Reconciling Experience – Dance

On Wednesday 21 November, The Exchange held its first immersive dance performance, as part of the Reconciliations Exhibition.

The piece, choreographed by Roman Baca, former US Marine and current Fullbright Scholar at Trinity Laban, explored how training for war impacts the mind, body and psyche of an individual.

The space was transformed into a partially lit zone of exploration with the dancers weaving through the audience, and the artwork.  Members of the audience were invited to participate, donning arm bands, flash lights and responding to written instructions giving them a personal experience of the power of ritual, sacrifice, and military training.

Roman’s work demonstrates his own process of reconciliation as a trained dancer, then US Marine, and now as a choreographer working with material that explores the possibility of reconciliation for veterans, as they transition back into civilian life.

“I found this dance performance profoundly moving. Being a part of the movement helped me to experience the message of the dance on every level, intellectually, sensually and emotionally. This was a first for me. I found the content thought provoking and beautiful and it has stayed with me for the last few days. King’s challenges perceptions and takes risks and that is always exciting and rewarding.” Amanda Faber, Producer.

“the need for more integration of our research with art … is something we desperately need to do more of, because it not only allows to reach a population we don’t normally reach from the ivory tower, but also the communicative means to allow for true exchange with those from other backgrounds, transcending the boundaries of our identities.” Stefan Schilling, PhD Candidate, School of Security Studies

After the performance a panel with Roman, Stefan Schilling (School of Security Studies) and Melissa Abecassis (former co-director EcoME Centre for Peace and Sustainability in the West bank) discussed how dance can add to research, study and dialogues around reconciliation.

This event is one example of how SSPP’s Exchange space seeks to pioneer creative activities based on academic research within the Faculty.

The event is part of our current exhibition, Reconciliations, running in parallel at the Exchange, Bush House, King’s College London from 1 November-16 December 2018, and at the Knapp Gallery, Regent’s University London, from 1 November 2018-19 January 2019.

There will be another, different, dance performance by Touchdown Dance Co. as part of the Art and Reconcliation Symposium on Friday 30 November.  Details here.

By Jayne Peake

For more about Roman Baca and the event, see: https://www.trinitylaban.ac.uk/news/conflict-and-dance-trinity-laban-and-king%E2%80%99s-war-studies-explore-impact-of-military-training

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