Making Dance Accessible to All
Mojalet Dance Collective is an internationally acclaimed contemporary dance company that performs with a passion to share the beauty of expression through movement and artistic collaborations. The work performed by the professional company varies from large ensemble work to intimate duets and solos using strong elements of design, musicality, and athletic movement. Themes range from abstract, to the intimacy in relationships, and the pure beauty of movement.
WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO
Mojalet Dance Collective was founded in 1991 by three North San Diego County Artists, Faith Jensen-Ismay, Mary Neuru, and Linda Zambrano: three educators in dance working in college establishments; they found a need to provide opportunities for dancers, choreographers and other artists post graduation. Mojalet continues to serve as a platform for established and emerging performers and artists to share their work. In order to further Mojalet's mission, in Jan. 2020, Mojalet relocated to Oaks North Plaza with The Vine Arts Village (12540 Oaks North Dr. SD 92128) just one mile from the originally Vine Theater. Mojalet opened it's doors in March for two weeks before the COVID outbreak and the stay at home order. The board of directors is working behind the scenes to continue to create valuable programming until we can resume in person with classes and performances.
After more than a decade of creating work, Mojalet formally filed for non-profit status in 2003, with Faith Jensen-Ismay taking charge as Artistic Director. Mojalet performs domestically and internationally with a major focus on collaborating with other artists to developing new work.
Since the inception of Mojalet, the company has worked and performed in schools through Young Audiences of San Diego (YA), educating and inspiring our youth. A major goal of Mojalet is to reach out to communities and make the work accessible with a major focus to offer opportunities to dancers and artists to develop their craft outside an academic environment.
In 2008, Mojalet Dance Collective opened The Vine Theater, Mojalet’s Place for The Arts, a small black box theater located on the grounds at the Bernardo Winery in Rancho Bernardo. This new endeavor allowed the company to produce not only our own work, but also present a wide variety of artists ranging from dance, music, poetry, storytelling, theater, and more. With the opening of the Theater in 2008, Mojalet also started our Summer Series at the Vine offering 8-10 consecutive weekends of live performances to over 50 different choreographers and hundreds of dancers, while developing new patrons for the arts. In Jan 2020, Mojalet began renovating a new space, The Vine Arts Village, to continue to service the North County Inland community adding yoga, senior stretch and strength classes and theater to our schedule of classes for youth and adults.
Over the past 30 years, Mojalet has been successful in following our mission to find opportunities to collaborate with other artists and schools throughout the county, as well as develop our international partnerships. You can join the Mojalet family by attending one of our events, make a financial contribution, or become a volunteer. We welcome and appreciate your involvement.
Faith Jensen-Ismay has an extensive history as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer working throughout the entire county of San Diego and beyond. She is a founding Director of Mojalet (in 1991) with Mary Neuru, and Linda Zambrano; she became the Artistic Director in 1997, presenting her work and performing in Mexico, Switzerland, London, France, and Germany, as well as the East and West Coasts. Currently, Faith is part of the dance faculty at Mesa College and offers classes through Mojalet Dance Collective in Rancho Bernardo at "The Vine", and Arts for Learning San Diego a Young Audiences affiliate.
Moonlighting from 2007-2011, she served as the choreographer for The Jumpitz - a performing group offering children's entertainment through stories, songs, and dance, While working with The Jumpitz, she created choreography for over 30 music videos for DVD's, with several aired on Nick Jr., Armed Forces Network, HD Network and more. She also split her time traveling Domestically and Internationally with the group; in 2010 and 2011, she toured as the Choreographer, and Live Performance Director with AFE Tours presenting performances for military families in England, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece.
Her professional performing career began in the 1986-1987 season with Three's Company and Dancers under the direction of Jean Isaacs, Nancy Mc Caleb and Betzi Roe Weinburg; with them she was able to tour in Europe, Mexico and domestically. Faith worked for 3's Company/ Isaacs McCaleb & Dancers for 11 years, then continued with McCaleb Dance for an 1.5 years, and Jean Isaacs' San Diego Dance Theatre until August 2005. While with San Diego Dance Theatre, she had the opportunity to perform works by Jean Isaacs, Christopher Pilafian, Mary Anthony, Monica Bill Barnes, Rui Horta, Kevin Wynn, Marco Antonio Silva, Jeffery Gerodias, Gabriel Masson, Yolanda Snaith, and more.
As a choreographer, Faith had created work for Mojalet Dance Collective, The University Dance Company at SDSU, UCSD Faculty Dance, Palomar, Mesa and Grossmont College Faculty Concerts, "Beyond Therapy" at The Old Globe Theater, Northern California Dance Conservatory, The PGK Dance Project, The Jumpitz, and more.
Before transferring to SDSU, where she develop a performing career working with artists such as Patricia Sandback, Melissa Nunn, she received her Associates in the Arts Degree from Palomar Community College where she was adjunct faculty from 1988 to 2005. She has so served as a adjunct faculty for the University of California San Diego 1995-2005, SDSU from 1997-2009, SD Mesa College 2011 to present, and guest adjunct for San Diego City College, Mira Mar College, and recently Grossmont College. Faith holds a Lifetime Teaching Credential for California Community Colleges.
She has also had the opportunity to teach for CAPHERD and served as the Artist in Residence in 1992, and faculty in 1990, 1994, 1995 and 2005. Additional past teaching includes the Academy of Performing Arts, Isaacs / McCaleb and Dancers , San Diego Dance Theatre, The La Jolla Playhouse, Arts in Education, and for Young Audiences of San Diego. Since 1985, Faith has held residencies at many high schools and primary schools throughout San Diego County impacting thousands of children; she strives to make dance accessible to all ages, socio-economic backgrounds, and people with varied physical abilities.
Throughout her career, she has had the rich opportunities to perform works by Jean Isaacs, Nancy McCaleb, Patricia Sandback, Joe Goode, Betzi Roe, Patricia Rincon, Gabriel Masson, Mary Neuru, Melissa Nunn, Ellen Segal, Albert Reed, Jan Justice, Greg Lizenbury, Shawn Womac, Rich Burrows, Bill De Young, Terri Shipman, Terry Wilson, Terry Sprague, Katie Stevinson, Allyson Green, Bradley Lundburg, Margaret Marshall, Peter Kalivas, Albert Reed, Jeffery Gerodias and others.
Over the past 30 years, her training has been influenced by many great artists that have done extensive workshops here in San Diego, with special thanks to Riza Steinburg from the Limon Company, who greatly influenced her work.