“Dance is one of the most powerful things that we can do.
The women of Congo have really taught me, because they’ve suffered the worst atrocities on this planet,
and yet their capacity to dance and transform their pain into power is remarkable.”—Eve Ensler
Stop 1! Color Lines Online Magazine features Inmates Rising:Click here to Read the Story
or Watch the Video featuring InterPlayer Soyinka Rahim and Cynthia Winton-Henry!
Stop 2! Rise! by Lelavision featuring InterPlaymates Leah Mann, Elizabeth Mendana, Eric Chappelle!
Stop 3! Stories of Creative Courage, Art Addresses Violence
InterPlay Bangalore: InterPlayer Biju Cherayath
I Billion Rising was a fantastic success. I also got a fantastic response to the 50 feet long painting that I initiated. See the pictures!”
InterPlay Mumbai Hazel Lobo InterPlay leader, Board Member
Prabha Desai, Director of Sanmitra Trust said YES to a group of young women, most of them burkha-clad Muslims from the slums, who are a part of the vocational training beautician’s course. InterPlayers Neesha, Omeera, Prashant and I had the privilege of playing with 22 young women who raised their voices and willingness to stop violence and start living – to accept the sacredness of their bodies – to experience their strength and believe that being a woman is a blessing.
Just moving our bodies through the space we became aware of how peaceful it is, how much we hunger for healthy contact, the multiple options and choices available and the joy of being in community as one body. I became aware of how little space these women from the slums have and was amazed how much they do and are in this limited space.
In a small congested room of about 20 by 10 feet with bodies so close to each other, no boundaries, no space to reclaim self and yet we were there all playing together with HOPE in our heart that one day “Sab Mangal ho, Sab Mangal ho, Aurat ka jivan Mang al ho” (All shall be well, all shall be well, the life of a woman shall be well)
InterPlay Boston: CC King, Life Practice Program Leader
Several intrepid InterPlayers were part of an”Instigator’s Team.” We found the phrase: One Billion and One Rising and noted that the “one” was each of us. On V Day, with prayer and then a speaker on violence and challenges in our political system, we stood and reflected on the very snowy front lawn of our local arts center, Emerson Umbrella.
- We gathered words of remembrance of violence against women; to the soft musical whispers of Sweet Honey in the Rock, we carried Caution tape among the bodies, and as inspired by Cynthia stood together in witness of the harm to all. To the song “Break the Chain” our bodies began to lift and sway and pulse.
- We had 4 lead/follow moves: 1. Step UP!, 2. Push Aside oppression and rage; 3. Break the Chain of violence and intolerance; and 4. Take It Back: safe touch, health of bodies together in community, stillness and rest. WE DANCED!!
- Then we pledged: a specific action, large or small, to be taken in the coming year to change the flow of violence. We let these out into the night air.
- Then, the privilege of being one of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologue voices.
InterPlay Pittsburgh Sheila Collins: Life Practice Program Leader
Our community arts center answered my calling to host this event with a huge uprising: staging a reception and the Vagina Monologues and really appreciating the opportunity for all of us to stand together and truly act as a community arts organizing energy.
The main event attracting over 400 people was organized by an organization that InterPlayer Toni McClendon started, New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice. Young mostly African American women put together, with the help of volunteers of all ages, the most soulful, spiritually enlightening, community inspiring two hour event in Pittsburgh’s downtown Market Square. It was a great honor to support these women in bringing their vision to such a spectacular outcome.
- On the stage dancers from the August Wilson Center performed and hundreds of women danced Break The Chain,
- Another corner of the square contained a tent the size of a solitary confinement space in a prison. The construction held artwork and petitions to obtain release for women incarcerated for defending themselves against the violent acts of intimate partners.
- A candled altar space occupied another corner, a place for remembering women from our community who have lost their lives to violence
- Another space labeled the Comfort Tent, offered support and respite for anyone strongly affected by this topic of violence against women.
Stop 4! InterPlay Raleigh Moves! Click here!
Stop 5! InterPlay San Francisco joins HerRising team organized by Dancing Beyond Borders
This video was created as a documentary with healing interviews. Soyinka Rahim is featured.
ABC7news.com shows the events at City Hall. Big crowd celebrates One Billion Rising at City Hall Can you find Jonathan, Soyinka, Hanneke, Annie, Phil, Cynthia, others?
Paul Hawkens, thought leader, environmentalist, and author of Blessed Unrest emailed this to the 30 Break the Chain SF teachers:
“I have never seen such joy at an activist/political event or rally. The diversity of participants had permanent grins on their faces. The dancing was tribal and ecstatic. It set the mark for all future events in my mind, no matter the cause. No more tired recycled progressive can’t please. I want joy, dance, embodiment.”
News came from Missoula, Claremont, CA where Penny Mann danced with students, shelter women, and Pilgrim Place Seniors (Click here), Atlanta, Des Moines (click here), and Beyond!
Final Stop! Keep Dancing! Learn the Dance for International Women’s Day and V-Day 2014.
March 8th International Women’s Day:
Caution Dance Meditation download a pdf of this ritual.
Best Break the Chain choreography video