La Mezcla:

Behind the Scenes

Executive Artistic Director, Vanessa Sanchez, gives dancers notes from the audience. Vanessa is seated in the theater, surrounded by empty seats, and is pointing towards the stage.
Screenshot from La Mezcla: Behind the Scenes

Filmed during La Mezcla’s 2023 January development residency, La Mezcla: Behind the Scenes is a small look into the process of producing and choreographing Ghostly Labor, La Mezcla’s full-length theater production which examines labor relations along the U.S.-Mexico border and specifically focuses on the histories and legacies of domestic and agricultural workers.

The video shares La Mezcla’s Executive Artistic Director Vanessa Sanchez and company members’ process while navigating the creation of a full-length show during a global pandemic and their first national tour of Pachuquísmo – a multi-disciplinary show portraying the female experiences of the 1940s Zoot Suit Riot era – and the debut of Ghostly Labor: A Dance Film, that has been on the international film festival circuit for the last 2 years.

Ghostly Labor serves as an homage to the resilience and power of these communities who, despite often being left out of mainstream narratives, are an integral part of this nation. Their testimonies and generosity continue to ground La Mezcla in the purpose of their work as they prepare to take the show on tour this year.

La Mezcla dancers perform a piece paying homage to the bath riots along the US/Juarez border in 1917. Dancers perform in front of an archival newspaper headline that reads, “Mexicans Resent Orders to Bathe '' and “Women Start Wild Stories' ' while the stage is flooded with red lighting.
From the World Premiere of Ghostly Labor, December 2023 by Domonique Washington
La Mezcla dancers and musicians perform a piece titled “Sembrando.” Dancers are wearing long, flowing skirts and a combination of purple and green tops while holding sticks. 3 musicians play chekeres (hollowed out gourds wrapped in beads) behind them and wear plain black pants and checkered shirts. A close up shot of brussel sprouts is projected behind the performers as the stage is flooded in green light.
From the World Premiere of Ghostly Labor, December 2023 by Domonique Washington

Sanchez gives a special thank you to Ayudando a Latinos A Soñar (ALAS) and La Colectiva de Mujeres for their continued support and partnership, plus the work they do in service of the community’s local farm and domestic workers.

“La Mezcla: Behind the Scenes”was filmed on-site at Brava for Women in the Arts and was shot, directed, and edited by Harry Gregory. Ghostly Labor is funded by NPN, The Hewlett Foundation, CCI, The Rainin Foundation, and Dancers’ Group.