Performing Company

Performing Company Artistic Policy

Mission Statement

We, Teocalli, are dedicated to the preservation of the Mexican culture, in order to foster better understanding among mainstream America, and the Mexican people, by learning, teaching and promoting traditional Mexican music and dances.

Background

The Performing Company is a component of Teocalli Cultural Academy. It is the part of the organization that is responsible for performing at engagements that are contracted by the organization, at self-produced programs, as well as on tours. Other components of Teocalli include the Escuela, Teocalli, and Juvenil Teocalli, Fitness Program and our emerging music program. Teocalli Performing Company is managed by the Teocalli’s executive director, assistant director, Artistic Director and Group manager. All four comprise the executive committee. The executive committee shall get their cues and suggestions from the steering committee, but all final decisions and responsibilities fall on the executive director.  

Philosophy

Teocalli Performing Company members are dedicated to fulfilling the mission of the company through presentation of programs designed by the organization. It is understood that there are many personal benefits associated with being a member of Teocalli. However, the focus of any and all performers should be to present with the intent of giving, sharing and interpreting the program in the most professional, exceptional and passionate manner which is the hallmark of Teocalli presentations.

These dynamics are carried over into the rehearsals, training and all other Teocalli activities. Teocalli strives to present innovative works, which include the use of other disciplines. Teocalli members must be willing to explore and learn other disciplines or dance techniques including character acting, music, singing etc.

Teocalli is a drug-free organization. Dancers, instructors, directors and staff shall not buy, sell, possess, use or be under the influence of any illegal drug and/or mind-altering substance during any Teocalli activities. Violation of this policy may be grounds for termination from the company.

Teocalli is a weapon-free organization. Dancers, instructors, directors and staff shall not enter premises or performance sites porting any instruments (other than approved performance props, such as machetes) that are deemed violent in nature. Violation of this policy may be grounds for termination from the company.

Payment to individual performers or reimbursement for costs to attend a performance (i.e. gas, parking) is not the norm and should not be expected.

Material taught in class may only be taught elsewhere with the permission of the Executive Director. New material is not to be taught until after 12 months after its debut. Teocalli signature pieces cannot be taught outside of Teocalli (examples: El maracumbe, El caballito). When in doubt, ask a member of the executive committee.

Although we respect the individuality of each person and their decisions regarding personal appearance, Teocalli as an organization strives to maintain a dance company that conforms to professional uniformity and a positive image.

It is agreed that membership with Teocalli is exclusive over participation with other folklórico groups. You can’t participate with another folklórico group unless it is part of a class of an educational institution.

You can be the teacher of a youth or children’s group. You must inform the Executive Director of your participation with other groups as an instructor. Participation with other performing companies as an instructor is not to conflict with Teocalli‘s required activities (rehearsals, performances, etc.)

All members, regardless of their standing or seniority with the company, are expected to abide by this Artistic Policy. Serious violations of this policy will be documented by the executive committee and can result in removal from the company.

Any issues not covered in this policy will be left to the discretion of the Artistic Director.

  Rehearsals

 Rehearsals are held two times per week. The executive committee may extend rehearsals or add extra days as needed. Currently, the Performing Company rehearses on Thursdays, from 7:00pm –9:00pm, and on Sunday. from 6:00 pm am to 8:00 pm. Each rehearsal may consist of warm-ups, technical instruction, review, and performance practice.

 

All dancers are required to arrive on time, ready to dance and stay for the entire rehearsal.

Dancers are considered late if not on the dance floor, fully prepared, by the scheduled start time. See the Artistic Director for any exceptions.

If you have an emergency, please notify assistant director immediately. An excess of emergency will have to be considered inappropriate, and could result in group suspension or restriction.

Men and women must wear black sweat pants, or black sport shorts (cutoffs are not acceptable), or other stretchable wear, and the Teocalli T-shirt. Tennis shoes will be required during warm-ups and sometimes during technical. People without the uniform will be penalized one point of the three possible.

