As the Artistic Director of the Intersections Dance Collective, I have the unique privilege to help develop an approach to intercultural, interfaith and interdisciplinary dialogue through movement and choreographic expression. Our aim is to learn about and from others, and to share experiences and artistic practices.
In this light, it was such an honor to host our first Intersections Evening of Dance and Conversation this past Thursday, March 3rd. We shared a meal together and throughout the evening our special guests filled our hearts and minds with rich cultural colors and dress, dance traditions, music, song and storytelling.
We watched a performance of traditional Japanese dance, a dance performed at weddings, each gesture full of symbolism; we heard two amazing stories from Pearls of Wisdom, a touring ensemble of elder storytellers; we listened to a mesmerizing traditional Brazilian song and learned some basic notions and steps of Capoeira; we learned about the celebration and joy of Bhangra dance, where two members from NYC Bhangra Dance Company performed for us and led us in movement; and we experienced the Soca music and dance tradition from the Caribbean, and learned some fun Soca dance movements!
The evening came to a close with American Indigenous song and dance. The drumming, the deep resonating voices and the sacred movements were so expressive, and the perfect way to end our gathering.
I am always struck by how movement moves people together. Last night, we were a group of strangers meeting for the first time and yet, we danced together. We found common ground through this shared love of dance and music, both having the uniqueness to be able to transcend barriers and bring people together, simply and with such meaning.
We are so grateful for this experience. Our sincere thanks to all, especially to Mari Miya, Crystal Kilgore, Joyce Duncan, Njoli Brown, Magan Rehal, Megha Kalia, Chua Yun Chun, Davin McLeod, Irma Laguerre, and Luis Ramos. We look forward to building on this evening, in order to help create more spaces and opportunities to grow in deeper understanding and love.