Bricks & Bones is a multi-year project co-directed by Cassie Meador and Paloma McGregor that brings Dance Exchange and members of the Dallas, TX community members together to collaboratively weave dance, song, and story telling into an intergenerational investigation of how race shapes the landscape around us. The Bricks & Bones performance series invites audiences to travel backward and forward in time to reflect on the current racial landscape and asks how each of us takes a step in moving racial equity forward.
On November 1, 2015 Dance Exchange heads to Dallas to facilitate numerous immersive community performances, discussions and installations throughout different locations in Dallas.
Through this initiative Dance Exchange is leveraging our practice rooted in artistic process and performance to work alongside Dallas communities to raise ongoing struggles for racial equity in the public consciousness, and to build capacities for change in Dallas’ institutions, policies, and practices. Dance Exchange has been a proud partner of Dallas Faces Race since 2012, a community coalition of over 300 Dallas based organizations; numerous national partners; and countless individuals dedicated to recognizing, confronting, and dismantling racial in equity and injustice.
Together, Dance Exchange and Dallas Faces Race have gathered a new network of collaborators including community and faith leaders, poets, writers, singers, and local activists. We have laid the foundation to leverage the opportunities dance provides for vivid, embodied learning, understanding, and action – necessary tools for navigating challenging issues and activating the potential for change.
This intergenerational, multi-racial, coalition of individuals have been working closely with Dance Exchange since 2013, and convened for the first time at Dance Exchange’s 2014 Summer Institute and again at Race Forward’s 2014 national Facing Race Conference in Dallas where they performed and brought 2,000 individuals from around the world together through engaging them in movement.
Next month, Dance Exchange returns to Dallas to engage small groups in participatory, thematic workshops, which is a crucial aspect of the sustainability of this initiative moving forward. With members of the Dallas community, we will premiere an evening-length work on Saturday, November 7 at the South Dallas Cultural Center that will uncover the hidden histories of the historic Freedman’s Town, where the current Arts District is situated. Through dance, song, and storytelling, artists will take the Dallas public on a journey that travels backwards and forwards in time to examine the role racial inequity, and the struggles to transform it, have played in shaping the local landscape. The work also invites community members to participate in the process and perform alongside Dance Exchange artists Paloma McGregor, Cassie Meador and Matthew Cumbie.