Mission: The mission of the dance exchange is to create dances that arise from asking: who gets to dance? Where is the dance happening? What is it about? Why does it matter? Dance exchange is an intergenerational company of artists that creates dance and engages people in making art. We serve as an incubator for creative research, bringing ideas to action through collaborations that range from experts in the field of dance to unexpected movers and makers. Through these exchanges we stretch the boundaries between the studio, stage, and other environments to make dances that are rooted in the particularity of people and place. We recognize the body and movement as an essential resource to understand and investigate across disciplines. Through local, national, international, and online projects we gather and create community to contribute to a healthy and more sustainable environment.
Geographic areas served: Metro DC Area, with touring and workshops nationally and internationally
Programs: Creation of new work through public dance performances, residency programs, workshops, and institutes offered and presented at various sites locally and around the world. Themes of performances and intergenerational community-based projects include relationship to environment, creative aging, and issues of social justice, inviting multiple voices to connect and create around a shared history, place or passion.
sharing art-making techniques and tools with local, national, and international artists and choreographers through weekly classes, public events, interactive experiences, and institutes. Using practices from the dance exchange toolbox, liz lerman's critical response process and cassie meador's moving field guides, dance exchange engages participants of all ages in discussions about creative research that bridges artists, scientists, community members, historians and teachers.
Being apart of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange's performance of Still Crossing as two of the "Community of Dancers" was one of the best mother/son experiences I have ever had. I am proud that Liam (age 6) participated, learned the dance and finally performed on stage. But I was even more thrilled that he was part of the group rehearsals with all of the circle gathering, movements, singing, clapping and laughing. At one point I felt like I should be paying them for this experience-people would pay for this type class!
The fact that people of all ages and abilities were included in this performance opened up a wonderful dialogue about people with disabilities. I hope Liam grows up thinking this inclusion is the norm rather than the exception.
For me it was wonderful to meet and connect with several people . It was also nice to meet other Sandy Spring Friends alumni and current students. This year is my 20 reunion (glup!). And of course watching the company perform on stage. I really couldn't get enough of Ben who is a phenomenal dancer!
Several funny quotes and conversations with Liam included:
Friday before arriving and both of us needing to change clothes: "Mom, will I get to use the dressing room?" Andy and I pointed it our the night before and the dressing room idea must have stuck in his head. If you want him to perform again, his wants his own dressing room with his name on the door!
Late Friday night on the way home: "Mom, I think I'll be happy when this is over 'cause all we do is practice, practice, practice.....but I will be a little sad too. Will we ever see these people again?"
"Mom, why are we always doing this circle stuff." referring to all the circles we made as a group.
Just the fact that he now knows about Ellis Island, which turned into a conversation about slavery and so many other things!