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Dances for Solidarity


Copyright Š 2015 Dances For Solidarity Design & layout by Caits Meissner Illustrations on first four pages scanned from project participant letters. The remainder of collaged images are from royalty free sources. www.dancesforsolidarity.com


About Dances for Solidarity. Dances for Solidarity is a project led by dance artist Sarah Dahnke in collaboration with other dancers, choreographers, artists and socially conscious individuals. We have devised a list of simple movement gestures that are open to interpretation. We are mailing this list, along with a short letter, to a variety of incarcerated people in solitary confinement, letting them know that there are others in similar situations who are also participating in this project. The incarcerated people are invited perform these gestures in sequence, as many times as they like, when they are feeling anxious, stressed, angry or need an outlet for boredom or an activity. There is solidarity in knowing that there may be another incarcerated person in solitary confinement – or someone on the outside – doing the same dance at the same time. Dances for Solidarity will also have ongoing opportunities for live engagement outside the prison system, including events where attendees are invited to dance in solidarity with those who are incarcerated. While this project aims to raise awareness around the inhumane conditions inside of our nation’s prison system, it is also an ephemeral, abstract performance piece about creating a sensation of existence for those who have been placed out of sight and out of mind. Dances for Solidarity is currently being supported by Culture Push’s Fellowship for Utopian Practice and a space residency at Abrons Arts Center.


How to Get Involved If you are in New York: Attend one of our weekly letter writing clinics. We meet weekly to write letters to those in solitary confinement around the United States and invite them to do this movement with us. Check for information at dancesforsolidarity.org.

If you are elsewhere in the United States: Email Sarah Dahnke at sarah@sarahdahnke.com for a letter writing kit and set up a satellite writing group in your city.

If you are outside of the United States: Contact us about setting up an international group that contextualizes the project to address the prison-related issues in your country.


Sarah Dahnke is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, multimedia artist, and arts educator. She creates performance experiences that often feature nonperformers, highlighting and celebrating the nuances of natural, untrained human movement. She works with public school students to facilitate the creation of their own choreography and video projects, makes giant group dances to teach to the general public, and films instructional videos to disseminate dance sequences widely. Her video work has been curated nationally by Dance Films Association, DCTV, Tiny Dance Film Festival, Hyde Park Arts Center, Ruth Page Center for the Arts and Gowanus Ballroom as well as internationally across The Philippines. Her choreography has occurred on stages, in streets, on the Internet, in music videos, on roofs, in galleries and more. Some of these places include The Kitchen, CPR-Center for Performance Research, Grace Exhibition Space, Dance Theater Workshop, The New York Transit Museum, Northside Festival and Lollapalooza.


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