Earlier this year, Southampton resident and choreographer, Kendra Mace Clark, was awarded the 2017 NYSCA Creative Communities Grant, which led to the launch of Project PAUSE, a community collaboration that used moments of stillness to inspire dance.
The project debuted in late April at the Hampton Bays Public Library where Mace Clark posed the question: “What makes you PAUSE?” Overall, 300 community members reflected on what leads to a moment of solitude. Once the responses were collected, the choreographer translated the answers into artful, calculated movement and then reached out to the community again, this time to help depict these conceptual thoughts on stage through a workshop and rehearsals, leading up to a public performance.
“With each person I meet, dancer or non-dancer, I love the fact that a transformation will happen,” noted Mace Clark. “Sometimes the transformation happens quickly, sometimes it takes a class, a semester, or an accumulation of many conversations or nudges to try dance, but in the end, transformation – however big or small, does in fact happen!”
The inventive composition will make its official premiere on Saturday, September 23 at Southampton Cultural Center (SCC). Additionally, an exhibition of the PAUSE cards will highlight participant’s intimate moments of stillness in the gallery at SCC.
The collaborative dance experience was open to all, even those who had no intention of participating. “I love to watch dance and I came to see the process up close,” noted a 40 year Southampton resident, who after watching the workshop felt compelled to join. “This dance has given me the opportunity to forget,” he added.
Mace Clark hoped through Project PAUSE she could create a space where participants could experience the bliss of collaborative dance and nurture imaginativeness and transformation by allowing one to unleash intuitive inspiration, freeing one’s expressive capability while genuinely enjoying themselves.
“The cast has done an amazing job to translate the town’s reflections into an innovative piece of choreography that’s sure to resonate with the community,” she added. “I very much look forward to seeing the community at the Project PAUSE Exhibit and Dance Concert.”
The Project PAUSE gallery exhibit will be on view starting at 5:30 p.m. and the dance concert will begin at 6 p.m. A Q&A with the cast will follow.
Southampton Cultural Center is located at 25 Pond Lane in Southampton. For more information, call 631-287-4377 or visit www.scc-arts.org.