Work in Progress
Where is home? What is home? Does it truly exist? “Uninhabited Dwelling” explores the process of restoration from trauma by returning to home within the body through rhythm, movement, ritual community, and tradition.
Being African by blood and American by birth, Stephanie’s inspiration for this piece comes from her own ancestral background as an American descendant of African slaves and the psychological trauma that comes into play from the disconnection of original cultural identity. With movement investigation in post-modern American dance styles of Katherine Dunham and West African traditional healing dances of the ancient Mali Empire, the restorative process of returning home is looked at through the interplay of historical text, visual imagery, and these movement systems. At the centre of this work is the process of coming into one’s self through prayer and song in community with others. The song, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” a song originally composed as a negro spiritual denoting the passage of African slaves to freedom is sung evoking the emotional nature of independence to interdependence. A sense of African ritual, rhythm, tradition and community are felt strongly within the piece through use of space, pathways and sound. This work was created for the audience to examine both harsh realities in human history and the notion of our true homes being within the rhythm of our bodies, traditional movement, and expressions of freedom through uninhibited dance.
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