East West is a collaboration between SpectorDance and Rancho Cielo, a 100-acre campus in East Salinas, offering educational/vocational training and recreation for under-served young adults in Monterey County. Based on interviews with those who live in parts of our community where gangs are prevalent, East West shines a light on why youth are attracted to gangs, the devastating impact of gang violence on communities, the brutal reality of gangs in prison, and how people find their way our of gangs, With rap and classical music, urban and contemporary dance, visual images and spoken word, East West shines a light an the circumstances that bread gangs and gives voice to an under-represented population of the at-risk and affirms their role in the fabric of our community. It is ultimately the story of transformation and hope.”
“It’s a daring piece. It’s a serious piece. It’s a dark and difficult subject. There is the joy in it of seeing performance come together just so, there are affirmative messages awaiting, the players are all earnestly committed. It deserves an audience.”
Walter Ryce, Monterey Weekly
"East West is a universal tale in its depiction of humanity, struggle, grief, hope and the possibility for the transformation of the human spirit. It is about breaking down the walls and barriers that separate us from "the other" is to look deeply into the eyes of another human being and to see ourselves. From this point of view, differences fade to insignificance: Black/White or Brown, North, South, East or West, inside looking out or outside looking in, there is no distinction."
Dave Dove, Pastor
"Shift peoples imagination about how to work with young people, how to work with the most troubled and to bring them out of their troubles through their own gifts and geniuses and capacity to be fuller human beings. The story is what is vital. There is no disconnect between what happens in the performance and the people watching it. They realize it is my story and they can connect with it. Live performance, like all these the stories we are talking about, it engages a part of you that does not get engaged. Art wakes up the deep self, the deep pschy. It is a place that needs to be awakened. Art does that in many ways."
Luis Rodreguis, LA Poet Laurette, former gang member
Excerpt From East West "Angry Mom" Filmed & Produced by William Roden / New Dawn Studios
Excerpt From East West "Transformation" Filmed & Produced by William Roden / New Dawn Studios