Dance Class by Amanda Hameline

There is something incredibly satisfying about seeing a group of mismatched
people all dance in unison. A slow, smooth wave of movement is followed by swiftly
changing feet; a mass of heads looks left and then whips around in a turn (sticky
heads is a term I once heard a teacher use). A stray arm may veer off for a moment,
but the sheer force of united momentum is, in and of itself, strangely exciting.

I think there is no better place to view this than in a slightly disorganized, open
dance class. Of course unison viewed on the stage is also satisfying – the end of
“Revelations” is a great example – but it is a different feeling. The costumes, lights,
and clear imprint on the dancers of hours upon hours of rehearsal make it too
perfect. A short combination at the end of a crowded, sweaty class contains a
different breed of urgency. When else in life do you see a group of people so focused
on learning something just for the sake of learning? Or focus so intently on a short
phrase they will never return to again, and one that will most likely have no direct
impact on their lives? Hard work and intensity don’t normally come along with
transience.

And all this cooperation is borne out of a kind of selfishness. You take a class for
yourself. You don’t take a class to make your other classmates look good. But you do
all come together out of a sheer desire to learn, and improve. And during those last
fifteen minutes it all turns into something, and everyone miraculously morphs into a
single, moving beast.

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Sexual Assault Within LGBT Communities: A Press Release from the NCAVP, via the Anti-Violence Project

April 8, 2013

NCAVP Endorses National Sexual Assault Awareness Month; Calls for End to LGBTQH Sexual Assault

This April, The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) stands in solidarity with survivors and victims of sexual assault in commemorating the 13th annual National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. During this month, NCAVP raises awareness about this form of violence within and against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) communities and calls for an end to sexual assault.

Sexual assault is an act of violence in which someone conducts sexual activity without another person’s consent. Perpetrators of sexual assault exert power and control over survivors through coercion, manipulation, shame, pressure, violating boundaries, and other tactics. Sexual assault can overlap with other forms of violence and can be committed by strangers, acquaintances, friends, family members, and intimate partners. In NCAVP’s 2011 report Intimate Partner Violence in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV Communities, NCAVP members reported that 5.1% of LGBTQH survivors of intimate partner violence experienced sexual abuse from a partner in 2011, and that transgender people were almost twice as likely to experience sexual violence from a partner. Hate-motivated sexual violence may occur when a non-LGBTQH person rapes an LGBTQH person to “cure” their sexual orientation or gender identity. NCAVP members reported that 3% of hate violence reports were sexual violence in the report Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States in 2011. This report also found that youth and young adults were 2.56 times as likely to experience hate motivated sexual violence.

Discrimination against LGBTQH people contributes to LGBTQH sexual violence survivors feeling pressure to not out other LGBTQH people as having committed sexual violence. LGBTQH survivors of sexual assault may experience increased barriers to reporting sexual violence such as fear due to threats from an abusive partner to out the survivor’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV-status. Additionally, LGBTQH survivors may experience disbelief, indifferent, biased attitudes from law enforcement and service providers, and a lack of culturally appropriate and sensitive resources.

In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, NCAVP commits to continue to support LGBTQH survivors of sexual assault by advocating for political strategies to address and end this violence, documenting its impact, and assisting NCAVP member programs to support LGBTQH sexual violence survivors. NCAVP calls on community members, anti-violence

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organizations, and public officials to take action in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month to end sexual assault in our communities.

CALL TO ACTION

Get Involved: Join NCAVP in our efforts to prevent and respond to LGBTQH violence. To learn more about our national advocacy, receive technical assistance and support, or locate an anti- violence program in your area, contact us.

Report Violence: NCAVP encourages anyone who has experienced violence to contact a local anti-violence program for support and to document this violence. NCAVP also encourages all LGBTQH and anti-violence organizations to contribute data to NCAVP’s annual national reports.

Increase Data Collection: The federal government, state and local governments, schools, universities, police departments, and community organizations should collect and analyze data on LGBTQH sexual assault to more accurately identify its prevalence and support strategies to address and end this violence.

Eliminate Barriers: Federal, state, and local governments should create laws and policies to reduce barriers to accessing services for LGBTQH survivors of violence including comprehensive LGBTQH competency training for law enforcement and service providers and comprehensive nondiscrimination policies.

Support Research: NCAVP calls on private and public funders to increase funding to expand research on LGBTQH sexual assault, available services, and violence prevention initiatives.

Participate in Sexual Assault Awareness Month: To receive information on sexual assault, educational materials, and ideas about how to get involved during the month, visit http://www.nsvrc.org/saam/sexual-assault-awareness-month-home.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

Tenderqueer!