Women should always have the following items in their bags: dance shoes, black skirt, rebozo, paliacate, plus any event-specific props required by the Artistic Director.

Men should always have the following items in their bags: boots, paliacate, plus any event-specific props required by the Artistic Director.

No blue or red paliacates will be accepted at rehearsals. (Mexican orange paliacates are encouraged)

The Artistic Director must be told in advance if a guest has been invited to watch a rehearsal. Dancers are responsible for their guest(s) during their visit to the studio. Guests must remain inside of classroom at all times.

Practice common courtesy and use common sense when it comes to personal hygiene. I.e. use deodorant, do not use strong perfumes, brush your teeth, etc. Dancers should consider keeping an extra towel and T-shirt in their bag.

Dancers should refrain from personal comments, criticism, or foul language during rehearsal hours. Corrections about choreography or sequence should always be phrased as a question. This protects group chemistry and shows respect for the instructor.

Women (and men with hair past their collar) are required to wear their hair back in a bun or French braid. No dangling braids or ponytails. Women should keep bobby pins and/or hair clips in their bags.

Men and women with long fingernails may be asked to clip them depending on the dance “activity” that requires short nails.

Men must be clean shaven (except for mustache) at rehearsal.


Attendance

If there is an emergency or you are unable to attend rehearsals, please call the Artistic Director or Assistant at least one hour before class.

Special arrangements should be made with the Artistic Director in advance to accommodate work and other conflicting schedules. This should be the exception and not the rule

 

Dancers must provide their vacation absence schedule to the Artistic Director in writing.

Dancers more than 30 minutes late to rehearsal without permission are considered absent.

Any dancer falling below 85% attendance is a candidate for a first warning. (64 points per quarter)

Any dancer falling below 85 % attendance for two quarters in a row is a candidate for second warning. (128 points for both quarters).

Any dancer falling below 85% attendance for three consecutive quarters is a candidate for automatic termination. ( 192 points for three quarters)

Significant rehearsal absence, trends in absence or tardiness, or general abuse of the attendance policy may result in termination from the company.


Leaves and termination

       A leave will only be granted for very special circumstances. Requests for Leave of Absence must be submitted in writing at least one month in advance to the Artistic Director. Consideration of the request will be done at the discretion of the Artistic Team. No leaves will be granted for more than six months.

Dancers that pass their 6 month leave are automatically terminated, unless an extension is requested and approved by the Artistic Director.

Special consideration will be given in case of crisis situations. Failure to come back at the agreed-upon time without further communication can result in termination from the group.

Terminated dancers may go into probation if they desire to return to the Performing Company. Upon re­entrance into the organization, dancers must again review and sign the Artistic Policy Contract.


Classroom Rules

 

 

Turn off cells/pagers during rehearsals.

No gum.

No alcohol consumption in the classroom.

No smoking.

No alcohol consumption.

No eating during rehearsal.

Restroom/outside visits are permitted only during break. If a member leaves the classroom without permission, he/she will not be allowed to re-enter.

All members are required to maintain the studio clean .Do not leave beverages, including water bottles, anywhere outside your bag. We will set up a rotational schedule to ensure that the studio is kept clean.

Instructors, turn off sound system completely before leaving.

Lock sound system.

Lock all exit doors before leaving.

It is prohibited to videotape or record Teocalli rehearsals or performances without the consent of the artistic director.  


Season

 Teocalli staff will strive to set a season planned at least a semester in advance. This will enable members to plan for upcoming rehearsals, productions, conferences and events.

An official vacation period may or may not be scheduled into the season depending on the need for continual rehearsals. However, there is usually a two week vacation at Christmas and a one week vacation at Thanksgiving. The week after a major performance may be designated as vacation at the discretion of the Artistic Director. Fall holidays include (unless told otherwise by director), Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving. Spring holidays include: Martin Luther King, President’s day, Cesar Chavez day. Occasionally we may need to schedule a rehearsal if we have a major performance coming up, but the Artistic Director will announce these one month in advanced.


Performances

Dancers performing for both major and minor performances will be selected on a multi-faceted basis, including, but not limited to, the following:

attendance, dance ability, stage presence, availability, and attitude.

