DanceForce Member: Margaret Kaiser
Artist: Kimberly Bartosik
Community Partner: Torn Space Theatre
Prior to the Pandemic, DanceForce member Margaret Kaiser, in collaboration with Dan Shanahan at Torn Space Theater, had proposed a two-week residency in Buffalo for choreographer Kimberly Bartosik to create a performance using Lafayette High School students to explore “an encounter with and connection to one’s body history, memories, each other, the palpability of time passing, and immediacy of being alive.” These students, originally from the Congo, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, and Puerto Rico, were to have spent the first week (five days in April) with Kimberly engaged in physical and imagistic exercises that would encourage an authentic encounter with the world in which they presently lived. Suddenly, that world was turned upside with the most frightening of global threats….a highly contagious virus that created a complete shutdown of all public spaces and immediate social isolation. The projected second week of auditions, rehearsals, and performances never saw the light of day. All of the planning, promotional and marketing activities, audience outreach strategies froze in that nether world of uncertainty and fear. The complications of continuing this project via the internet became untenable as unknown numbers of students either had no computer access at home, or struggled just to maintain connected to ongoing school curriculum requirements. Although Kimberly continued to refine her vision for The Encounter, that now became a very isolated process for her. With permission from the NYS DanceForce administration, this project was put on hold with the possibility of transferring funds to another funding cycle so that the intention of the project would live on. The project resumed in the 2021-2022 funding cycle (q.v.).