| Dancing Across North Carolina
Just over a year ago David Dorfman sat down with Charles and Stephanie Reinhart, co-directors of the American Dance Festival in Durham, where his company David Dorfman Dance (DDD) spends part of each summer. He expressed his desire for the company to do more dancing in the state and to share its special brand of dance workshops to get others dancing.
Photo: Greg Miller
The Reinharts contacted the Council to see if we could
help. DDD's track record of working miracles in communities was well known,
so a spark turned into a flame, and the collaboration took off.
Funding remained a question for this ambitious project,
but other funders liked what they heard also. Besides the Council, both
the NEA and the Culpeper Foundation committed their support, and the state
will soon be dancing.
Each of the residencies will last two weeks and will
consist of a variety of activities. Workplace Workshops are a priority
and an approach Dorfman particularly enjoys. "Creativity is contagious,"
says Dorfman. "Corporate leaders tell us their biggest challenges
are teambuilding, networking, interoffice communications, and stress reduction.
We can enhance all that with a dance workshop during a lunch break. Skills
do transfer. The teamwork, trust, creative problem-solving, and communication
involved in dancing together can be used back in the office. And we often
hear that our workshops are the first time employees have actually spoken
to one another."
Several of the sites have chosen to host an established
DDD residency format which allows community members to be involved in
the creation and performance of an original dance piece. Both the Family
Project residency (which explores familial relationships with a group
of traditional and non-traditional family units) and the No Roles Barred
residency (through which different communities will be encouraged to reverse
roles and create works which examine their own social issues) consist
of an initial public workshop/audition, from which 20 or so community
members will be selected. They will go on to participate in nightly rehearsals
over a 2-week period to create a unique work which is performed as a part
of a DDD concert. "These are people who didn't know they could dance.
What else might be possible for them?" asks Dorfman. "We can
remove barriers and change beliefs through dance."