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Kentucky Performing Arts connects Jessica Lang Dance Company with local veterans and students prior to public performance

Jessica Lang Dance outreach master class 2018

June 2018

On Thursday, May 17, the Jessica Lang Dance company began a two-day immersive visit within the Louisville community. The nine company dancers and the company rehearsal director led three concurrent masterclasses with a total of 60 sophomore, junior, and senior dance majors at the Youth Performing Arts School. The dancers worked with the students on a structured warm-up to live music followed by word-association movement exercises and learning repertoire from the company’s live show.

Louisville Public Media station 89.3 WFPL featured these workshops in this article.

Jessica Lang Dance 2018 corporate outreach

On Thursday evening, the company met with the Kentucky Performing Arts ArtsThrive Warrior’s Heart community in Butchertown. Warrior’s Heart is a voluntary group of veterans and civilians dedicated to building community where all can thrive in a safe environment, using creativity, courage, and storytelling to share the lessons and experience of combat. The dancers and 10 community members interacted through ice breakers, mirroring exercises, movement-based word-play, and visual arts to share in healing exercises and learn from each other’s experiences. The company also shared how Jessica Lang created her piece, Thousand Yard Stare, from anonymous veteran stories and incorporated the emotion of those accounts into everything from the choreography to the costuming.

Jessica Lang Dance 2018 Warrior's Heart

On Friday, May 18, company rehearsal director Claudia McPherson and tour manager Callen Gosselin led a LANGuage class, developed by Jessica Lang to bring creativity into everyday life, for 10 Kentucky Performing Arts staff. KPA Programming Outreach and Wellness Initiative teams co-hosted this event to promote creative skills through movement for business professionals. The class offered staff members a chance to interact with the artists in a relaxed environment and also earn Humana Go365  "wellness points."

Jessica Lang Dance 2018 Brown Theatre 1

On Friday evening, the company performed a visually and aurally stunning performance at the Brown Theatre concluded by the piece, Thousand Yard Stare. Veterans from the Warrior’s Heart Community attended that evening to see their new friends perform and visited with them backstage at the end of the night. In addition to the live performance, patrons enjoyed an exhibit of artwork by ArtsThrive participants, live music provided by the University of Louisville School of Music, and a post-performance Q&A session with members of the dance company.

Jessica Lang Dance 2018 Brown Theatre 2

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