Monday, August 4, 2008

Invisible Dance

The above photo shows dancer Delores Alexander performing the dance, INVISIBLE, which, a few nights ago, placed first in the Dance Segment (Interpretative Dance Category) of the Best Village Competition. It moves on to the semi-finals at Queens Hall this Thursday, 7 August. Try and see it if you can.

The following blurb provided by choreographer Sonja Dumas, narrated for the audience and judges before the dance, explains more:


People living with AIDS face daily challenges of survival. One such person is someone whom we shall call Veronica. She and her family have had to endure being kicked out of their home, forced out of school, and fired from jobs because of other people's fear and ignorance of the disease.

Veronica's story is the subject of a video called Invisible by multimedia artist Elspeth Duncan, which was the inspiration for the creation of this dance. The dance is dedicated to Veronica and all other people living not only with AIDS, but with AIDS discrimination, and whom society pretends are invisible.

Choreography: Sonja Dumas
Music: Sally Nyolo of Cameroun
Dancers: Stanis Wallace, Patrice, Heather, Roxanne, Roxanne, Carol.
Soloist: Delores Alexander

The dance is extremely moving. The first time I saw it (their first public performance of it, to which Sonja had invited a few people), my body erupted into goosebumps and remained like that for the entire thing. A piece of music named TamTam by Sally Nyolo (listen to it on her playlist here) is beautiful and moving. The dancers' movements and facial expressions are clearly enhanced by a deeper understanding of the issue at hand (HIV/AIDS). After viewing the DVD of the mini documentary (Invisible), Sonja and the dancers spent hours discussing Veronica and her family and the wider issues at hand. From these discussions, the dance was born.

Saturday gone was the day for digging the land for Veronica's House. 8 people volunteered (2 on my end, 6 on Habitat's end) and, considering that 27 were needed, we had to call off the exercise. This could have meant 'disappointment', in the sense that the building of the house would have been held back yet again. But ... as Life would have it, another, much easier and more immediate option (re the construction of the house) has presented itself.

1 comment:

Lynn Cohen said...

How exciting to see your work come to fruition in this form of dance and music. You can be so proud. goosebumps and all.
Hugs. You do such good works in life!