“Watching a dance can be profound. Being in a dance can be life-changing,” says choreographer and Pew Fellow Nichole Canuso. In Being/With, her company will invite strangers to connect with one another in a participatory movement and storytelling experience that fuses live performance with virtual technology and blurs the conventional roles of audience and performer. Two participants at a time will experience the work simultaneously in two neighborhoods in South and West Philadelphia. United by video and audio technology and guided by prompts via headphones, participants will share stories, dance, meet strangers, and co-create an intimate “duet.” A gallery-like setting outside each video encounter room will offer additional stories and sound design elements, as well as opportunities for participants to leave notes for one another. The work aims to bring people with divergent life experiences together to practice listening, experience being heard, and explore ideas of separation and connection.
Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.