All decisions concerning a member’s participation, placement, and partners in a given dance or region will be made by the artistic director and need; not based on seniority or past performances.

 All Teocalli members are expected to be available to perform on weekends, holidays, and weekdays after 5:00pm. Performances on weekdays before 5:00pm will be on a volunteer basis. (Performing dates will be posted at least two weeks prior to the day, if not, dancers will not be obligated to perform.)

A member’s unavailability to perform in a scheduled performance must be submitted in writing on a “Performance Absence Form”, stating the reason for any conflict, to the director with at least two weeks in advance. It becomes now your responsibility to find a suitable replacement for yourself.

In case of an emergency, notify the director in writing as soon as possible.

For contracted services, dancers must arrive with make-up and hair ready at the program site 1/2 hour before the performance. Major performances will require an earlier check-in time.

Major performances have a strict schedule, which is to be followed closely. If a dancer is not present at the scheduled arrival time, the performance captain will have the option of excluding that dancer from the show.

Any action that significantly compromises a major performance may result in termination.

Respect others and do not take up too much space in the dressing area. Do not move or borrow other people’s belongings unless you have asked them.

Guests to performances should have prior clearance by Artistic Director and under no circumstances will be allowed inside the dressing rooms.

The Performance Captain may also assign assistants. When possible, before the performance, remain backstage while in costume (this includes small performances).

Remain “in character” while in costume. No drinking, smoking, or using foul language. Do not eat or drink alcoholic beverages while in a company owned costume, nor come to a performance or rehearsal while under the influence of alcohol. Permission to eat under special circumstances will be left to the discretion of the Performance Captain.

Costumes should be worn in accordance with the Costume Policy and the Artistic Director’s instructions. You should be in full costume at all times. Do not walk around “half dressed” outside of the performing area.

Makeup for both men and women is required for all stage performances.

No one is excused until the captain gives the all clear. This will normally be after everything is picked up and dressing rooms are cleaned and costumes have been properly secured according to performance captain’s instructions. 


Image/Aesthetics

Because we are a professional group, we must maintain a sharp group image. We strive for uniformity on stage. Teocalli’s dance suites often represent a time period or special locale. For aesthetic as well as practical reasons, dancers must conform to the standards listed below. Dancers must do whatever is necessary to meet the presentation requirements. Following are some examples:

 

There will be no public use of foul language or expressions during performances.

Excessive show of affection is prohibited.

Members are reminded to act in a respectful manner towards all. Inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated.

Performers with very long nails must clip them for regions (such as Durango) that require dancers to maintain a firm grasp of the hand. Women with unshaven armpits will be asked to shave for regions such as Veracruz, Sinaloa, etc.

Men with long hair must wear a wig or cut their hair if other alternatives are not practical or in accordance with the above standards.

Men or women with extreme fashion statements, whether relating to hair design, body piercing, or body art must be able to camouflage their extremes to the satisfaction of the Artistic Director. Failure to do so will prevent the dancer from participating/performing.

Men must be clean-shaven for regular rehearsals, dress and technical rehearsals, as well as all performances. That means shaving the day of the performance. Facial hair should be limited to mustache hair not below the lower lip and extending no more than 1/2 inch beyond the lip. Sideburns should not be longer than the earlobe. Mustache and sideburns must be neatly trimmed.

Men must wear white undergarments, including a plain, white T-shirt (Jalisco, Colima, Norte, etc.) and a plain white athletic shirt (Veracruz, San Luis Potosi) underneath their costume shirt. White boxer briefs for men are required for performances. The Artistic Director via the Costumer will designate exceptions.

Women are required to wear nylons, a white or flesh-colored body suit, bloomers and hair nets. A special in-service will be provided for new women, at which point the proper make-up and performance requirements will be explained.

Costumes for all performers must be clean, mended and pressed.

Boots and shoes must be polished.