Hello this is Emma again! This is my last night to work on the text of the play. My. Last. Night. After this I can’t edit anymore. What the hell? I’m posting a moment at the end of a particularly intense dance sequence. As we near the end of this process, our trust in each other has been deepening pretty quickly. We’re all artists who are passionate about what we do and who have day jobs. Most of us work 40 to 60 hours a week, in addition to rehearsal. We are nannies and restaurant managers; development associates and retail clerks; paralegals and teachers. And grad students. Lots of grad students. As artists, we have become pretty ruthlessly committed to each other over the course of this artistic process. We’ve made our rehearsal times a supportive and positive space in which we can explore, try things that don’t seem like they will work, stretch ideas until they snap, try again, let emotions come forward that we didn’t know were there. The show is not perfect. It’s better than perfect. I’m scared. When in doubt, group spoon. Writing this post is crazy comforting. Thank you for reading, or at least for being a person in a world that has blogs. Okay time for Emma to get off the internet. But if you have questions about this show, or (!!) you want to reblog for us, I will love you forever and you should email freshpeachdance@gmail.com.

I will be psyched to see you at the show …

May 9-11 8 PM

WOW Cafe, 59-61 E. 4th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY

tickets: tenderatwow.eventbrite.com

THREE WEEKS AWAY

Three weeks until you can see what we’ve been doing all this time. Hi it’s Emma. Last week, for the first time, we went through the whole thing! Something in the show got stronger last week, I am not sure what it was. There was some group spooning. As the day gets closer there’s less I can reveal about our process because I don’t want to give anything away. The robot puppet is getting steadily better at dancing; the dialogue is getting tighter and tighter; we’re finding the props we need, developing moments of conversation between theatre and dance that seem to deepen every time we go again. Everyone, across the board, is taking massive risks. I’ve never been part of anything like this show, and this is really, really the last week I am allowed to edit the script. So I’m writing this post to take a really huge deep breath, one that ideally lasts until I have a script that is weirder than the one we had before.

Mark your calendar.

May 9, 10, and 11 at 8 PM, at WOW Cafe, 59-61 East 4th Street, New York, NY.

It’ll be a little warmer then, a little closer to summer, but not quite time for Manhattan to go on vacation yet. Pressure will be building, and you’ll feel it under your feet. 

4/6 “Coping and coping and coping” at Clash Zones: Conference at MIT!

Heyo Boston folk. There’s going to be this fantastic conference about gender, queerness, performance and identity at MIT this coming friday and saturday. May be a little late but you should totally try to register…We’ll be performing in the conference hallways between academic panels a piece titled “coping and coping and coping” about ritual and memory, consent and trauma, created in collaboration with Bex Kwan 2014 from Harvard College. I’m particularly thrilled about hearing the fantastic Ali Underwood and Paisid Aramphongphan, Stanford and Harvard PhD candidates and brilliant dancers, speak on arts/gender/societyetc! Read about it—>>>>> http://web.mit.edu/gcws/news+events/2013-Conference-Home.html

Monday April 8th: Networking event, discussion on arts and activism

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Hey there- wanted to put up a quick post about this badass event we’re doing this coming Monday night. We’d love to see your face. Detes below:

Tender is a dance play about a queer couple that is coping with intimate trauma. The show is awkwardly sexy, sweet, and strange; there’s a really cute robot and, we hope, a seed of queer advocacy that will continue to grow throughout our work. The play is being created side by side with a series of workshops that use dance as a tool to access social change around relationship violence. Together, our goals are to take preventative action by promoting awareness of sexual assault in queer relationships; to help build and maintain a strong support network for survivors; and to connect people with resources.

On April 8th at 8 PM, we will spend our Monday night raising awareness and building community with people who are similarly inclined to create safe queer spaces in NYC and to fight oppression with art. There will be cheap drinks, built-in networking opportunities, and collaborative discussions dealing with the trials and tribulations of integrating arts and activism. Also, we’d like to present a sample of our movement-based workshop. We hope you’ll join us.

Tickets are $10 or pay what you can. For more information about the dance play, the workshops, or the emerging dance company behind both email freshpeachdance@gmail.com. For more information about the 32-year-old anarchist collective venue, check out wowcafe.org.

If you can make it, please RSVP and include your detes so we can do some resource sharing within our community before and after the workshop itself. RSVP HERE! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1n–Yms3e0q80wg2DSTQ2bTOydIToSZlld_4wnZyGXmc/viewform