EL SUEÑO is a contemporary dance film created in collaboration by two Mexican-American dance artists. Director/Choreographer Alicia Mullikin and Filmmaker/Dancer Devin Muñoz explore what it means to be powerful brown women and to be the narrators and illustrators of their own stories. Filmed in the scenic Mohave Desert, featuring an original score composed and played by multi-instrumentalist Daniel Mullikin, the work offers a glimpse of the woven landscapes of pain and joy echoed in both ancient and contemporary experience that are central to the film and the dancers who are part of it. EL SUEÑO offers an intimate glimpse of female archetypes-- mother, grandmother, queen, and warrior. These ancestors are reimagined as traits that are passed down through generations and challenges us to take ownership over the world we leave for our future ancestors. The film seeks to honor the many brown women who have risked it all for the next generation of dreamers.
Direction and Choreography
Time Lapse & Drone Footage
Aachix̂ Qağaduug Elise Beers
Olivia Anderson, Tessa Bañales, Aachix̂ Qağaduug Elise Beers,
Melanie Katzen, Devin Muñoz,
Videography and Editing
Devin Muñoz, Alicia Mullikin
Special thank you to eXit SPACE school of Dance, Velocity Dance Center, Northwest Film Forum, Debbie Wong, and Nalisha Rangel for their foundational contributions that made this work possible. A sincere and heartfelt thank you to all of our audience members and donors for believing in this work and sustaining us through the very scary moments of the pandemic when we weren’t sure this work would ever make it to audiences. We are so grateful for you.
Alicia Mullikin (she/her) is a first generation Mexican-American dance artist, educator, community organizer, and founder of EL SUEÑO. Her work weaves ancient and contemporary identities into physical manifestations by drawing from her rich cultural experiences and deep-rooted ancestral ties. She blends Americanism and Mexican mestizo to tell personal stories and boldly bring Latiné voices to the forefront. Through all of her work, Alicia aims to empower historically marginalized communities and nurture the next generation of dance artists. As an educator with an M.A. in dance, Alicia engages in community dialogue and curriculum development to create more culturally relevant and equitable educational systems. For more info follow @el.sueno.dance on instagram
Devin Marie Muñoz (she/her), Mexican American Seattle based photographer and videographer, has been honing her skills ranging in dance photography to editorial storytelling and film for the past few years. As a dancer herself, Devin blended her photography skills with her seventeen years of dance experience, bringing about the perfect fusion of her two passions. With film as an added extension of dance and photography, Devin understands how vital it is to emulate the same energy put into performance onto the screen. With live performance only existing as long as show dates we lose the potential to reach masses. This practice introduces people to movement and is a guide for different forms of communication.
Daniel Mullikin (he/him) is a multi-instrumentalist with a diverse professional history ranging from orchestral and chamber performance, film and television scoring, composition and accompaniment for dance, private and group instruction, lutherie, and audio engineering. Daniel holds a bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance from the University of Redlands, CA and studied the Kodály Method at the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music in Kecskemét, Hungary. He is currently acting as Site Coordinator for the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, where he partners with the Seattle Public School District to secure access to music for the schools furthest from educational equity. Daniel believes that music is a tool for social and emotional growth and is intended to be shared and accessible to everyone.
Tessa Bañales (she/her), a Persian, Mexican American movement artist, and collaborator based in Seattle, WA. Tessa currently is a Stage Manager in theaters around Seattle, and is the Co-Artistic Director of PRICEarts N.E.W. Dance Company. Tessa works towards representing and empowering the communities around her, and bringing those stories to the forefront. She chooses to engage with companies like EL SUEÑO that aim to bring art and empowerment to marginalized communities. As a dancer in EL SUEÑO Tessa was able to mix her passion with her knowledge of backstage and dance to call attention to the stories of our past and the dreams for our future.
Elise Beers Aachix̂ Qağaduug (she/her) is an enrolled member of the Aleut/Unangan Native American Tribe. Aachix̂ is a Seattle based Choreographer with Earth Works Dance and a media arts creator with ebprojects. Elise Beers Aachix̂ Qağaduug currently has a BFA in Dance Performance Choreography and Filmmaking from BYU. She holds a Personal Training Certification through ACE and is currently coaching locally. Additionally, Elise - Aachix̂ worked for a practicing Native Healer that helped inspire her passion for physical and mental health. Her drive for dance is fueled by nature and her passion for lifelong full-body wellness. As an Unangan Alaskan Native woman, she hopes to express modern native art created today.
Elizabeth Sugawara (She/Her) is a second generation, Japanese American movement maker, artist and collaborator. She moves through the world constantly inspired by her Grandmother, who showed her what care, empathy and generosity mean. Elizabeth has been a performer for EL SUEÑO, The Three Yells, SOTO+TOWER, and many others. Elizabeth is currently pursuing an MFA in Dance at The Ohio State University, where she is sensing, imagining, clarifying, expanding and celebrating her complexity and depth as a moving body.
Melanie Katzen (she/her) is a second-generation Chinese Canadian dance artist currently residing in Santa Monica, CA. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Cornish College of the Arts under the mentorship of Laura Ann Smyth. Within the past three years, Melanie has been fortunate to work closely with Alicia Mullikin and the EL SUEÑO cast. She is now teaching and choreographing for young dancers and hoping to create a focused, nurturing dance environment similar to what she has experienced with Alicia Mullikin. Melanie is looking forward to exploring further opportunities within the field of performance art.
Olivia Anderson (she/her) is a white Irish/Italian dance artist born and raised in Seattle, WA. She is currently a senior at the University of Washington studying Dance and American Ethnic Studies. She grew up dancing in eXit SPACE School of Dance’s pre-professional program, and has since danced for a number of Seattle-based companies including badmarmarDANCE, Dani Tirrell and the Congregation, EL SUEÑO, and various other individual artists.