A Mint for the Mind
Please do not eat the dancers
It was last October when the worst wave of the pandemic was only just beginning. Drive-in everything became a thing, since it was either that or staring at the wall for another night. So when the New Mexico Dance Project’s unusual drive-in dance performance sold out every show within 24 hours, it was a reminder the public still craved live dance.
“Frankly, we were astounded,” Executive Director Erik Sampson tells SFR. “We were really astounded about the community’s hunger for that.”
That success last fall is part of what pushed Sampson and his wife, company co-founder and artistic director Scarlett Wynne, to produce M I N T: A Summer Collaboration of Dance.
“From a producer’s standpoint, this is gonna be the biggest collaboration for dance artists since 2019,” Sampson explains. “We’re bringing a lot of different groups together in one house. It’ll be fresh and exciting and a good opportunity for people to celebrate the lifts of restrictions.”
Sampson says he, Wynn and various other dance companies have been working on the project for months, and he describes it as part of an effort to bring more attention to the numerous local dance companies and programs that help make Santa Fe, well, Santa Fe—a kind of gathering of the local dance scene. You’ll find contemporary ballet, jazz, Indigenous dance and other styles in the lineup.
Participating groups include the National Dance Institute of New Mexico (NDI), Dancing Earth Creations (a locally based Indigenous dance company), New Mexico School for the Arts students and others—and that’s not counting the many free agents who dance sans-company, plus resources from SITE Santa Fe, the Santa Fe Playhouse, Teatro Paraguas and other organizations. This will also be the first time many performers enter an actual public space since you-know-what started.
You might be thinking this sounds all good and dandy, but what does it have to do with a tingly herb destined for mojitos and ice creams and such? Turns out there’s one wholesome reason:
“The biggest motivation behind this show and why we called it M I N T is because we wanted it to be fresh and new,” Sampson says. “[The community has] been separated for over a year now and we couldn’t think of a better way to get back together other than an event like this.” (Riley Gardner)
M I N T: A Summer Collaboration of Dance: 7:30 PM Thursday and Friday, July 8 & 9. $15-$35 Center for Contemporary Arts, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, 505-316-6116
If you’ve never been to the Rose’s Kitchen food truck located on the Reunity Resources Farm (or even just the farm, really), you owe it to yourself to check out proprietor Ilana Blankman’s excellent offerings. And if you pop by this Friday evening, you’ll also get a chance to see Balkan folk quartet Rumelia Collective making their return to live performance. The music is gorgeous, really, and sensitively pays homage to the musical sounds of the region while maintaining some of the most beautiful instrumentation and vocal harmonies we’ve ever heard. Blankman’s been hosting shows pretty regularly over there—let’s make ‘em last. (Alex De Vore)
Rumelia Collective: 7 pm Friday, July 9. $10. Rose’s Kitchen, 1829 San Ydisdro Crossing, reunityresources.com
Local flamenco fans no-doubt know and love celebrated dancer La Emi, but for those who don’t or even those who haven’t looked too deep, Emi’s international travels in pursuit of flamenco perfection make her one of the most notable performers working today—and she’s back. With training from the likes of Carmela Greco and Ivan Vargas Heredia, La Emi’s bringing something to the local flamenco scene that cannot be underestimated, and now that she’s back to shows at The Lodge, the lifting of pandemic restrictions couldn’t be more timely. In other words, head up that hill and see something beautiful. We didn’t even mention she teaches at her own flamenco school. (ADV)
La Emi Summer Flamenco Series: 8 pm Saturday, July 10 and 2 pm Sunday, July 11. $20-$50. The Lodge at Santa Fe, 750 N St. Francis Drive, 505-992-5800
After the long, dark span of zero shows and sadness, why not return to the world with just, like, the sweetest lineup of local bands? Post-rock/punk-rock heroes The Blackout Pictures take over Tumbleroot’s Metal Mondays return alongside fully metal act To Keep the Wolves Away plus thrashy punk from Illegal Aliens and straight-up punk/punk from Taos’ Article 15. This, friends, is how we shake out the cobwebs and get back to rocking in the most excellent way imaginable. No, seriously—all of these bands are so good. (ADV)
Metal Mondays: 8 pm Monday, July 11. $10. Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery, 2791 Agua Fría St., 505-303-3808