Mission Fusion is the most spectacular and acclaimed High School dance show in the bay area. High voltage choreography supported by daring multi-media keeps thousends of audience members on the edge or their seats. Electrifying young dancers and musicians will make you eager to go out and dance.
What is Mission Fusion?
Mission Fusion is a gathering of arts and cultures to build bridges within our community in and around Jefferson High School in Daly City, California.
Mission Fusion is a fusion of performances of different cultures and art styles and was founded in the year 2000 by director Heike Mansel. Its dimensions and vision grew over the years. Performances include dances, rhythms, songs, spoken word, and traditions of cultures that are represented on Mission Street in Daly City. It is to this community that Mission Fusion would like to give back through the creation of a yearly performance series. We intend to reach out in the community, learn from our neighbors and reflect all that we’ve learned in the form of a well-researched performance. We continue creating this multi-cultural performance at our High School Theater. In addition we have taken our performances to Skyline College and City College of San Francisco, neighboring high schools and middle schools. The yearly shows put on at the Jefferson High School Theater have been sold out for the last 10 years.
The workshops preparing for the show last for 4 months and are held during the months of October, November, December and January. The classes meet after school four times a week for 90 minutes per class. Several guest teachers and choreographers teach the dance, percussion and acting workshops. The instructors include professionals from the bay area and Mission Fusion alumni. The workshops will culminate with three evening and one matinee performance and will be attended by approximately 1,500 High School and Middle School students, faculty members, parents, and community members.
Mission Fusion is not an ordinary High School dance recital. It is unique. Each year nearly 100 High School students and 60 Middle School students are involved in performing dances from Cuba, Brazil, Northern and West-Africa, the Philippines, Tahiti, Jamaica, the US…Everything is connected through a theme, a story. The stories are told through dances, multimedia, acting, art and live-music. Each year is a unique adaption of relevant news, social, or literary events and issues. The director Heike Mansel encourages her dancers to look deeply into meaning when they create and choreograph pieces.
Successful clubs like ours help to give the youth of our neighborhood a valuable outlet to fulfill their need for purposeful and creative expression. More than 100 students and alumni will be actively involved in this project. The students represent our multicultural community and school, which consists of: 40 % Latinos, 40% Filipinos, 20% African-Americans, Asians, Samoans and others. The project’s goal is to reflect the rich diversity of the population of Mission Street in Daly City through the fusion of traditional with new art forms. Jefferson High School is always seeking scholastic improvement of its student body and thier test scores. Mission Fusion keeps our students on target. For many of our students studying dance and related performance skills, Mission Fusion is the only opportunity to learn these art forms. Thanks to the funding through CEI and a federal physical education grant Mission Fusion is available at no cost to the performers. Moreover, they have a great opportunity to show their talent with a high level of performance. The high school performers learn skills such as: memorizing choreography, working collectively in a group; and integrating dance, song, spoken word, live music, and stage management. Students also acquire increased responsibility and discipline while instilling pride in sharing something from their cultures. Educating others about cultural diversity is also a significant and successful result of Mission Fusion.