FJK Dance, "A Message of Peace" Photo Courtesy Choreographer
FJK Dance,

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The Dance Enthusiasts Social Distance Dance Video Series: André M. Zachery/ Renegade Performance Group's "Just Past and Beyond"

The Dance Enthusiasts Social Distance Dance Video Series: André M. Zachery/ Renegade Performance Group's  "Just Past and Beyond"
Christine Jowers/Follow @cmmjowers on Instagram

By Christine Jowers/Follow @cmmjowers on Instagram
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Published on May 12, 2020
Candace Thompson Zachary (pictured) Renegade Performance Group

Responding to the Inablity to Connect With Our Elders

Just Past and Beyond is a dance film responding to not being able to physically connect with our elders, who play a vital role in our communities as holders of knowledge and builders of legacy. As much as we need their guidance in our lives, they need to see our passion and possibility. Not being able to connect with them during this time hurts us all.

This film also addresses the harsh truth and reality in the crisis of COVID19 - that Black communities are facing higher infections and death rates due to structural inequities. Fighting through this crisis will be a testament and tribute to the family, friends, elders and cultural leaders we have lost.

Honoring those who have become ancestors is a sacred tradition that must be carried out even in the midst of our current struggle.

Title: Just Past and Beyond
Director + Choreography + Editing: André M. Zachery
Performer: Candace Thompson-Zachery
Music: Bill Withers, The Fugees


1. How are you? How is your family?

I am doing well and gratefully healthy. My family is also doing well, and I am especially worried about my father who has not missed a day of work at UPS. However, a great-uncle in Chicago did contract and recover from a bout with COVID19 so with all this, things are good.


2. How are you communicating with friends and family during this stay -at -thome period?

Communicating through everybody possible means and maybe even letter writing and postcards before all is said and done! Mainly through all manner of apps (WhatsApp, Marco Polo, IG, Facebook) and email with colleagues and collaborators. My wife Candace and I are also doing ZOOM date nights with friends and couples!

3. What gives you joy and/or what are you grateful for right now?

What gives me joy and fills me with gratitude in this time is the ability to work from home and offer support financially or emotionally to family and friends.
Having the capacity to do that is something I work hard at doing but am grateful for all that has been given to me.

4. What are you doing about "moving" and "nutrition"?   How do you stay in physical, mental, spiritual shape?

I am taking a lot of dance classes. Teaching a lot of fitness and dance classes and cooking even more than usual.
We always were big on home cooked meals and meal prep before the crisis and now, we merely keep cooking and meal prepping for the week.
Also, I am teaching virtual fitness classes via Bluming Studio where I work so here is a shameless self-promotion for those looking to stay fit:

5. Is there anything, in particular, you would like to share with your colleagues, your audience, and our readers?

I would ask that we all understand and accept that we are not all equally impacted and affected by this crisis.

Yet there is not evading this virus or wishing it will disappear without addressing and dismantling that inequality in every aspect of our lives and actions.

Those who are heavily impacted such as Black, Latinx and Native American and immigrant communities will not be silent or make things convenient to return to any society except one where we are consciously engaged about ensuring health and medical care for all persons, not just citizens, protecting our climate and natural resources, and confronting oppression and discrimination that exists overtly and covertly with an emphasis on persons' humanity and capabilities to be used for the betterment of all rather a select few.

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