A 2 week creation residency at Orsolina28 in Italy with 3 brilliant collaborators this June to produce a dance/oral history film following the journey of 10 incredible immigrants who have changed me through social dance.
"Through being an immigrant, the most important thing you learn is adaptability... You learn how to adapt to any conditions, you learn how to speak to many different kinds of people, you learn how to be comfortable in many different kinds of environments, you learn how to travel and be comfortable with the minimum, you learn how to live frugally, how to not worry so much about the big shiny things in life and focus on things that are really important... Being very adaptable also means that sometimes you're adaptable to things that you should not be comfortable with. For example, let's say you're in a job that is actively destructive to your soul, with an immigrant mentality you will not be comfortable but you will be okay in that situation for much longer than you should. You'd be much more comfortable not speaking up for yourself..." - Boris Khramtsov, born in Russia, lived in Germany, Japan, and France, and is now a major leader in the hustle community in Vancouver
At a time when judgements made against immigrants in the US are so disconnected from the reality of who these humans actually are, I am moved to encourage more empathy in whatever way I can.
"The death of human empathy is one of the earliest and most telling signs of a culture about to fall into barbarism." - Hannah Arendt
As a privileged white American, that empathy has been slowly growing in me thanks to years of diving deeper into social dance. Through hustle, zouk, and Argentine tango I have made friends and connections with leaders who have a tremendous amount of adaptability which they've developed through their immigration and dance journeys. I am excited to share both their talent as movers and their experiences through a new exciting project I'm fundraising for. I'm making a dance/oral history film with 3 brilliant collaborators thanks to a very generous 2 week residency at Orsolina28 in Italy this June! Will you help me make this dream a reality?
So far, we have interviewed and filmed 6 of the 10 leaders I'll be featuring in the film from those 3 different styles of social dance. The final piece of the puzzle will be choreographing a duet with a stunning dancer named Yiannis Logothetis, who is the only leader I've met who dances Argentine tango, house, and contact improvisation. We'll be working alongside two incredible past collaborators of mine, Yazmany Arboleda and Devin Jamieson, who will film and edit throughout the residency. Shared here in bold are a couple quotes from the interviews that have moved me.
"When I developed that goal [dancing at a high level]... one of the things was working on my ego... That was the best thing I did... Start to give people myself. Start to speak my truth... When you're peeling all your layers off, all your barriers, you peel that and you show someone how vulnerable you are, you're afraid the other person will judge you right? But when you become secure in that... not the first time right now, but when you train yourself... you care less, and that is one of the best things entering this path of being a teacher; being good, it's the ego part..." - Zandro Zoncini, international zouk teacher from Brazil living in Vancouver
Please consider contributing to my Fundly campaign. We hope to share this film with film festivals, and we also hope to encourage more empathy in people like me who may need to learn a social dance or two to understand how to really listen to and learn from different life experiences than our own.
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