OnStage Summer Series Interview - Connections Dance Theater
We are excited to introduce the next choreographer from the OnStage Summer Performance Series... Jenny Oliver of Connections Dance...
Sparked by the struggles of indigenous people at Standing Rock and the struggle for clean water in Flint, Michigan, “Hot Water Over Raised Fists” uses movement, light, and sculptural elements to create a visceral experience of empathy and hope. The collective invites audiences to join the resistance throughout this performance-installation. Premiered in June at the Boston Center for the Arts and 2 excerpts will be presented in NY in November.
"Five years ago, Flint residents began to be exposed to lead-filled drinking water. Then a couple years later, indigenous and environmental activists protested the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline — worried a potential spill would pollute drinking water. The fight to safeguard such a basic need spurred dancer and choreographer Jenny Oliver into action." Read More >>
As an artist whose goal is to further amplify the current issues of Black and Indigenous people, I strive to use narratives directly from people impacted in the production of my works. The first piece performed on this video is a comment on the destruction of capitalism focused on the Huni Kuin Tribe's testimony about the fires in the Amazon that are affecting their way of life. The voices you hear are from tribal members and below are the translations. The second piece is inspired by the power and lure of water. It flows through all of us, nurtures all of us, connects us, has the power to protect us and the ability to destroy us if we are not careful about the maintaining the natural balance of people and the earth.
Translations extracted from: https://youtu.be/4-IJieq5NOw
1.) “Without the forest, we have nothing. We are nothing. The forest Is our mother, our house, our home. Without the forest, there’s nothing. There won’t be any Indigenous people left.”- Txana Sia, Huni Kuin Tribe
2.) “ The global climate, the sun’s temperature, unpredictable rain… all that happens because they are destroying nature, [and it is nature] that regulates all. Nature does everything for us.”- Txana Sia, Huni Kuin Tribe
3.) "It is very important for us to preserve traditions because we have our knowledge in our tradition, our culture. It is a beautiful thing, and I feel very proud to be Indigenous and to keep my tradition."- Txana Sia, Huni Kuin Tribe
4.) "If you don't get to know it, who is going to keep this?"- Isaka, Spiritual Leader/Clan Elder, Huni Kuin Tribe
5.) “We were scared because we couldn’t put out the flames. We used all of the water we had but it was impossible.” -Buni, Huni Kuin Tribe
Special Thank You to ModArts Dance Collective for having us in this year's Move To Change Festival. We appreciate the opportunity to share our message and re-work 2 pieces from our show, HOT WATER OVER RAISED FISTS. Here's the video from our tech run. ENJOY!
Aja M. Jackson (Designer) is a Boston-based lighting designer. Recent regional credits include Hear Word! (American Repertory Theatre), Straight White Men (New Rep), The Leftovers(Company One – Strand Theatre), The Last Wife (WAM Theatre), and Wit (Calderwood Pavilion – Boston Center of Performing Arts). Other credits include Ragtime at Wheelock Family Theatre and Nat Turner in Jerusalem with Actor's Shakespeare Project. Aja is also the Resident Lighting Designer and core collaborator for interdisciplinary, site-specific movement company, Nourishment (www.thisisnourishment.com) exploring new and inventive ways to share movement-based performances. Previously, she worked as a stage manager with the Denver Center Theatre Company and in Production Management with The Santa Fe Opera. Aja holds an M.F.A. in Lighting Design from Boston University, a B.F.A. in Lighting Design from the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film, and a B.A. in Dance Performance from the School of Music. Aja recently was a Mentor in Residence with Brighter Boston, an outreach organization aimed at giving urban teens practical training in event and theatre productions.
Collective Artists (bios found here)
Stacey Badgett Jr.
Ndubuisi (Ndu) Ofoegbu