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Project PAUSE To Translate Community’s Conceptual Thoughts To Movement

Sydney A. Braat

During the weekly rehearsals, the cast actively engages in the practice of dance-making as they learn about techniques that choreographers used to translate conceptual ideas into movement. (Photo: Kendra Mace Clark)

Take a minute from your busy day to think about what makes you pause.

This summer, NYSCA supported choreographer Kendra Mace Clark, creator of Project PAUSE, organized PAUSE booths around Southampton at locations like the Rogers Memorial Library, the Hampton Bays Public Library, the Golden Pear Café, and the Southampton Farmers Market where she asked community members, "What makes your PAUSE?" Mace Clark collected nearly 300 responses in total which are now being used to generate choreography for the new dance that will premier at the Southampton Cultural Center (SCC) on Saturday, September 23.

Eight locals with little to no dance experience were selected from a dance audition that was held in June. During the weekly rehearsals, the cast actively engages in the practice of dance-making as they learn about techniques that choreographers used to translate conceptual ideas into movement.

Cast member and college student Megan Flannery reflected on the rehearsal process and said: "It's not about simply learning a dance routine, it's about learning about how a dance is created."

The cast is working tirelessly to creatively translate the community's share moments of stillness into dance phrases that have been worked and reworked to create original material.

A community member reflects on what makes them PAUSE. (Photo: Kendra Mace Clark)

"This truly has been a richly, rewarding experience and I couldn't be more excited to share this community-driven work with the public," said Mace Clark. "I'm deeply moved by the cast's vulnerability. I admire their willingness and wholeheartedness to go outside of their comfort zone to truly try experience something new."

This August, Mace Clark welcomed youth participants who learned about the roles of performer, collaborator, and choreographer, and had a very unique opportunity to develop and direct an original piece of student-created choreography that will premiere at the Levitas Center for the Performing Arts, alongside Mace Clark.

"Each week, I continue to be surprised by their patience and generosity with themselves as they continue to deepen their understanding of their physical and artistic selves," she added. "It genuinely has been a special treat to witness the cast transforms from everyday people who now see themselves as creative individuals."

The community is invited to attend a free Open Rehearsal on Wednesday, August 30 at 6 p.m. at the Southampton Cultural Center.

Southampton Cultural Center is located at 25 Pond Lane in Southampton. For more information, visit www.scc-arts.org or www.kendramacedance.com.

Sydney Braat is a Hamptons-raised and NYC-living journalist. She enjoys splitting her time between the bustling city life and relaxing atmosphere of the Hamptons. When she's not writing, Sydney is traveling. She thrives off of new experiences, cultures, cuisine, and languages. Sydney writes about the arts, philanthropy, food & wine, and shopping. https://www.sosydneyny.com/ sydneybraat

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