Leeway Foundation presents eclectic dance performances by select grantees

The Philadelphia-based Leeway Foundation supports women and transgender artists who create social change through their artwork. Vernacular Motions features performances by four dancers who have received grants from the Leeway Foundation.

The performances are:

  • Uurja by Viji Rao/Three Aksha Dance Ensemble
  • Denzel Prelude by niv Acosta
  • Then & Now by Jaye Allison/JADA Dance Ensemble
  • public. by iele paloumpis

“The performance is named ‘Vernacular Motions’ because each of these dancers is taking a traditional practice and transforming it with their own particular dialect of movements and concepts” says Leeway Foundation Executive Director, Denise Brown. “We’re excited to be presenting a program the reflects both the diversity and uniqueness of Leeway’s grantees.”

Uurja by Viji Rao/Three Aksha Dance Ensemble
Classical Bharatanatyam trained dancers explore the depth and scope of rich dance theory and movement through the spectrum of universal human emotions. This production assures to transport the connoisseur to enthralled worlds of movement and mysticism with the powerful flow of movement in the ancient Indian classical dance form Bharatanatyam. The tradition, sacrosanct rituals, and celestial revolution these are unveiled and interpreted in exhilarating dance. The piece invites the audience to witness the transformation from theater to temple, from dancer to divinity.

Denzel Prelude by niv Acosta
Dezel Prelude is a piece that sprung out of niv’s research of glory: the glorified and glorious. Through this project niv instigates ways we all can feel glorious and ways we can feel envious of glory. In this society when someone around us is glorified that inherently means someone else is not. “My experience with glory has been scarcely my own glory but that of someone else’s, someone more ‘“fortunate’” than me” says niv Acosta. “As a queer/trans person of color, I have chosen to perform privileges that I could never have in my lifetime through ‘queering’ what I deem to be glory. I am also interested in proselytizing as a didactic structure. I intend to queer that structure and how it informs glory or glorification.” Source material that has inspired this process so far includes: Glory, the film with Denzel Washington, the song “Crucified” by Army of Lovers, and Sunday morning proselytizing in a public park.

Then & Now by Jaye Allison/JADA Dance Ensemble
Then and Now is a compilation of an excerpt of the Virtual Quilt mentoring project with the 2nd Generation Silver Belles. The piece is tap choreography with traditional Silver Belles’ style, accompanied by video projection.

public. by iele paloumpis
public. is a solo performance that explores various commonalities: deficiency, death, and the passing of time. Always a work in progress, movement cyclically grows and decays, grows and decays. It is predictable, random, familiar, and everywhere. In public. we are all implicated.

Vernacular Motions
presented by Leeway Foundation

Sunday, November 14, 2010 at 3PM
Community Education Center, 3500 Lancaster Ave., Philadelphia
Event is free and open to the public.

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