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Juneteenth Premiere of Short Dance Films to be Presented by The National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron

The collection of short dance films will premiere through NCCAkron's YouTube channel on June 19 at 3 PM ET.

Juneteenth Premiere of Short Dance Films to be Presented by The National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron

The National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron has announced the premiere of a collection of short dance films by Cara Hagan (Boone, NC/Australia) and her artistic collaborators as part of NCCAkron's Community Commissioning Residency. Hagan's artistic collaborators include Ananya Chatterjea (Minneapolis, MN), Paloma McGregor (New York, NY), and Tamara (Fák??mi) Williams (Charlotte, NC). The cohort works closely with poet Jacinta V. White (Winston-Salem, NC) and dramaturg Sharon Bridgforth (Los Angeles, CA). The films explore ancestry, embodied relationships to place, and the reframing of histories as women of color.

The collection of short dance films will premiere through NCCAkron's YouTube channel on June 19 at 3 PM ET. The premiere lands on Juneteenth, also known as African American Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. The virtual premiere is free and open to the public.

REFRAME / REMNANT / RITUAL: Film Premiere

Saturday, June 19, 3 - 4 PM ET

RSVP: nccakron.org/event-details/reframe-remnant-ritual-film-premiere

Hagan was selected as NCCAkron's Community Commissioning Residency artist for her choreographic research, which exists at the intersections of dance, filmmaking, writing, contemplative practice, and social justice. This past fall, Hagan was a virtual teaching artist at The University of Akron's choreography classes, where students engaged in screendance and created short dance film studies. This spring, Hagan and her artistic collaborators realized the commissioning component of the residency with the collection of short dance films discretely created across multiple places.

NCCAkron Executive/Artistic Director Christy Bolingbroke praised, "The original idea behind a Community Commissioning Residency was to incorporate a visiting artist into the Akron and university community over a two week period. In addition to working virtually with UA students over four weeks in the fall, we were thrilled to follow Cara's lead as she expanded the idea of community and creative time beyond traditional borders to realize this project. Much more than an adaptation during COVID times, this work really is an authentic extension of her artistic ethos."

Hagan's practice of artistic surrogacy, which she describes as a way of transmitting ideas across borders and bodies, enabled her to work with communities across the country in ways that upheld the core values of the work while leaving room for translational growth. The collection of short dance films are influenced by frequent cohort meetings where concepts are explored through group discussion, writing, sharing, and ritual-making. Hagan explains, "This project is like jazz; we come together, we riff, we play, and we make music that speaks to our collective interests."

Jacinta V. White, poet, facilitator, and coach, explains, "I believe that art can bring people together in ways unimaginable and is a healing agent. As a poet, I'm thrilled to collaborate with this unique and brilliant group of dancers, and get a peek into their world and creativity and try to capture that with the movement of a pen."

The Juneteenth premiere of the collection of short dance films will conclude the inaugural Community Commissioning Residency. The Community Commissioning Residency is the second phase of the Ideas in Motion program, a joint initiative supported by NCCAkron, The University of Akron, The University of Akron Foundation, and the Mary Schiller Myers Lecture Series in the Arts.

Credit: Cara Hagan; photo by Victor Blanco 


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