Dance Project has received a $4500 grant from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation in support of “Dancing Our Stories,” a collaborative project between Dance Project, Greensboro Dance Film Festival, and Morehead Elementary.
“Dancing Our Stories,” part of Dance Project’s Community Engagement program, in collaboration with the Greensboro Dance Film Festival (GDFF), seeks to use dance and filmmaking as a way of empowering youth, giving them the power to tell their own stories and connect with others’ histories and identities. This project will serve 5th grade students at Morehead Expressive Arts Elementary School, a Title I school in Guilford County. Through the project, participants will articulate their own identities through dance and media and increase their awareness of diversity among their community through the interactions with their peers. How does storytelling help us understand who we are in the world? How can we establish our own voice or sense of place as it connects to our immediate communities?
With Jenny Braswell, Dance Educator at Morehead Elementary, students have begun integrating two personal identity projects conducted in their academic classrooms with dance concepts, including creative expression and “storytelling” through dance. Dance Project’s NC Dance Festival will send two guest artists to share their experiences of using personal identity to create dance, and up to 30 Morehead Elementary students will receive tickets to attend the NC Dance Festival’s performance on November 11. Choreographer/filmmaker Robin Gee, director of the Greensboro Dance Film Festival and dance/film students from UNCG will work with the Morehead student groups, teaching the students to use current technology to make short dance films. All students have an opportunity to participate in this project whether they are choreographing, directing, dancing, filming, or editing.
UNCG’s Community Arts Collaborative, an umbrella organization over the community-engaged work of the UNCG College of Visual and Performing Arts, and the UNCG School of Dance are providing support for the project and the participating university students as well.
The finished dance films will be shared in a culminating film screening, open to families of the students and the general public, on December 15 at 6:30, at the Greensboro Project Space Gallery (219 W. Lewis St, downtown Greensboro).
About Dance Project:
Dance Project’s mission is to cultivate the field of modern dance in North Carolina, nurturing a community of artists, audiences, and students by providing opportunities for training, performance, collaboration, and employment. For more than 25 years, the non-profit Dance Project has been inspiring, educating, and entertaining Greensboro and the state through the NC Dance Festival, a statewide tour of NC choreography; the Van Dyke Dance Group, a professional company that performs the repertory of Jan Van Dyke; and the School at City Arts, our community dance studio in the Cultural Center. Our Community Engagement program is a collection of activities that extends Dance Project’s reach to a wide range of community groups, providing affordable access to dance, a powerful tool for self-expression, community-building, and social action. We seek to remove barriers to high-quality dance experiences for youth, adults, and seniors throughout Guilford County.