Ghostly Labor: A Dance Theatre Performance @ Brava // SF

Ghostly Labor explores the history of labor in the US–Mexico borderlands through Tap Dance, Mexican Zapateado, Son Jarocho, Afro Caribbean movement, and live music.

See 2 amazing videos below!

Based on farmworker interviews in California, this work honors the sacred hands that feed us and was filmed on Avila Garcia Farms with support from Ayudando Latinos a Soñar (ALAS), a non-profit advocacy organization for farmworkers in Half Moon Bay, CA.

Brava & La Mezcla present
GHOSTLY LABOR: A Dance Theater Production
Created, Choreographed & Directed by Vanessa Sanchez
Performed by San Francisco-based La Mezcla

3 shows!
December 15th & 16th 2023, 8PM
December 17th 2023, 5PM
Brava Theater Center
2781 24th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

Buy tickets from $26 here!


See video:


“Ghostly Labor is dedicated to the essential work of migrant farmworkers who tend the land and provide sustenance for our communities. We honor your skill, knowledge and perseverance.” – La Mezcla


About show:

Ghostly Labor explores the history of labor in the US–Mexico borderlands through Tap Dance, Mexican Zapateado, Son Jarocho, Afro Caribbean movement, and live music.

This work brings together polyrhythmic movement and an original score to look at the (ongoing) years of systemic exploitation of labor while highlighting the power and joy of collective resistance.

The full-length dance theater production of Ghostly Labor will premiere at Brava Theater in December 2023.

The associated project, “Ghostly Labor: a Dance Film,” is an award winning film that has been screened at film festivals and events through the United States, Norway, Spain and Portugal.



Video 2:



San Francisco based Dance and Music Ensemble, La Mezcla is set to premiere their full length dance theater production, “Ghostly Labor” for 3 shows at Brava Theater December 15th – 17th 2023.

Highly intentional, La Mezcla’s work takes audiences on a journey through Xicana and Indigenous traditions as a way to uplift social justice causes while showcasing tap dance as a dance of resistance and most certainly, one of survival. The result is a striking and irresistible new percussive Xicana aesthetic ~ equal parts moving choreography, creative dissent and polyrhythms that recall the struggles and triumphs of our ancestors. La Mezcla, founded in 2015 by Dance/USA fellow Vanessa Sanchez brings together Tap dance, Son Jarocho and Afro-Caribbean rhythms to bring the often unseen histories and experiences of communities of color to stages, streets and fields.

With the premier of “Ghostly Labor” the ensemble explores the history of labor in the US–Mexico borderlands through Tap Dance, Mexican Zapateado, Son Jarocho, Afro Caribbean movement, and live music featuring iconic Bay Area Latinx artists and performers.

Brava Theater’s premier of “Ghostly Labor” comes highly anticipated following the critical acclaim of the 13 minute dance film, “Ghostly Labor” (Co-directed by John Jota Leaños and Vanessa Sanchez) which has earned countless accolades and Independent film awards and selections.

With an original score, “Ghostly Labor” explores systemic exploitation of labor while highlighting the power of joy and collective resistance ~ the perfect complement to Brava Theater’s commitment to cultivating the artistic expression of women, LGTBQIA, people of color, youth and other underrepresented voices.

La Mezcla, fresh on the heels of an international tour of their award winning show “Pachuquísmo” which included performances at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts and the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow to many sold out audiences is worthy of all the accolades: the SF based ensemble gives voice to often under-told and under-celebrated Xicanx, Latinx and Indigenous stories and ways of survival.

In October 2023, La Mezcla will be performing as one of 3 American based ensemble’s at the world renowned Festival Cervantino en Guanajuato, Mexico. Festival Cervantino hailed as “Latin America’s Biggest Cultural Event” (NPR) has a special emphasis on artistic creations in the Spanish languages and will mark an incredible artistic milestone for La Mezcla.




Press Quotes:

“The women of La Mezcla are really culture keepers. Vanessa is bringing these two different dance styles together that share these African diaspora elements, reflecting her Mexican-American identity. It’s beautiful and ingenious.”

Kelly Whalen, La Mezcla’s Percussive Mission, Mission Local May 2020, Written by Andrew Gilbert

“The company’s social-justice focus aims beyond artistic excellence and high entertainment values to include education, illumination, and broader awareness of the stories and significant cultural contributions of people of color.”

– Lou Fancher for Classical Voice / San Francisco Chronicle

Made possible through the generous support of these organizations:
Brava Theater, Center for Cultural Innovation, Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, National Performance Network, The Hewlett Foundation, Dancers’ Group, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and California Arts Council.

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