexis Weisbrod and Natalia Morales of the Alias Movement dance company have made it their mission to bring the art of dance to the local community. They want to showcase the abundance of talent that resides here and, more importantly, celebrate the role of dance as an artistic discipline.
Since the dance company’s formation in 2011, they have performed throughout San Diego and Riverside counties. The dancers have shown their talents at the prestigious, invitation-only “Ignite Choreographer’s Festival” for the last two consecutive years, at Art Council Menifee’s annual “Menifee’s Got Talent” event, as well as several dance concerts at Mt. San Jacinto College.
Weisbrod and Morales serve as Associate Faculty members for the dance program at Mt. San Jacinto College. After meeting each other at the college, they developed the dance company and named it Alias Movement.
“To some extent having a studio has always been a dream,” says Weisbrod. “It was something we often discussed, but usually not seriously, because we didn’t have the resources to follow it through.”
After teaming up with Preet Mutneja, their third partner for the dance center, the two artistic directors were able to make their dreams a reality by opening the Alias Movement Center. Its slogan is “Discover the Joy of Dance.
“We really believe in dance as an important art form because it uses the one thing that all people have in common, the human body,” says Weisbrod.
She continues, “We tell so much of our personal and cultural histories through our body, whether we intend to or not. Dance has the power to highlight this and create performative moments or movement experiences from which people can learn and begin to understand the world or the life of another person.”
The Alias Movement stands out among other dance companies in the Inland Empire because of its dedication to display diversity to every audience for whom they perform.
They are a multi-disciplinary group that aims to create skilled and knowledgeable dancers who are well-versed in various genres, including modern, contemporary, jazz and hip hop. The dancers themselves also illustrate the importance of diversity. The dancers have widely-varying background and training experiences, but they are all fully-embraced.
“The most exhilarating and moving part of dance is that it can utilize all the arts. At its base, dance is a visual, aural, physical experience. People typically think of dance as using music, and it often does, but it can also use literary arts for example either as inspiration or even as direct sound accompaniment” says ¬¬Weisbrod.
At the core of this dance company lies two missions:
1) To bring dance into the community by creating an artistic space for professional and pre-professional dancers to learn and grow.
2) To be seen as the “go to place” where audiences can experience high caliber dance.
For more information on the Alias Movement Dance Company and to see upcoming performance dates, please visit www.aliasmovement.org.