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Suitcase Dance Theater emerged as a beacon of hope and creativity in 2020, amid the pandemic's isolating grip. Born from a profound need to reconnect, re-energize empty spaces, and sustain the vital exchange of art within our community, Suitcase Dance Theater embarked on a journey of resilience and innovation.

Fueled by the collective longing to make and witness art despite the challenging circumstances, SDT swiftly became a catalyst for revitalizing cultural spaces. Through their dynamic performances and immersive experiences, they transformed barren venues into vibrant hubs of artistic expression, breathing new life into the world around them.

At its core, Suitcase Dance Theatre embodies the spirit of resilience, collaboration, and the unwavering belief in the power of art to transcend adversity. Suitcase Dance Theater’s dedication to fostering connection and creativity between people of all walks of life remains steadfast, inspiring audiences to rediscover the beauty and joy of shared artistic experiences.


Veronica Mendonca’s choreographic credits include the feature film, “The Hillside Strangler”, starring C. Thomas Howell, the independent film, “Dead Man’s Shoes,“ and the music video “The Doll Lab” directed by Emmy Award nominee Matty Brown. Notable live events include choreographing a stage version of writer and National Public Radio personality, Joe Frank’s award-winning radio show, a site-specific performance at the historic Union Station, in downtown Los Angeles honoring legendary artist/ designer, Tony Duquette and the event launching Cigar Aficionado Magazine. Most recently, Veronica’s choreography was featured at the EMP fundraising event: REVEAL: Northwest Innovation in Fashion 2016. Veronica has worked with former Los Angeles Opera soloist, Stephanie Vlahos, choreographing numerous cabaret shows and operas.


Ms. Mendonca was the creator and artistic director of the Los Angeles-based dance company, Dance Electric and her work has been commissioned by the Los Angeles High School for the Performing Arts, the Orange County High School of the Arts, Westside Ballet and the Oakley Ballet School.


Ms. Mendonca has toured and performed with the Los Angeles Opera production of “Nixon in China,” choreographed by Mark Morris and directed by Peter Sellers. She was a member of the Hong Kong Ballet and Southwest Ballet companies. As well as dancing for the legendary singing group, The Supremes, Ms. Mendonca's talent has earned her roles in television, commercials and music videos working with such artists as Michael Kidd, Angela Lansbury, Tony Basil, Harvey Corman, Arsenio Hall, Rebe Jackson and Julie Warner among others.


For ten years, Ms. Mendonca was on the faculty at the Westside School of Ballet in Los Angeles. She has taught master classes at Cornish College of the Arts and has also taught at the Cazadero Performing Arts Camp, Oakley Ballet Center and at Arc School of Ballet here in Seattle. Since moving to the Pacific Northwest, Veronica’s work has been commissioned by the Kodiak Arts Council and Arc Dance. Veronica’s choreography has also been performed at The Triple Door, Can Can Cabaret, The Pink Door, On The Boards (12 Min. Max), the Full Tilt Dance Concert, Poetry in Motion,  and the E.P.I.C. Festival. Currently, She is the Director of VAM Studios a multidisciplinary dance school for all ages. This season, Ms. Mendonca established Suitcase Dance Theater, a traveling troupe that brings theatre to the most unexpected spaces.

SDT’s mission is to foster community through accessible art, opening opportunities for all to engage with and be inspired by creative expression.


Mark Mendonca’s extensive career as a performer and choreographer includes performances for three U.S. Presidents, as well as performances on Broadway, television, and concert stages around the world. Mark's dancing was motion captured for the animated feature film, "The Polar Express," directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks. Mark was chosen to perform the solo opening sequence for Barbra Streisand's "Timeless" concert tour with performances at Madison Square Garden in New York and the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

On Broadway, Mark danced in the Tony Award winning production of "Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk,” and has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Davies Symphony Hall, the Biennale de la Danse, the Joyce Theater, Jacobs Pillow, The Tiger Palast in Frankfurt, Germany and the ApolloTheater, among many others. He has had the honor of sharing the stage with the late tap masters the Nicholas Brothers, Jimmy Slyde, Charles 'Honi' Coles, Eddie Brown, Steve Condos, Chuck Green, Bunny Briggs, Jeni LeGon, Lon Chaney Buster Brown, Arthur Duncan, and Lavaughn Robinson and has made numerous appearances with friend and mentor Gregory Hines, appearing with him in "A Gala for the President at Ford's Theatre," and in "The Kennedy Center Honors," both televised on ABC. Mark's dancing was featured in the Emmy Award nominated documentary, "Juba: The Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance," aired on PBS, and in “The Summit of the Americas,” which aired in Canada.

Mark worked with Lynn Dally's Jazz Tap Ensemble and went on to form his own company, The Steps Ahead Tap Trio, which toured both nationally and internationally.

As an educator, Mark has taught and performed at dance festivals across the US including the Colorado Dance Festival, Florida Dance Festival as well as festivals in Stockholm, Sweden, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, Boston, Portland, Anchorage, and Atlanta among others. He has been on the faculty at Loyola Marymount University and Santa Monica College, and has also taught classes at UCLA, Cal State LA, Cal State Long Beach, Los Angeles County High School of the Arts and Orange County High School of the Arts.

Mark has also worked with director James Brooks, choreographer Twyla Tharp, composer Marvin Hamlisch and fellow tap dancers Bill Irwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Elizabeth Berkley, and Christopher Walken. Mark was the first person to receive a Princess Grace Foundation Award for tap dance and was the winner of the 1997 Lester Horton Dance Award for outstanding achievement in individual performance in Los Angeles. Mark has also received a Brody Art Fund Artists Fellowship

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