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thesisWORKS 2017:
Before the horses crash into the ground, and then the ground.

a dance performance

directed by Verónica Santiago Moniello

Show dates:   December 7 & 8 @ 7:30pm,
                        December 9 @ 2pm

Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre

About the Show

thesisWORKS showcases the culmination of dance research over the course of graduate studies in Dance at UC San Diego. This year, MFA Candidate Verónica Santiago Moniello explores the potential of bodies and motion in space while simultaneously confronting subject material that has inspired her intellectual and scholarly pursuits over her time at UCSD in Before the horses crash into the ground, and then the ground.

About the Director

Verónica Santiago Moniello is a Venezuelan dancer and choreographer based in Southern California. Her work deals with memory and the idea of birth, with antagonist subjects of resistance, utopian bodies, and dreams. She holds a BA in Dance from Folkwang Universität der Künste (Essen, Germany.) Recent projects collaborations have been presented at Movement Research (NYC, U.S.), Bauhaus (w/ Andrea Canepa, Dessau, Germany.) Previous works have been presented in Mexico, Venezuela, Belize, Germany, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Spain and the U.S. Before the horses crash into the ground, and then the ground is part of her ongoing research “The Body that has Been Possessed” awarded by Tinker Fellowships, CILAS: Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and The Friends of California. In 2017 Verónica founded Habitual, a platform-based studio that explores the possibilities of movement.

Director's Statement

Before the horses... is a piece that reflects on the concept of territory —the description of a space— by using complementary bodily approaches: chants, music, percussion, dance. The piece introduces these notions to the audience through the construction of a plural zone, a scenography conceived as an archipelago where every performer has its own autonomy while keeping a shared sense of kinship. This enclave has also its own extension; a skin that covers and sustains, embracing the scenic space as a responsive texture where every performer dwells.

Before the horses is a space in suspension, the interim between leaping and plunging, from free fall toward its crystallization into a fleshy state. But the void is not a funny affair though; in the interim, bodies are deprived of agency. Due to that, there’s nothing we can do but to try (again and again) to build actual relations within the void. As a result, we are less interested in depicting apocalyptic landscapes that acknowledging the tectonic texture of a silent earth. The trope of a stumbling horse will be told as an image of the majestic in its encounter with failure, with realness, with dirt. As an interstice between given narratives that understood the figure of the horse as either a donor of life and the harbinger of death.

This suspended space allows us to share the unknown, the intimacy of our personal paths; turning the private into a collective realization of the act of sharing. In this regard, what is visible in the piece mirrors the way in which the creative process has been developed; a generous and vulnerable panorama.

Before the horses... is the third instantiation of a trilogy of dance pieces focused on three main concepts: birth, being, and territory. This piece has been co-created with Orlando Rodriguez, and its research began in Vilnius (Lithuania) at the Arts Printing House during the summer of 2017 and continued theretofore at UCSD’s Dance & Theater program.

The Cast

Barbara Byers
Verónica Santiago Moniello
Ben Rempel
Orlando Rodriguez
The Creative Team

Conception & Dance Maker – Verónica Santiago Moniello
Dance Maker – Orlando Rodriguez
Creative Consultancy – Javier Fresneda
Scenic Designer – Samantha Rojales
Costume Designers – Barbara Byers, Verónica Santiago Moniello
Sound & Projections Designer – John Burnett
Vocalist – Barbara Byers
Percussionist – Ben Rempel
Assistant Lighting Designer –  Mextly Almeda
Assistant Sound Designer –  MaeAnn Ross
Production Stage Manager – Kasson Marroquin
Assistant Stage Manager – Willie Mae Michiels

Performances Parking & Location

Located at: Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre

Parking Passes Required: Monday through Friday. Weeknight passes are $2 per vehicle from the vending machines located in the UC San Diego Theatre District/La Jolla Playhouse parking lots and entry display case. Please remember your parking space number. You will need it to purchase your parking pass.

Note: Machines take all major credit cards except Discover and when paying with cash you must use exact change, NO CHANGE GIVEN.

Parking Passes Not Required: Saturdays and Sundays


Cars without permits are subject to ticketing by UCSD Campus Police. The Theatre & Dance Department does not have the authority to waive and cannot pay parking tickets.



Dec. 7

Dec. 8

Dec. 9

7:30 pm     OPENING 

7:30 pm  

2:00 pm     CLOSING

Advance tickets for this production are available Tuesday-Friday, noon to 6 pm by calling the Box Office at 858.534.4574 or in person at the Theatre District’s Central Box Office at the Sheila & Hughes Potiker Theatre.

At-the-Door tickets, if available, can be purchased one hour before show time at the performing theatre’s box office at Mandell Weiss Theatre.

General Admission: $20
UCSD Faculty/Staff/Alumni Association, and Seniors (over 62): $15
UCSD Students/UCSD Alumni Association (with ID): $10

Please note: No late seating; no refunds.

Theatre & Dance Faculty, Staff & Majors Only >>


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