Anywhere - Anytime
SPACES is an immersive experience that merges contemporary performance with the ancient art of storytelling. SPACES goes beyond site-specific, it is place-specific: each SPACES piece is built around the site of its performance, but above all, it is created and performed with the local community that gives this place its life and identity.
At the heart of the piece, local residents share intimate real-life stories. By weaving these together with dance, music, and multimedia, SPACES transports audiences to a place where the magical and the quotidian meet. More than a performance, SPACES aims to use storytelling, one of the oldest human traditions, to bring our focus back to our communities, one story at a time.
Gathered into groups of a dozen guests and led by charismatic dancers who double as silent guides, audience members embark on a journey through music, dance, and multimedia imagery. As their exploration takes them deeper into the maze, they encounter storytellers who, through a tale, a poem, or a song, share authentic and intimate moments of their lives. Every turn is a surprise, as guests might come across a new story, a new world of music, projections and dance, or another group of guests, on a journey of their own.
At the climax of the piece, groups meet at the heart of the space to witness storytellers and guides come together to perform a final dance ritual - one of fellowship and togetherness. The SPACES experience toes the line between the intimate and the grandiose, the personal and the communal, the quotidian and the magical. At its heart, it aims to remind us of the depth, diversity, and beauty of our communities.
Local Harlem residents recount personal stories about the place they call home. SPACES: Harlem combines dance, theatre, music, and video at the gorgeous Mount Morris Ascension Presbyterian Church in the heart of Harlem. Find out more about SPACES: Harlem here.
“A unique collaboration of community residents and innovative artists, presented through spoken word, dance and music. Performed in a landmark Harlem structure, the work provided unique Harlem insights, with spirit, excitement and emotion!”
- John T. Reddick, Harlem Resident and Columbia University Community Scholar
“My experience as a storyteller was amazing. The fact that so many people were intrigued by my story was an eye-opening experience for me. I never thought that my story would touch people. I am glad I got to experience that."
- Blake Hunt, Harlem Resident and SPACES: Harlem Storyteller
Oakland residents and artists created together SPACES: Oakland, leading to a series of performances at the beautiful Oakland City Hall and Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, that ultimately give a glimpse into one of the most vibrant and culturally diverse cities in the US. Find out more about SPACES: Oakland here.
"It was a joy, working (playing) with beloved friends of many years (one of the story-tellers I’ve known since she was a girl but had not seen in many a year,) and meeting all the beautiful brothers and sisters who go to make the magic of our city, our spaces (marvelous, but also hurting in so many ways.) Our taking over the spaces of our governance with grace, beauty, and truth-telling in such a joyous way was healing, as only art can be. We so need to celebrate and heal our beloved spaces, our neighborhood, city (county, state, nation, world.) Thank you for your vision and inviting us to collaborate to make our art."
- Rafael Jesús González, Oakland resident and SPACES: Oakland storyteller
Audience members are guided in groups by silent dancers on a musical and dance journey that starts at the Halle du Marché and finishes at the Basilica of Saint-Denis. On the way, they meet local residents who share personal intimate moments of their lives in their city. Find out more about SPACES: Saint-Denis here.
If you have a location in mind for the SPACES initiative, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about SPACES, download the PDF below.