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Catherine Gallant/Dance Presents Live Outdoor Performance Of New Work ESCAPE FROM THE  HOUSE OF MERCY

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Gallant seeks to mine the feelings of vulnerability and powerlessness as they relate to the present in the drive for social freedoms and equity.

Catherine Gallant/Dance presents a live outdoor 1/2 hour version of their latest work, Escape from the House of Mercy, as part of the Open Culture program which places performances on NYC streets, Saturday June 12, 3 PM, on 104th Street between Madison and Fifth Avenues.

The dance/theater work is inspired by The House of Mercy, and embodies those buried voices in the ongoing struggle for women's equity. Once located at Inwood Hill Park in Upper Manhattan, The House of Mercy was described as "a home for abandoned and troubled women."

It was, in fact, closer to a prison or workhouse to which most women and girls were brought against their wills. Here a young woman could be locked up for years for an "offense," such as dancing in public or walking alone at night. Inhabitants were routinely punished with starvation diets, head shaving, and restraints. In 1895 three girls managed to escape the institution on whose walls were inscribed "I wish I was dead" and "God help me get out."

This inhumane and demoralizing treatment, in the guise of rehabilitation, was part of an era when the rights of the poor, especially women, were completely denied.

Gallant seeks to mine the feelings of vulnerability and powerlessness as they relate to the present in the drive for social freedoms and equity.
www.catherinegallantdance.com


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