About Dances for Solidarity
Dances for Solidarity is a project led by dance artist Sarah Dahnke in collaboration with other dancers, choreographers, artists and socially conscious individuals. We have devised a list of simple movement gestures that are open to interpretation. We are mailing this list, along with a short letter, to a variety of incarcerated people in solitary confinement, letting them know that there are others in similar situations who are also participating in this project. The incarcerated people are invited perform these gestures in sequence, as many times as they like, when they are feeling anxious, stressed, angry or need an outlet for boredom or an activity. There is solidarity in knowing that there may be another incarcerated person in solitary confinement–or someone on the outside–doing the same dance at the same time.
Dances for Solidarity will also have ongoing opportunities for live engagement outside the prison system, including events where attendees are invited to dance in solidarity with those who are incarcerated. While this project aims to raise awareness around the inhumane conditions inside of our nation’s prison system, it is also an ephemeral, abstract performance piece about creating a sensation of existence for those who have been placed out of sight and out of mind.
Dances for Solidarity is currently a partner-in-residence at Brooklyn Studios for Dance.
We have received past supported from Culture Push’s Fellowship for Utopian Practice and a space residency at Abrons Arts Center.
About Sarah Dahnke
Sarah Dahnke is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, multimedia artist, and arts educator. She creates performance experiences that often feature non-performers, highlighting and celebrating the nuances of natural, untrained human movement. She works with public school students to facilitate the creation of their own choreography and video projects, makes giant group dances to teach to the general public, and films instructional videos to disseminate dance sequences widely. Her video work has been curated nationally by Dance Films Association, DCTV, Tiny Dance Film Festival, Hyde Park Arts Center, Ruth Page Center for the Arts and Gowanus Ballroom as well as internationally across The Philippines. Her choreography has occurred on stages, in streets, on the Internet, in music videos, on roofs, in galleries and more. Some of these places include The Kitchen, CPR-Center for Performance Research, Grace Exhibition Space, The New York Transit Museum, Northside Festival and Lollapalooza.