Dance for Social Change
New Orleans’ teenagers learn to use their artistic talents to advocate for positive social change in their communities.
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DSC PROGRAM COMPONENTS
DG Uprising Company Rehearsals serve as the breeding ground for the development of an original, site-adaptive performance that will premiere at the DSC festival and tour to local community events. During 3-hour sessions on Saturdays led by Chanice Diante Holmes, a cohort of 20 DSC teen participants identify a social justice issue that matters to them and collaboratively develop an original performance that blends hip hop, contemporary, and Afro-diasporic dances, poetry, and music. In past years, students have chosen the following themes: “Breaking Through The Stigma of Mental Health” (2018); “Women’s Rights and Gender Justice” (2017); and “Raising Student Voices: The School to Prison Pipeline” (2016). Participants studied with acclaimed local dance company, KM Dance Project, and visiting artists Urban Bush Women (NYC), Forklift Dance (Austin, TX) and more to further their dance training, choreography, composition, and performance skills.
DSC Festival is a series of performances and events highlighting the work of DG Uprising, and connected their artistic endeavors with local advocacy efforts. This event includes free dance classes, performances by youth performance groups from across the city, community resource tables, a healing arts village, and more. Throughout the week, we will organize events and speakers connected to the 2019 DSC festival theme. On March 30 and 31, our young artists will premiere their powerful new performance piece at Art Klub.
DSC Performance Tour brings young people to perform their site-adaptive work at local community events. Students will engage in dialogue with their peers and facilitate discussions that highlight the role of youth in impacting social change in their community. Past performance tour sites include New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Idea City Arts Festival, Southern Rep’s Lagniappe pre-show, the Tulane Black Arts festival, DG’s GiveNOLA Get Down, and NOMA’s Taylor Foundation Celebration.
If you would like to book a DSC performance, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 504-535-5791.
DSC HISTORY & PARTNERSHIP
DSC launched in 2016 with Raising Student Voices, a series of dance workshops that culminated in site-specific performances in classrooms, hallways, and the cafeteria of Akili Academy. In 2017, the program grew to include weekly workshops and a Day of Action preceding the festival performances. Students presented original works at the Music Box Village with the theme: Elevating The Playing Field: Women’s Rights and Gender Justice. In 2018, the program expanded further with new support from Dance USA’s Engaging Dance Audiences grant program with the theme Breaking Through The Stigmas of Mental Health. DSC has always been grounded in community partnerships and collaboration. Past partners include: KM Dance Project, BreakOUT!, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), New Orleans Airlift/Music Box Village, Threadhead Cultural Foundation, New Orleans Theatre Association, Design as Protest/Bryan C. Lee, Arise Academy, Women with a Vision, Junebug Productions, Cocoon: Youth Empowerment Project, and New Orleans Youth Open Mic.
Dance for Social Change is supported by a grant from the New Orleans Theatre Association (NOTA).