Dancing Women’s Lives

“Dancing the News: Choreographing Women’s Lives,” an innovative dance performance choreographed by students and Scripps College Dance instructor Suchi Branfman, will be performed on Wednesday, April 20, both at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. in Garrison Theater. Admission is free and open to the public. For general concert information call (909) 607-2934.

The performance is the culmination of the semester-long class “Dancing the News: Choreographing Women’s Lives” taught by Professor Suchi Branfman. The class has focused on issues of women’s identity, health, and empowerment. The work created during the semester reflects current issues in the news ranging from the war in Iraq, the right to die, gun violence, and equitable industries, to the issues that impact the private lives of individuals such as the death of family members, eating disorders, identity, and racism. The resulting event integrates the various dance styles that the dancers bring to the class and includes movement based on rhythm tap, the classical Indian dance form Bharata-Natyam, ballet, modern dance, spoken word, and improvisation. Also included in the program will be a restaging of Professor Branfman’s “Collateral Damage,” originally created during the Gulf War of 1991. The piece looks at war through an interview with the workers at a New Jersey “body bag” factory, conducted by NPR’s Maria Hinojosa. Choreographer and activist Professor Branfman and her students recently returned from performing this piece at the Second National Assembly of United for Peace and Justice in St. Louis, Missouri.

The performance will be presented in the round, with both audience and performers sharing the Garrison Theater stage. An informal discussion will follow with Professor Branfman and class members Liza Enrich (Scripps ’07), Sarah Beth Goer (Scripps ’07), Mary Grimes (Scripps ’07), Kelly Hewitt (Scripps ’08), Esther Hutchins (Scripps ’05), Lisa Ratner (Scripps ’08). Additional dancers performing in “Collateral Damage” include Brianna Skellie (Scripps ’08), Courtney Crocker (Scripps ’04), Tova Eisner (Scripps ’06), Meredith Horiuchi (Scripps ’07), Eli Liliedahl-Allen (Pomona ’05), and Nkechi Njaka (Scripps ’05).