The Artistic Director will work directly with the person affected by this policy. If suitable alternatives to permanent changes are found, (i.e. flesh-colored leotard, wig instead of cutting hair), they will have to be approved by the Artistic Director.  


Communication

Communication is important. It is expected that questions or comments be directed to the proper person for answers or clarification at the appropriate time. Teocalli has several methods of communicating information, for example via:

  1. Teocalli’s handbook

2.            Upcoming Performance List

3.            Emails, Memos and Flyers and texts.

4.            Steering committee meetings

5.            Special Meetings

6.            Verbal Communication/Email/Phone Tree

7.            Rehearsal Announcements

8. Teocalli Cultural Academy and Group page on Facebook.

Teocalli company members are expected to keep up with the information distributed and to keep themselves informed of activities, projects and meetings, which impact them.


           

Steering Committee Meetings

Steering committee members are selected by the executive committee.

Steering committee dancer meetings will be held on the first Sunday of each month, immediately after rehearsal. These monthly meetings are established so that the Performing Company dancers can participate in decision making, constructive proposals, fundraising planning, etc. These meetings will also be a forum for information dissemination. Teocalli suggestions and grievances should be discussed at these meetings, and only at these meetings. Personal disagreements should be discussed with the director before any other member.


 Costume Policy

Required Costume Pieces

All women must have a black practice skirt within three months of entering the company. Check with costume person regarding specifics. A same color, same weight practice skirt facilitates instruction of “faldeo”.

Women must own the following costume pieces and/or accessories: red paleacates, huaraches, black and white shoes, black and white boots, long white slip, short white slip, bloomers, Jalisco rebozo, gold “filigrana” earrings.

Men must own the following costume pieces and/or accessories: black and white boots, red sash, red (Mexican) paleacates, huaraches, nortefio hat, jalisco hat, zarape. Other recommended items include: white pants, manta pants, manta shirt, and long-sleeve white guayabera veracruzana.

Use of Costumes

Company Members may check out costumes for use at Teocalli presentations and performances. For non ­Teocalli events, approval must be obtained from the Artistic Director who would then let the Costume coordinator know.

Other people performing at a Teocalli function must sign a contract that would be legally binding. This contract will include the date the costumes were checked out, when they are due and stipulations for lost or damaged items.

Company Members may also check out costumes for educational purposes (workshops, demonstrations.) Approval must be received from the Artistic Director.

Check-out Procedures for major performances

Costume coordinator will be available sixty minutes before rehearsals. For large performances, special check-out hours will be announced. A “Take-a-number” system will be used. It should be understood that the Costumer will not be interrupted during rehearsal to check costumes in or out.

Costumes will be checked out and written in the log book. The date of issuance will be noted. Dancers will sign or initial all costume check-outs. Please note any problems with your costumes before leaving the costume area. You will be held responsible for repairs required on your costumes.

Check-in Procedure

Costumes must be returned immediately following a performance unless performing that region within two weeks of due date. They must be returned washed or dry-cleaned (unless otherwise told), repaired and in good condition. If you are unclear about the proper cleaning care, do not wash or dry clean. Check with Costumer first.

The use of company costumes is a privilege and should be treated as such. People who abuse this privilege will not be granted the privilege of checking out additional costumes.

Costumes will not be accepted if they are returned soiled or damaged. They must be cleaned, repaired, or replaced.

Allowances will be made for normal wear and tear and for costumes that were already damaged.

Lost Costumes

The person responsible for checking out the lost item must replace costumes that are lost. Items must be replaced within one month, or immediately if it is needed for an upcoming performance. If the item is not replaced, then they must reimburse the company for the current market value plus the labor to replace that item.


Membership

  

A student will become a member of the Teocalli Performing Company based on the director’s decision that the dancer is qualified based on their ability, skill, effort, spirit, behavior, attendance, and attitude.

A signed Emergency Consent & Release form must be on file with your application. Current phone numbers and email should be on file for rescheduling purposes.

Members should address executive committee members and any guest instructor as maestro. What your personal relationship with him/her outside of class is irrelevant.

