Visionary Dance Theatre presents “Questa”, chronicles of an American family, at the City Heights Performance Annex (3795 Fairmount Ave, San Diego, CA, 92105) on October 11th-13th, 2018 @ 8pm.
Based on the genealogical work of Artistic Director Spencer John Powell’s ancestors from the beautiful little village of Questa, New Mexico, he has traced his family’s roots back to the early 1600’s and has developed work representing the family names of Duran, Rael, and Quintana, their Indigenous, Spanish, Jewish, French and African lineage. Powell also explores the beautiful landscape of this village nestled in the mountains.
Spencer John Powell presents new works such as “Quela And Veva - A Portrait”, a movement work celebrating a photo of Powell’s curiosity behind a portrait of his two great Aunts and many stories related to the two sisters. These two sisters never married but took part in the raising of many of the family’s children. Powell also presents a new work titled “Woman and Mountain”, based on a short story from Dr. Estevan Rael-Galvez, and “Three Ballads For Mother” a work by Powell in 1994 created a year after his mother’s passing. “Quintana” and “Nellie” provide a look at the Quintana Family’s migration to Utah.
The village of Questa is located close to the ancient Kiowa trail, a Native American trade route which connected the Ute, Kiowa, and Comanche tribes to the north with the Pueblo tribes to the south. Evidence of this route can be seen in trail remnants, artifacts, and petroglyphs along the western slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The first Spaniard to visit the area may have been Francisco Vásquez de Coronado; certainly the area was known to the Spanish by 1593, when the gold-seekers Juan Humana and Francisco Borilla were killed by tribes along the Purgatoire River. The village, nearly from the beginning, was of mixed blood; the surnames Lafore or Laforet, Ledoux, and LaCome reflect the names of French or French-Canadian trappers who settled in the area after arriving in search of otter and beaver. The common surname Rael may also reflect the influence of Jewish immigrants arriving after being expelled from Spain.
“The story of the village of Questa itself is one of resilience, a place where the spirit of its people has long reflected strength and tenacity. While narratives from memories remain, including one of a woman, Isabelita Gomez Rael, whose wisdom, faith and drive to survive is remembered still among her many descendants.” - Estevan Rael-Glavez
In our current atmosphere where America is at odds with Mexicans (and for that matter people of color) and the rhetoric of their Americanism in question, Visionary Dance Theatre has curated a concert to celebrate the American heritage of a family of color who have been in America since the 1600’s and is all American. Bring your family and friends and enjoy an evening of dance that celebrates a true American family.