Bob Finkelstein created a brief video overview on the Faith Project. In it, Nicole Diroff of The Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia asks “What might come out of exchanges between professional dance artists and religious folks?”
Kun-Yang reflected that “religion is a doorway” for people to enter into a process of discovering Truth. Likewise, dance is a doorway through which Kun-Yang (and many others) find the Truth.
What is this "Truth?" Or “The true essence of being in connection with mystery?"
In searching for a definition of Truth, I return to the three questions Kimerer asked at the first Story Circle:
What do you most love?
What do you most fear?
From what do you draw your greatest strength?
Some of the answers from the participants included:
- My family/My children
Each of us had/has a different response, but perhaps these questions help to define our personal Truth.
How do we discover this Truth? Many of us engage in a ritual to arrive at a physical, mental, and emotional place in which we can surrender to something greater. God. Myself. Dance. Home. Community. Connection. Family. Freedom.
To translate these words and experiences into movement for the stage, the artists of KYL/D engage in CHI Awareness Practice in class and in rehearsal – surrendering themselves to the stories, the different responses to Kimerer’s questions, and contemporary dance movement. Evalina “Wally” Carbonell shared that “These in depth movement responses by the dancers are (initially) improvised and come from a very instinctual place, and they have been used to inform the feeling of different sections in the work… we have been informed by all of the story circle participants, and fused that experience with our own private experiences to create abstract movement that also includes a variety of different visual and vocal access points, through which our eventual audiences can then see parts of themselves in the work.”
I’m observing that one of the things that is coming out of the exchanges between professional dance artists and religious folks is that many people share a desire to seek a Truth that is greater than themselves.
Perhaps this commonality is a link that could bridge the isolation that is present in our culture and society. Perhaps this exchange can reveal a process through which we can experience a deeper sense of humanity.
What is your Truth? What rituals do you engage in to surrender to your Truth?
~ Jessica Warchal-King
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Major support for the Faith project has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.