“Undanced Dances Through Prison Walls During a Pandemic” Favorite 


Mar 24 2021



“Undanced Dances Through Prison Walls During a Pandemic” features six dances written inside a prison, a 35-minute dance film, and 11 artists (seven choreographic interpreters and four formerly incarcerated narrators) conversing on dancing in carceral spaces.

Choreographer and educator, Suchi Branfman, began a five-year choreographic residency inside the California Rehabilitation Center, a medium-security state men’s prison in Norco, California.

The project was dubbed “Dancing Through Prison Walls.” But it developed into a dialogue about freedom, confinement, and how we survive restriction, limitations, and denial of liberty through the act of dancing.
Like everywhere, the project ended in March 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions. However, the work was quickly revised, and the incarcerated dancers began sending out written choreographies from their bunks to the outside world. The result was a collection of deeply imagined choreographic pieces, written between March and May of 2020, dubbed “Undanced Dances Through Prison Walls During a Pandemic.”

The “Undanced Dances Through Prison Walls During a Pandemic” event will highlight six dances written and choreographed inside the prison with the purpose to highlight the nation’s school to prison pipeline.

With artistic direction by Suchi Branfman and cinematography by Tom Tsai, the dances are narrated by Marc Antoni Charcas, Ernst Fenelon Jr., Richie Martinez and Romarilyn Ralston, all formerly incarcerated movers and organizers. The pieces are interpreted by choreographers Bernard Brown, Jay Carlon, Irvin Gonzalez, Kenji Igus, Bri Mims and Tom Tsai, all of whom have joined Branfman dancing inside the Norco prison). Each choreographer brings one of the written dances to life mixing in hip hop, tap, breaking, performance art, quebradita, spoken word, Bhutto and contemporary dance forms.

By Francesca del Console

Posted by rmy232 on

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