For more than a decade, Loom Ensemble has been devising interdisciplinary theater for a culture shift, using their performances to open difficult conversations, and then facilitating community discussion to unpack the emotional vulnerability and cultural taboos of each show. In that shared space, the social value of art made from a place of deep integrity becomes clear: our actions matter, new ways of living are possible, and together we can build a more loving world. As a direct response to broken patriarchy, lonely individualism, and shame-inducing capitalism, Loom’s performances call audiences home to themselves and their communities.
The New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA) is working to support developing companies, and in 2022, one of their professional graduates toured with Loom Ensemble, establishing a friendship that NECCA continues by hosting the company’s 2023 summer tour.
On Saturday July 22 and Sunday July 23, Loom Ensemble will perform their newest piece, “Tell Me How You Breathe,” in NECCA’s Backyard, featuring a racially diverse team of professional dancers, musicians, and theatermakers. Loom’s work is an outdoor experience of Dance Theater for Collective Liberation, bringing audiences into a world where the climate crisis has progressed slightly more than in our present day, to play out the interrelationship of institutional power structures and ancestral healing practices. Playful humor, live music, and beautiful storytelling help us lean in to meet these pressing issues.
All ages are welcome. The audience is invited to bring their own picnic blankets or chairs. Some folding chairs are provided for those in need. The venue is wheelchair-accessible from the parking lot to the performance location.
Artistic Director Neva Cockrell says, “Our work is to reconnect with the earth, with emotional integrity, and with each other. Come, let art remind you of your inherent goodness and our collective ability to heal and create change.”
The story centers on the lungs as the site of interconnectedness and the organ of grief. “Who gets to breathe freely, fully, with ease,” is a necessary question for our time, right at the intersection of eco-activism, social justice, and public health. With the nourishment of participatory ceremony and song, Loom grounds this political conversation in the physical body to incite the radical act of collectively imagining a more just and beautiful world.
The powerhouse creative team includes artists Hanna Satterlee (ANIMAL Dance) and Raphael Sacks (Sandglass), directed by Neva Cockrell (Pilobolus), along with a team of New York City professionals and Vermont dancers. BIPOC audiences are especially invited to attend this explicitly anti-racist event, with a special ticket price of “pay-what-you-want” (including $0) for BIPOC audience members.
Funded in part by New England States Touring (NEST) and New Work New England of the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA). NEST is made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies. New Work New England is made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Seedlings Foundation, the Fund for the Arts at NEFA, the American Rescue Plan, Anonymous Foundation, and from individual donors.
Performances at NECCA are on Saturday July 22 and Sunday July 23, with a rain date Monday, July 24, at 6 pm. Tickets and additional tour locations at www.LoomEnsemble.com or 845-379-1851. $20 General and “Pay what you want” for BIPOC audience members. With more specific accessibility questions, please contact [email protected]
New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA) is an educational center working to empower a community of artists, students, and staff to strengthen their skills and achieve their goals through the joyful and transformative power of circus arts. The nonprofit organization offers recreational circus classes, pre-professional and professional programs, and workshops. 10 Town Crier Drive, Brattleboro, VT.
Main image: Photo@ Lilian LaGrange
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