‘Undanced dances’ from prison

At 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 13, choreographer and Scripps faculty member Suchi Branfman will finally get to realize his latest five-year project in the making titled, “Undanced dances through prison walls during a pandemic.”

According to the news release, in 2016 Branfman “began a five-year choreographic residency inside the California Rehabilitation Center, a medium-security state men’s prison in Norco, California. The project, developed into a critical dialogue about freedom, confinement, and methods for surviving restriction, limitations, and denial of liberty through the act of dancing.”

But when COVID-19 shut down the prison systems, Branfman’s project had to be re-worked. Instead of meeting with the prisoners, the inmates began “sending out written choreographies from their bunks to the outside world,” allowing Branfman to resume the almost scrapped project.

“The resulting performance of deeply imagined choreographic pieces will highlight six of the dances written inside the prison by Brandon Alexander, Richie Martinez, Landon Reynolds, and Terry Sakamoto Jr.,” a news release read.

The program will be directed by Branfman and narration will be provided by Marc Antoni Charcas, Ernst Fenelon Jr., Richie Martinez, Romarilyn Ralston, and Terry Sakamoto Jr. (all formerly incarcerated movers and organizers).

Performers of the various dances include Bernard Brown, Jay Carlon, Irvin Gonzalez, Leo Manzari, Richie Martinez, Brianna Mims, and Tom Tsai. Tsai had previously joined Branfman dancing inside the Norco prison.

The choreographed performance will take place at Jaqua Quadrangle, located at 1030 Columbia Avenue in Claremont. For more information or to register for this free event, visit their Eventbrite page. Online readers can click Eventbrite.

“Join us for a roving performance throughout the Scripps campus, followed by a conversation with the artists.”



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