As a condition of membership, all members must agree to assign and grant Teocalli the right and permission to copyright, use and publish any photographs, recorded images, and voices of members taken in the course of Teocalli performances and activities.

All members pay a membership fee of $15.00 or $20.00 if more than one week late. All candidates pay a academy fee of $35.00 per month.

All members must log in 12 hours of work per semester for the company. This work includes but is not limited to, data entry, costume loading and unloading, costume repair, stuffing of envelopes, manufacturing props, etc.   Assignments for these hours will be the responsibility of the group manager.

The minimum age for Teocalli members is sixteen years. Members under the age of eighteen must provide an additional parent permission and liability waiver. There will be no allowances made to students who are minors.

All dancers entering theTeocalli Performing Company must go through a probationary process to become a member. All new candidates will be automatically placed on six months probation. During this time, the Artistic Director and the new candidate will determine whether full membership is attainable.

An optional method to enter the company is via invitation of the Artistic Director and/or recommendation from Escuela instructors. Visibility of the candidate in learning and performing situations will take the place of the required audition.

All new members are required to submit a dance biography, complete an audition application form, and state their future goals with the company. They must also sign a contract stating they have read, understood and will follow the latest, revised policies and by-laws of Teocalli, including the Performing Company Artistic Policy.

New Performing Company dancers will be assigned a mentor. The mentor, typically an experienced dancer in good standing, will provide guidance and information to the new dancer. The mentor will be key to assuring that the new dancer understands and adheres to the Artistic Policy.

Performing Company dancers are automatic voting members of the Corporation. An annual meeting is held in the June/July timeframe to vote on changes to bylaws, new directors for the Steering Committee, and other company business.

The Executive Team will keep attendance for performances and rehearsals.

Performing Company dancers are required to attend two weekly rehearsals as well as any special rehearsals that might be held for a specific project, event, or tour. All dancers are expected to be on time at every rehearsal.

Performing Company dancers are required to be available for contracted performances throughout the year. The Artistic Director or members of the Artistic Team will assign/recruit dancers for all performances. The dancer team for each performance is recorded on both the performance worksheet and the captain’s performance evaluation sheet. If and when it is perceived that a dancer is not fulfilling their share of contracted performances, these worksheets will be used to calculate a percentage. Dancers below an acceptable percentage (based on number of dancers in company and number of performances) are subject to termination.

Every member will cooperate and participate in events organized by Teocalli, as now you are a member of the organization. All events organized by Teocalli will have the same degree of importance as a performance.

The Performing Company exists in order to participate in various types of performances, including:

 

Self-Sponsored Productions

These are typically full-length, ticketed evening shows at a theatrical venue. These shows require that cast be available to rehearse as many as 4 times per week for a period of 1-2 months prior to the presentations. Self-sponsored performances in which participation is mandatory include Home Show (usually in April), Winter Show.

There will be at least three self-produced performances each year. All members must sell a minimum of 10 tickets per show. This is no longer a suggested goal, it is now a requirement for members. Failure to sell the tickets will result in a warning, suspension and if it happens a third time, possible expulsion from the group.

Contracted Services

These are smaller performances or lecture/demos at local events (often times at schools or businesses) where the company is hired. These performances are critical to the financial success of the organization. These performances also maintain Teocalli’s name recognition in the immediate community and bolster attendance in our Escuela.

 Teocalli company members will be evaluated at least once a year. Evaluation will include the adherence to this entire policy as well as:  

1.        Command of rhythm

2.        Command of body movement

3.        Command of skirt work

4.        Styling projection (capturing essence of region)

5.        Footwork

6.        Involvement in Teocalli  Extracurricular activities (teaching, attending lectures, workshops etc.)

Discretion of the executive committee

It is understood that the Executive Committee will consider the needs of the organization when making discretionary decisions. They will strive for consistent and fair enforcement of this policy. It is also understood that there are certain circumstances where the membership will not be informed about an individual personal situation.

