Categories: Mimi Sells, SD Press Club Award winner, THE BUZZ

THE BUZZ: Malashock Dance Company readies for transition and explores change with three world premieres in ‘Perpetual (E)motion’

By Mimi Sells

March 30, 2023

Artistic Director, John Malashock

Dance has always been about transition.  Dancers embody change as they physically transform space through every movement. Change is both a constant and the underlying rhythm of all dance.

But what happens when an entire dance company is going through a major transition off the dance floor?  At the renowned Malashock Dance Company (MDC), a leadership change is triggering an exciting moment of creative dynamism. 

After 35 Years at MDC’s helm, Founder and Creative Director John Malashock is exploring a new role while transitioning to new ways of contributing to the company bearing his name.

To ensure a smooth transition, MDC’s Board and Staff have collaboratively created a multi-year plan that includes inviting diverse community input and creating opportunities for future creative leadership to experience working with the company.

One of the outcomes of this transition plan will be on display for the greater San Diego community on April 15 and 16 when three world premiere works will be performed by Malashock Dance Company under the umbrella title of  “Perpetual (E)motion” at the Joan B. Kroc Theatre in San Diego.  

Exploring Change through Dance

The program will not only showcase a new work by John Malashock called “Unnamed Constellations,” it will feature two more new dances created by guest choreographers currently working in residence at MDC. Choreographer Tristian Griffin, from Kansas City, MO, has returned to MDC for a third tenure. Choreographer Christopher K. Morgan, from Makawao, Hawaii, is also in residence and a former MDC company member. His new work is entitled “Resonance.”

Fittingly, all three pieces explore aspects of transition. John Malashock’s “Unnamed Constellations” focuses on “the ways in which people respond to the unknowns in their lives. Acceptance, resistance, excitement, fear and wonder all come into play with the solos and duets that tell stories spanning a wide range of emotions….” Malashock said.

Tristian Griffin’s “The Art of Letting Go” reflects on the ways in which we hold onto things and fight change. Griffin suggests this piece reflects how we cling to things and people and how we need to change that ”to understand what it  means to truly practice faith and learn to let go.”

Christopher K. Morgan’s work “Resonance” focuses on another aspect of transition: the need to honor the past and the lessons it contains.  Morgan asked the dancers to evoke the profound impact of people in their lives and he did so as well!  “In creating the piece, I was influenced by John Malashock’s works that I danced during my tenure with the company in 1995-98.”

The Future of Malashock Dance

We asked John Malashock how he personally feels at this pivotal juncture for both him and the company he founded. I wondered if he was feeling both joy and sadness as well as looking forward to the future.  

He replied, “I am genuinely excited about a transition of artistic leadership, both for myself and for Malashock Dance. The unknowns of this process are a little scary, yet really intriguing to me, and I feel eager to begin exploring the next creative phase of my life.”

And just to reassure all that this transition isn’t the last we will see of him but just another passage, Malashock added: “Of course, I will always remain involved with Malashock Dance in a meaningful way.”



“Perpetual (E)motion”
April 15, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
April 16, 223 at 2:30 p.m.
VIP reception 1:00 p.m. and features food, beverages, and a guest performance by the Malashock Dance Junior Company.

Location: Joan B. Kroc Theater
6611 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92115


$45 Premium Seating
$35 Reserved Seating
$15 Students and Children under 12

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