Saturday, September 13, 2014

Gibney dancers in action and advocacy

Gibney Dance Center presented an informal yet, in true Gibney fashion, immaculately organized survey of its Community Action program, last Wednesday morning, in a private introduction to its new lower Manhattan annex at 280 Broadway. Since 2000, choreographer Gina Gibney's organization has partnered with domestic violence shelters in New York City and abroad, connecting women and children survivors with Gibney dancers and trainees who demonstrate restorative, energizing techniques through accessible, playful movement activities. The innovative program will now be headquartered at 280, the former home of Dance New Amsterdam, across from City Hall.

"Dancers are aware and want to be involved in community well-being but are underutilized," said Community Action Manager, Yasemin Ozumerzifon, whose background includes training in both ballet and developmental psychology.

Dedicated to fostering self-care, self-expression and a renewed sense of agency, Community Action has offered 500 free workshops per year. It now includes in-school presentations for teenagers around violence in dating. Viewing dancers' choreographed duets, students observe many telling differences between healthy and unhealthy behavior in relationships.

For further information on GDC's Community Action workshops, advocacy and training, click here. Also see my October 2013 interview with Ozumerzifon and Amy Miller, Gibney dancer and Associate Artistic Director, here.

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