ACCIDENT WAIVER AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY FORM
Name of the Activity or Event:
__________________________Date of Activity or Event: __________________ Check One:�� Scientific Field Trip ��Child Care or Youth Activities ��Student Volunteering

I HEREBY ASSUME ALL OF THE RISKS OF PARTICIPATING AND/OR VOLUNTEERING IN THIS ACTIVITY OR EVENT, including by way of example and not limitation, any risks that may arise from negligence or carelessness on the part of the persons or entities being released, from dangerous or defective equipment or property owned, maintained, or controlled by them, or because of their possible liability without fault.

I certify that I am physically fit, have sufficiently prepared or trained for participation in the activity or event, and have not been advised to not participate by a qualified medical professional. I certify that there are no health-related reasons or problems which preclude my participation in this activity or event.

I acknowledge that this Accident Waiver and Release of Liability Form will be used by the event holders, sponsors, and organizers of the activity or event in which I may participate, and that it will govern my actions and responsibilities at said activity or event.

In consideration of my application and permitting me to participate in this event, I hereby take action for myself, my executors, administrators, heirs, next of kin, successors, and assigns as follows:

(A) I WAIVE, RELEASE, AND DISCHARGE from any and all liability, including but not limited to, liability arising from the negligence or fault of the entities or persons released, for my death, disability, personal injury, property damage, property theft, or actions of any kind which may hereafter occur to me including my traveling to and from this event, THE FOLLOWING ENTITIES OR PERSONS: The International Association of Landscape Ecology – US Regional Association (US-IALE) and/or their directors, officers, employees, volunteers, representatives, and agents, the activity or event holders, activity or event sponsors, activity or event volunteers;

(B) I INDEMNIFY, HOLD HARMLESS, AND PROMISE NOT TO SUE the entities or persons mentioned in this paragraph from any and all liabilities or claims made as a result of participation in this activity or event, whether caused by the negligence of release or otherwise.

I acknowledge that the US-IALE and their directors, officers, volunteers, representatives, and agents are NOT responsible for the errors, omissions, acts, or failures to act of any party or entity conducting a specific event or activity on behalf of the US-IALE

I acknowledge that this activity or event may involve a test of a person’s physical and mental limits and may carry with it the potential for death, serious injury, and property loss. The risks may include, but are not limited to, those caused by terrain, facilities, temperature, weather, condition of participants, equipment, vehicular traffic, actions of other people including, but not limited to, participants, volunteers, spectators, coaches, event officials, and event monitors, and/or producers of the event, and lack of hydration. These risks are not only inherent to participants, but are also present for volunteers.

I hereby consent to receive medical treatment which may be deemed advisable in the event of injury, accident, and/or illness during this activity or event.

I understand that at this event or related activities, I may be photographed. I agree to allow my photo, video, or film likeness to be used for any legitimate purpose by the event holders, producers, sponsors, organizers, and assigns.

The accident waiver and release of liability shall be construed broadly to provide a release and waiver to the maximum extent permissible under applicable law.

I CERTIFY THAT I HAVE READ THIS DOCUMENT, AND I FULLY UNDERSTAND ITS CONTENT. I AM AWARE THAT THIS IS A RELEASE OF LIABILITY AND A CONTRACT AND I SIGN IT OF MY OWN FREE WILL.

________________________________ _______ _______________________________ __________ Print Participant’s Name Age Signature (if under 18 years old, Date

Parent or guardian must also sign)

PARENT / GUARDIAN WAIVER FOR MINORS (Under 18 years old)

The undersigned parent and natural guardian does hereby represent that he/she is, in fact, acting in such capacity, has consented to his/her child or ward’s participation in the activity or event, and has agreed individually and on behalf of the child or ward, to the terms of the accident waiver and release of liability set forth above. The undersigned parent or guardian further agrees to save and hold harmless and indemnify each and all of the parties referred to above from all liability, loss, cost, claim, or damage whatsoever which may be imposed upon said parties because of any defect in or lack of such capacity to so act and release said parties on behalf of the minor and the parents or legal guardian.

________________________________ _______ _______________________________ __________ Print Participant’s Name Age Signature of Parent or Guardian Date