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Dance group performs in Hood River

Columbia Center for the Arts welcomes Curio Dance in collaboration with the Columbia Gorge Dance Academy to perform Curio Gorge on Saturday, July 24, at 7:30 p.m.

With grace and precision, Curio Dance blends hip-hop, modern dance, African, ballet, Latin dance, and jazz.

The evening of pure entertainment will benefit Nuestra Comunidad Sana youth services programs.

"We firmly believe that dance exists in the community. Dance is not for a selective audience. Everybody can connect to movement. Our goal is to communicate clearly without the use of words, so we choose themes that relate to all humans. Dance has the power to transform the moment and the moment has the power to transform what precedes it," said Dario Mejia, founder of Curio Dance.

Choreographers and dancers Dario Mejia and Giselle Mejia founded Curio Dance in 2009. The siblings have created dozens of dances to various genres of music from classical to electronica to traditional folk music. They will teach a week-long dance workshop July 19-23 at the Columbia Gorge Dance Academy.

The week will culminate with the July 24 Curio Gorge dance performance. Local actress Nicole Scribner will host and narrate the show as Curio Gorge uses multi-disciplinary elements such as video projections, and photos to complement their pieces.

Dario Mejia studied at the Juilliard School and Giselle Mejia graduated cum laude from the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase College. After college, Dario Mejia danced with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Minnesota Dance Theatre, and Nevada Ballet. He also worked with the Julie Taymor project in the movie "Across the Universe."

Giselle Mejia traveled to their homeland of Ecuador to learn Spanish and teach contemporary dance at El Conservatorio Municipal. Together they performed with Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago.

Nuestra Comunidad Sana, or Our Healthy Community, is a program of The Next Door that focuses on developing leadership and promoting health in the Columbia Gorge Latino community by utilizing their healthy traditions and values. Their youth programs focus on building leadership skills as well as preventing drug and alcohol use.

Tickets are available at Waucoma Book Store (212 Oak Street, Hood River) or at the door the evening of the show. Tickets are $10.


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