Gisenyi, Rwanda (December 2017)

Gibney Dance Company returned to Rwanda in December 2017 to collaborate once again with Itorero Amahoro, a dance cooperative in Gisenyi, Rwanda, followed by a performance of contemporary work at the East African Nights of Tolerance Festival (EANT) in Kigali. Supported by a grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts foundation, this Global Community Action Residency unites the many facets of Gibney on an international stage: community, entrepreneurship, teaching and performance.

Our Director of Community Action and Artist Services Kara Gilmour, along with Company Co-Directors Amy Miller and Nigel Campbell first worked with Itorero Amahoro in December 2016 in partnership with the Director Jill Sonke of the University of Florida’s School of Art in Medicine, UF Dance Faculty, and staff from Dance for PD affiliated with Mark Morris. Our group of professionals worked alongside an indigenous community of dancers, exchanging artistic practices and offering support around issues related to performance and entrepreneurship.  In addition to working together artistically during both residencies, we also convened with the cooperative’s leadership council to discuss best practices around business, marketing and sustainability.  Our objective in these efforts is to increase awareness of the cooperative within the Rwandan community and to help share locally, the power their art has had globally.

Read more on our blog: GLOBAL CAR: RWANDA 2017

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (December 2015)

In partnership with the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam and EngenderHealth, Gibney Dance traveled to Tanzania in December 2015 to participate in the international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. In collaboration with arts organization MUDA Africa, we facilitated Hands Are for Holding, an advocacy event that uses dance to raise awareness around gender-based violence (GBV) highlighting ways to take action in our communities. Through this Global Community Action Residency, dancers, choreographers, producers, social service advocates, US Embassy representatives, journalists, administrative staff and community members in both Dar es Salaam and Iringa joined together to speak out against gender-based violence in their communities by encouraging prevention through education, dialogue and collaborative change.

Read more on our blog: Returning to Tanzania, Part I & Part II.

“We are so happy to be part of this experience and then be able to share it with more people in Iringa. It makes me feel like I can really do something—really make a difference.”

– Female student at MUDA Africa

Yerevan, Armenia (2015)

Gibney Dance Company is excited to travel to Yerevan, Armenia in October to begin forging relationships local domestic violence shelters and organizations. While in Armenia, the Company performed Gina Gibney’s Dividing Line as part of the HIGH FEST International Arts Festival. Company members also facilitated a Community Action workshop at the Women’s Support Center for survivors of intimate partner violence and met with staff members to exchange ideas and experiences regarding using the arts to offer opportunities for personal expression and empowerment.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (August 2015)

Company member Brandon Welch and Associate Artistic Director Amy Miller had a successful Mini-Global CAR in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania strengthening relationships with our artistic partner organization MuDa Africa. Brandon and Amy offered dance classes to the students culminating in a performance of Umoja, a short piece the students created in collaboration with Amy and Brandon. They also reached out to Femina HIP director Minou Fuglesang to learn more about her advocacy efforts for sexual and reproductive health, economic empowerment and citizen engagement through unprecedented circulation of print materials and media shows reaching hundreds of thousands of Tanzanian youth every year.

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Stockholm, Sweden (2015)

The Company had a successful Global CAR in Stockholm, Sweden from February 21 – March 6, 2015. We partnered with DOCH (Dans och Cirkushögskolan), a local University and Danscentrum, a local dance center, and offered master classes, repertory classes, and a performance of Gina Gibney’s Dividing Line. Students were given the opportunity perform their work in an informal showing with 100 students in attendance.

Gibney Dance Company also offered a 3-day Community Action Training for pedagogy students at DOCH and a one-day training intensive open to the public at Danscentrum. Clinical Advisor Beth Silverman-Yam joined us for this residency to offer her wealth of knowledge of social activism around issues of intimate partner violence, and we provided several movement workshops to survivors at local domestic violence shelters in Stockholm.

“Knowledge. Creativity. Collaboration. To move can change so much.”

