Saturday, January 28, 2012

April: rehearsal reflection

[Editor's Note: This is a reflection written by April Dayok as part of a journaling session that took place during rehearsal on 1/26/12. The dancers were asked to take a moment to reflect in words how contagion and the work of PAO related to their lives.]


A safe place. A home for emotion and ideas to be free flowing. For voices to mix and strengthen one another so they can be heard as one - united. Uniting in conversation. Out loud in words and sentences and in silence in gesture and dance. A place to create and tap into a universe. And a chance to invite others in to the universality and potency of moving. Saying with our mouths and our eyes and our limbs. Our heart and our energy. A playground in the center of a city, a world, a number of things. An exploration of time. Of passing time. Of passing smiles and heavy weight and light.

Morgana: rehearsal reflection

[Editor's Note: This is a reflection written by Morgana Phlaum as part of journaling session that took place during rehearsal on 1/26/12. The dancers were asked to take a moment to reflect in words how contagion and the work of PAO related to their lives.]

The act of contagion was a strong focus in rehearsal today. The exercises played with the idea of one person's movement influencing the reaction of someone else. Energy transfers between people can be very subtle or even abrasive. Someone else's touch or bump can cause you to fall into someone else...a never ending cycle. This reminded me of how recently, I have accidentally given myself  bruises on my legs. One simple scratch  has caused terrible looking bruises. I didn't realize that a few scratches could cause such things. One scratch causes a huge bruise to spread across my leg. Contagion can be quite scary when the impetus is not understood. Being born with the affects from Agent Orange leaves babies helpless. Bruises will eventually go away...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

he hasn't cried in 40 years.

a man sits, staring into oblivion
touched only by the passing wind--
residual currents of distant helicopters
or the memory of his former unit partner--
before he too
atomized into the infinite abyss
that now lays before him.

there is no horizon
no meeting of gods and man
because here divinity is bartered for
in the currency of cells
and we only gamble when we know we will win.
we don't get to melt our belted sword into the golden key
on d-day
only cadaveric planes in the graveyard for remotes with hope
that someday that mild droning will either erupt
or disappear with the breaking of dawn.

dawn breaks
orion occluded
and so we wait

until night falls
and the hunter can resume catching his prey.

a boy sits, praying,
staring at his prize
he touches positive to positive
negative to negative
currents of charge
and shifts left to right to left to right
he flies                                              his plastic dragonfly carrier into a wall
he wants to grow up
to be just like dad
and all comes tumbling after.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Practice as Research

Sometimes we perform tasks.

Other times, we do what feels good. Just so.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Year of the Dragon

On behalf of Project Agent Orange, Welcome to the New Year, 2012!
Thank you for your continued support!

In the past 10 months, since the founding of the collective, we have made great strides in our goals to increase awareness about the legacy of Agent Orange, make connections in the nonprofit and social sectors, and use movement to communicate how war is inherited through generations.
However, many exciting milestones lie ahead for us in this coming year!

1. Project Agent Orange will host our first evening length Performance at Dixon Place on May 31, June 1, and June 2.

2. We will also exhibit our work at Movement Research, a prominent laboratory for the creation of new work in New York that has cultivated new movement since the 60s.

3. This week, I had the great honor of sitting down with Charles Bailey, Director of the Agent Orange Program in Vietnam for the Aspen Institute, formerly of the Ford Foundation, to discuss the ways in which Project Agent Orange could help support the overall binational goals of environmental clean up, advocacy and awareness, and humanitarian support for those affected by Agent Orange in Vietnam and the U.S. Together, with the help of his extern Julia Karpati of Swarthmore College, we are drafting plans for a Hands-On Summit to motivate individuals to turn sympathy into empathy into action. While the conference at UC Berkeley followed the model of an academic lecture and panel discussion, we hope to invigorate a new community of young leaders through participatory workshops that engage not only the minds, but the bodies and hearts of those with a commitment to social change. Stay tuned for more! We will likely pilot a program that culminates in Project Agent Orange's show at Dixon Place.

4. I have also been applying for several different grants that will allow me to bring the work of Project Agent Orange (and hopefully some members of the collective) to Vietnam to use movement-based community devised theater techniques to create a performance with individuals who are affected by Agent Orange. The goal would be to perform this piece, that was developed by the performers themselves, across small rural towns and larger cities alike in order to shift the stigma associated with disability in Vietnam to a perspective that is instead constructed around the ideas of agency, individuality, and potential.

Thus, as we move into this next phase of Project Agent Orange, that is focused not only on the development of aesthetically innovative work but also the commitment to engaging with the social sphere, we hope you will continue to support us on our journey that has only just begun!