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Discovering South Of South
Discovering the What, the Where and the Who of South of South
Junk moving in Shiloh
Junk and Shiloh. A dance company rehearsing in a baptist church. Bodies gathering to fly. To twist. To soar. The metal piping of the truss. Creating adventures for climbing. For swinging and daring. The metal piping of the organs. Marking the songs and the prayers that still exist in the space. A communing of the art and the sacred. High ceilings. Offering dancers new heights to climb. Stained glass windows. Lighting the twirling and the challenge. There are pews and Beyoncé. Pointed feet and reflections of gospels and hymns. Seems odd and magical. Strange and fitting. Upside down and right side up. Where else would a body go. To test limits. The limits of muscles. Of the edge. Of the heart and the spirit. Where else would a body go. To test the boundaries of fear and the possibility of courage. The art and the sacred. Junk moving in Shiloh.
This is Dee.
She says. I'm ready. I'm always ready. With these words she lights up. And a grin eats up her entire face. She just graduated. Says the future is unknown. Says she is looking forward to it. Says she doesn't know many people in the neighborhood. Claims she is simple and keeps to herself. She is surprised by her relationship to the Y. Surprised at how quickly she connects. Comments on how good it feels to have people enjoy her as a person. And enjoy her class. She uses words like fun and family.
In class. She doesn't say much. She moves with us. Mouthing counts. Lip syncing the words to songs. In class each late comer is greeted with a smile and a wave. She sees everyone. She doesn't miss a beat or a step. She points and gestures. Helping us. Guiding us. Encouraging us. Reminding us to smile. To breath. To enjoy. To be present. She shares her ease. Her delight. And her power. Inspiring us to push and sweat a little more.
She is surprised by her relationship to the Y. Surprised at how quickly she connects. We are not surprised. We know why there is fun and family. This is Dee. With a grin that eats up her face and a gentle power to inspire. This is her simple. This is Dee.
The Discovering South of South project is made possible by a group of talented SOSNA volunteers.
Creative Director, Meei Ling Ng- Meei Ling is a multimedia installation artist, social practice artist, graphic designer and urban farmer. Learn more at www.meeiling.com
Photographer, Tracy Ann Mueller- About Tracy: "My grandfather gave me my first camera, an instamatic. From the moment I took my first picture, the photo popped out, shake, shake, shake, I was hooked. I was seven." Find out more on Tracy's website http://tamphotos.smugmug.com
Writer, Shavon Norris- Shavon is an artist and educator. She uses movement along with text and sound and imagery to unearth our stories. Her work explores and celebrates what we feel, think and believe. What is your story? Email Shavon at firstname.lastname@example.org