Who do you want to move?

In Who do you want to move? four Over-the-Rhine residents, Key, Alex, Ms. Dorothy and Ms. Elizabeth, said “Yes,” to my invitation to dancing their experiences of connection and dis-connection in their rapidly changing neighborhood. This required courage, they are not dancers, it took them willing to make themselves vulnerable in order to express something they feel needs to be expressed. In conversations we had as we developed the dance, I offered this framing question:

Who do you want to move

toward seeing your neighborhood as you envision it?

toward seeing your community as you experience it?

toward seeing YOU?

In reflecting on their experiences of the changes brought to their community by development, here is some of what they voiced:

“I always said, Over-the-Rhine was a quilt, and we were fine fabric. But the threads that are down here are not trying to weave to woven connections.” Ms. Dorothy

“The connections were there, it’s being lost… it’s being lost…” Alex

“We’re trying to connect and it’s like, the onus is on us.” Key

The dances they created and performed expressed sincerely these longings for connection. Their performance in the lobby of Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center was a mix of dancing alone and together, with poetry and other text, all that communicated the dancers’ desire and their to call for connection in a context where change is bringing social fragmentation.