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an early Run Like a Girl workshop at Urbano, an art space in Boston

Run (Like a Girl)
Run (Like a Girl) looks at the words and phrases permeating our cultures that chip away at the self-esteem of girls, creating a false image of girls and women as “weak.” Run (Like a Girl) is a cross-cultural project which will take place in the US, Mali, India and Brazil. We will work in collaboration with schools and organizations that promote gender equality, as well as sports-centered organizations, to gather and share stories. The resulting performance work will evolve as these stories are woven together into a common narrative. In performance, Run (Like a Girl) will be an energetic, emotionally and physically-charged, dance and spoken word piece.

ANIKAYA and Centre Choreographique Multicorps are in discussion with the US embassy in Benin to support the first phase of Run Like a Girl in May, which will include one week of training professional dancers in Cotonou to partner with me in teaching workshops for young people in Cotonou, and in the rural northern part of Benin.  This first phase will be followed by follow-up workshops and eventually the creation of a culturally-specific, ensemble-generated work to be performed in early 2018.  This will become the model for future incarnations of Run Like a Girl – the creation of culturally-specific, community-generated performance works which speak to and from the experiences of local people.

We are in the process of  planning a similar process in collaboration with Adivasi Development Network in Jharkhand, India, and in Istanbul with the help of ANIKAYA outreach coordinator Seda Guney who working to develop another branch of the project particularly working with refugee women and girls.

Support Run Like a Girl

conferenceimgThe Conference of the Birds
The Conference of the Birds will be an evening-length movement theater work embodying the epic poem of Farid Ud din Attar. The project will be directed by ANIKAYA Artistic Director Wendy Jehlen, with musical direction by Kemal Karouz.

The Conference of the Birds is a tale of a group of birds that set off in search of the mythical bird, the Simurgh. They are a nation in search of a king. As they travel, they pass through each of the seven stages of the Sufi quest. As they pass through these stages, many of the birds abandon the quest, for reasons that correspond to the weaknesses that cause a human soul to stray from the Path. By the end, there are thirty birds left. When they arrive in the land of the Simurgh, they find only a lake, in which they themselves are reflected.  Stay tuned for updates…