Undanced Dances Through Prison Walls During a Pandemic+ Add to calendar
Sat, Oct 22 2022, 2PM - 4PM
Timken Lecture Hall | 1111 Eighth Street, San Francisco, CA, 94107 View map
Part of event series: Creative Citizens Series Fall 2022
Exhibitions and Public Programming with Julian Carter and Suchi Branfman
Undanced Dances Through Prison Walls During a Pandemic will bring together an in-person film screening and discussion with film makers, dancers, and authors, as well as excerpts of DATA or 7 ways to dance a dance through prison walls, a project by students from Julian Carter’s UDIST 3000-2, "Staging Social Bodies: doing/feeling/together" class.
In 2016, choreographer Suchi Branfman, began a ten-year choreographic residency inside the California Rehabilitation Center, a medium-security state men’s prison in Norco, California. The project, dubbed “Dancing Through Prison Walls,” developed into a critical dialogue about freedom, confinement, and ways for surviving restriction, limitations, and denial of liberty through the act of dancing.
The dancing abruptly ended in March 2020, when the California state prison system shut down programming and visitation due to COVID-19. The work was rapidly revised, and the incarcerated dancers began sending out written choreographies from their bunks to the outside world. The resulting collection of deeply imagined choreographic pieces, written between March and May of 2020, became a performance and film project titled Undanced Dances Through Prison Walls During a Pandemic, and in March of 2022, DATA or 7 ways to dance a dance through prison walls. The profound devastation of COVID-19 inside prisons, living side by side with acts of resilience, resistance, and community survival. The event includes a discussion with formerly incarcerated and “free world” dancers, authors, visual artists, and filmmakers involved with the work.
"Dancing Through Prison Walls" is a California-based dance and performance project whose mission is to dance with, choreography with, and tell stories within embodied carceral landscapes, amplifying voices of incarcerated folks, and addressing mass incarceration. Artistically directed and founded by social practice choreographer Suchi Branfman in 2016, the work embraces a porous community of incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, and “free world” dancers, choreographers, visual artists, and performers. The resulting years of dance, dance making, performance, film creation, publications, and community conversations comprise a body of work that is at its essence a critical dialogue about freedom, confinement, and ways for surviving restriction, limitations, and denial of liberty through the act of dancing. Moving towards our North Star goal of decarceration and abolition, we dance through prison walls.
In December 2020, Undanced Dances Through Prison Walls During a Pandemic was published by the inimitable Sming Sming Books. Benefiting the authors, Critical Resistance and California Coalition for Women Prisoners, with 1st and 2nd editions sold out, the 3rd edition will publish in October of 2022.
Creative Citizens in Action
This event is funded by an endowment gift to support The Deborah and Kenneth Novack Creative Citizens Series at CCA, an annual series of public programs focused on creative activism.
No registration is required. Masks are still required indoors.