“One of Four” is a dance initiative addressing gender-based violence.The title “One of Four” comes from the statistically shocking figure that 1 out of every 4 women will be raped in college in the United States. Three female dancers and two male dancers will partner with medical-grade manikins representing their perpetrators. These life-size, burdensome figures will symbolize how the trauma of rape is a weight borne by victims for the rest of their lives. At certain points, the manikins—hoisted overhead, thrown to the the floor, or entwined, swung, and dragged around dancers’ bodies—become almost indistinguishable from the live performers themselves. These dummy figures seem animated, fused with the dancers into a single, knotty, multi-limbed entity. Shuddering movements reflect the brutality of the victim' experiences, though at times their spasmodic contractions may suggest pleasure. The dancers sometimes appear to lose control over the dolls , or find that the articulated, inanimate figures are attacking their intimate parts. Occasionally, the large, heavy figures seem to crush the dancers with their weight, and immobilize them. The performers show, with abstract, clear, dynamic movements, how the emotional and physical toll of sexual assault is permanent. Whether or not the predatory, shadow-like manikins are inextricably entangled with the dancers, the burden of trauma they represent remains, leading to suicidal thoughts, denial, despair— and possibly, to hope and healing.
The inspiration for this film started with the idea of touch and with the memory of my grandmother. Touch is physical, it is literal, and it is also felt deeply from person to person. The remnants of my grandmother live in me through her gentle words, her kind actions, and her unapologetic pride in her identity. Thus, this piece is titled "Marcia." Marcia Stern was a Jewish-American woman who lived to 92 years old. She lived as a strong and empowered woman who took great pride in her Jewish heritage amidst the overwhelming prejudice and turmoil throughout the times. Her stories left an immense mark on me as I grow into my identity as a woman, dancer, and artist. Not only does her legacy continue to live on in me through my identity and my middle name, but her many wise lessons, humble teachings, and vibrant memories also have made a deeply rich imprint that is now and forever illuminating my own path to life. Marcia's presence, her legacy, and her touch live on.
The work I will be performing,, “Shape of My Heart”, is dedicated to one of my dearest friends, Donnette Heath, whom I lost on May 4th, 2020. After studying her choreography and combining her movement with my own, I created “Shape of My Heart” as a tribute to her spirit.
SammyJDance will be presenting four solos choreographed by each company member.
SammyJDance will unite as a group of 5 presenting 5 fun pieces to get the audience moving and grooving and ready for the garden!