Brava! for Women in the Arts and Vanessa Sanchez

Alexa Treviño

“Ghostly Labor” illuminates a history of abuse, activism, and perseverance by Chicana and Native women working in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

Building on Brava Theater’s successful 2019 presentation of “Pachuquísmo,” a dance-theater production about Mexican-American women during the Zoot Suit Riots, Vanessa Sanchez and Brava come together to develop and present her new work, “Ghostly Labor.” Exploring the exploitation of female labor in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, Sanchez deepens her storytelling vocabulary fusing tap dance, Mexican zapateado, and Afro-Caribbean movement with live percussion, original Son Jarocho arrangements, and video projection. Featuring her dance company La Mezcla, Sanchez is developing an intersectional, percussive production through outreach and interviews with Latina, Chicana, and Indigenous laborers, extensive research with academics and historians, and creative collaborations with artistic partners, including Son Jarocho, composer Laura Rebolloso, media artist John Jota Leaños, and percussionist Javier Navarrete.

Featuring an all-female cast of eight dancers and five musicians, “Ghostly Labor” will premiere at Brava’s historic theater in San Francisco’s Mission District.

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