– Training Participant

Cape Town, South Africa (2014)

In May 2014, Gibney Dance Company traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to engage in an artistic and cultural exchange with iKapa Dance Theatre, a contemporary dance company and social action organization. While in residence in Cape Town, the Company offered dance technique and repertory workshops and performed for the general public at OnPointe Dance and Wellness Centre. Additionally, iKapa Dance Theatre took Gibney Dance Company members into the townships of Cape Town to lead free dance classes for children in the area. The Company also led master classes for the University of Cape Town Dance Department.

Gibney Dance Company also worked with the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children to offer a free Community Action Training Workshop. The weekend equipped local artists and social service workers with the tools to launch their own arts and social service programs. The US Embassy in Cape Town generously assisted in the promotion of our events to its networks, and took part in some of the activities including the performance, a reception, and a panel discussion on arts and social action from an international perspective. While in South Africa, Gibney Dance extended its Community Action partnerships to include shelters and support centers such as IRFSA, Embrace Dignity, and Haven Night Shelter.

Istanbul, Turkey (2013)

In April 2013, Gibney Dance traveled to Istanbul, Turkey for a Global CAR in partnership with Mimar Sinan University. this Global CAR was supported by the Agnes Varis Trust and Polisan, a Turkish corporation with a strong interest in women’s issues. Amnesty International reports that in all of Turkey, a nation of more than 70 million people, there are only 65 women’s shelters, most of which are critically underfunded. Through this Global CAR we helped create local programs addressing the issue, and helped raise awareness through press and a panel discussion.

The Residency began with a Panel Discussion featuring Turkish and American experts on the issue of domestic violence and the role of the arts in social action. Gina Gibney, Beth Silverman-Yam, the Clinical Director of Sanctuary for Families, and two experts from Turkey discussed domestic violence in their countries. The evening culminated in a reception and a performance by Gibney Dance Company, hosted by Mimar Sinan University.

We also offered an intensive Community Action Training for social service providers interested in including the arts when working with their clients, and professional dancers interested in community engagement. The training included information about domestic violence, instruction in our program model and practices, model workshops, and hands-on program design. By the end of the two days, the participants were ready to embark on new projects or refinements of existing work.

Quotes

“Thank you so much. [The training] was useful in discovering myself and building awareness around the issue of domestic violence.”
– Training Participant
“As a result of our residency in Turkey, a new group called Haphazard has been formed by the fourteen residency participants that adapts the Gibney Dance model to a Turkish context. The group’s mission is to identify the developments and needs in the areas of art, therapy, and social work in Turkey and to create a platform for sharing techniques, perspectives, and tools in order for the ‘actors’ in the sector to move forward together.”
– Training Participant, Translated by Yasemin Ozumerzifon

Montreal, Canada (2009)

Press

“Indeed, who better than dancers can help to physically express the inexpressible, which sets itself against words, hidden in the withdrawal of the body and the spirit? Since it weaves an unspeakable link between the body and the psyche, dance appears particularly well-suited to help…Physical abuse often leaves marks on the body, which in turn reflects to these women a negative image of themselves. Recovery, therefore, also lies in the healing of the body…. These workshops are not based on traditional therapy, but can have a therapeutic effect and contribute to rebuilding these women’s self-esteem in a provocative and concrete way.”
– Frédérique Doyon,“The First Dance,” Le Devoir, December 3, 2009

Quotes

“We would not have embarked on this journey and created Dance Against Violence without the assurance of the training we received from Gina Gibney. Her extensive experience with survivors of domestic violence and deep understanding of the power of movement and creativity made Gibney Dance’s residency in Montreal fundamental and indispensable as well as tremendously successful. Dance Against Violence is extremely proud to be the first organization to have adopted Gina Gibney’s model and developed a dedicated dance program in service of survivors of domestic violence in Montreal.”
– President of Dance Against Violence, Amélie Dionne Charest

Post Residency Outcomes

Following the 2009 Gibney Dance Community Action Residency in Canada, participants started
a project to bring the power of movement to domestic violence shelters in Montreal. Offering its first workshop shortly after the residency’s conclusion, the non-profit Dance Against Violence now conducts workshops in three different shelters. Since 2009, they have facilitated more than 102 workshops and served over 420 women.

http://www.dansecontrelaviolence.org/en/about#