Dances for Solidarity presents "Dancing Through Darkness" at HERE Arts Center
Dances for Solidarity
Dances for Solidarity, a project that co-creates choreography with people who are incarcerated in solitary confinement throughout the United States, brings Dancing Through Darkness to the stage for the first time in collaboration with 6 individuals who were formerly incarcerated in New York, featuring an original score by Rena Anakwe. The work will be presented as part of HERE Arts Center’s Co-Op Series, August 23-25. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through OvationTix.
Dancing Through Darkness is the title of a seven-step movement score created by long-term collaborator Dushaan Gillum, who is incarcerated in solitary confinement in the Texas state prison system. He created the text as a tool for other people in segregation to learn to dance and create original choreography, and this performance will be the first time it is performed live, creating a bridge from inside prison walls to the outside by way of individuals who have personally been impacted by incarceration. The choreography comes with an embedded narrative, using dance as a form of freedom to move from a dark place to a place of light. Ultimately, it is about overcoming obstacles and past hurt, shedding past identities and creating a new future. The movement is methodical, transmitted to the performers in handwritten letters that describe each section of choreography with headings such as “Flying Freely” or “Bold Balance.” The job of the performers is to read these words and give them their personal interpretations. After live performances of this work, there is yet another challenge: How do you show someone in solitary confinement what a dance they choreographed looks like? Since there is no way to send video, Dances for Solidarity employs a variety of techniques such as sending still performance video and letters from performers and audience members that describe the experience.
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