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Review: WADEintoACTIVISM EXPLORES THE POSSIBILITIES OF DANCE'S GREATER GLOBAL IMPACT

Review: WADEintoACTIVISM EXPLORES THE POSSIBILITIES OF DANCE'S GREATER GLOBAL IMPACT

This hybrid festival runs now through December 10.

At its core, dance as an art form is meant to make people feel their feelings: joy, excitement, longing, grief, and everything in between. But when it can de-mystify and generate awareness about life's most intimate struggles, dance becomes far more than an art form: dance becomes a language we're all speaking. This is the extraordinary mission of WADE Dance with WADEintoACTIVISM, a hybrid festival presenting both dance and conversation around gender-based violence, in partnership with the Global 16 Days Campaign. With a combination of both live shows at 12 St Mark's Place and online shows via YouTube Premiere, this multimedia experience is diving far beyond the surface to create something everlasting as a response to the global increase of violence against women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inspired by WADE Founder and Artistic Director, Giada Matteini's own personal experience with domestic violence, Saturday's virtual presentation began with an energetic conversation about this festival's origins: the why and the how WADEintoACTIVISM came to be. It was very refreshing to get a behind-the-scenes peek at the inspiration for the work before it was shown; it felt purposeful, but also communally energetic. This roundtable discussion of WADE Dance's leaders and partners focused on the festival's themes, WADE's greater operational intricacies, and the choreography of the upcoming piece.

What followed was a virtual presentation of Emergency Doors, choreographed by Sarah Cerneaux. Originally performed in July 2022, the piece began quietly. The company of dancers were gathered densely, still and pensive, as the music began to boom. Slowly, they all walked backwards, following the same diagonal track, carefully lifting their arms over their heads, then over their faces, then down, again and again. It was methodical; a ritual that was intuitive and haunting. The ominous piano keys played over and over as the dancers began to spread out and started to move their limbs in a frenzy. They struck against their legs, jumped up and down, and hit the floor, all while maintaining their collective groundedness. What was so captivating was their collective sense of motion throughout; you gathered that this group was in a shared experience and it was palpable. The piece was truly moving-both literally and emotionally.

The program concluded with a special appearance by dancer and choreographer Rena Butler, who spoke about the importance of women's free will, especially in regards to the ongoing events of Roe v. Wade. Her contributions created such a harmonious, full-circle effect to the afternoon's program, and continued the mission of destigmatizing these conversations through true authenticity.

Do not miss out on WADEintoACTIVISM, now through December 10!

Photo Credit: Federica Capo



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