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dance, playwriting, U.S.A. (South Korea)
Photo of Adalia to come
|Dance has always been a part of me since I was 8 years old when I saw the L.A. workshop perform in South Carolina (U.S.A.). It blew my mind, and made such an impact on me that at age 12, I started a dance workshop in my home city. Our group of youth danced mostly hiphop, using my own choreography. There were about 15 of us between the ages of 10 and 15 and we generally performed in the summer around in South Carolina. Sometimes the shows were organized and other times they happened on the spur of the moment. Parents helped us with transport.
Oscar de Cru started the L.A. workshop in the 1970's as a way to help kids on the streets and from poorer neighbourhoods and in the late 80's they toured the U.S.A, which was when they kindled my love for dance. Mathab Mouzathaub was involved in these workshops in the late '80s. They would just arrive in an area with a ghetto blaster and ask to be able to plug it in to someone's electric socket and then they'd perform in basketball courts or gym courts or on the street. Soon there were Bahá´í - run dance workshops all over the U.S.A.
Photo from one of the dance
workshops to come
While attending the Maxwell Highschool in Canada I was fortunate to have dance instructions from three professional dancers. Rene Steiner from the Dance Theatre of Harlem helped us to develop the choreography for our dance workshop and some of those dances such as the Race Unity dance were taken on by other dance workshops. This dance is choreographed to the Janet Jackson song, Living in a World, where one family was dressed in blue and the other in red.
I saw the first Equality Dance at 14 years at the Atlanta Youth conference, created by youth in Atlanta. It was performed to Sting's song Fragile, and it became the dance most performed by these workshops.
Then Lora Lee, a professional choreographer, taught us modern movement. She was able to translate the most difficult concepts such as a dance about AIDS another about chastity, and others about wealth and poverty and in particular The Drugs dance.
Until then most dances were on equality or race. The Environment dance was also developed at Maxwell.
photo to come from My Dear Mother Africa, a 45 minute solo piece by Adalia Ellis
While in college majoring in history and minoring in theatre, I wrote the play, My Dear Mother Africa. It was a 45 solo choreopoem, where I recited prose and poetry and danced. For example, near the end, I describe through monologue, my impressions of returning to America, where it felt like a culture shock. I felt seen in Africa. You didn't have to do anything while in America there's this feeling that you have to prove you are worthy.
All the dance movement was modern and I wore a simple shirt and trousers and moved barefooted.
I created it in 1999 and last performed it in 2001. It has been performed in my home town a few times, in a university and at a few Bahá´í events.
Currently I teach English in South Korea and when I find the time I'm working on a new solo choreopoem called Finding Grace, which is centered around domestic violence and abuse. The play is finished, which follows a sequence of events, and currently I am working on the three dance parts.
email: to come ???
another photo to come from My Dear Mother Africa, a 45 minute solo piece by Adalia Ellis.
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