If you missed the show, here it is:

https://youtu.be/tufOwERInXk: We opened the show demonstrating the clutter in life that cuts us off from silence.

https://youtu.be/P6DpQ5XHqsw This Jim Yerman poem presented by Thomais Moshopolous demonstrates the many faces of silence in our lives.

https://youtu.be/P6DpQ5XHqsw This dance represents the Silence of Love. We have found that 3 of our dancers have siblings who are dancers. During this dance, we took a moment for the siblings to dance together as a representation of a type of love. At the end, there is some audience participation.

https://youtu.be/4hnfUnz2nWw Wings Like Voices was written by one of our dancers, Erica McMurray. Erica is a Veteran and she wrote this based on a personal experience. She moves to this reading with the Golden Girls dancing in the background.

https://youtu.be/vboXwLYbYuk The dance demonstrates the many people we pass each day that are ignored and their work to find their own voices.

https://youtu.be/-zdweAcQizY This song was written by Lori Kissinger, the Executive Director of Borderless Arts and recorded by two past Presidents of the organization, JP and Irene Williams. The song was written a few years ago as personal feelings in facing many things with this organization. However, the song is portrayed in this program as a song of reverence. A tribute is paid to Monastic silence and religious reverence.

https://youtu.be/NZ2P_gOlV24This dance represents the silence that many endure at the ridicule of others.

https://youtu.be/n_dRakTgtu0 Our final dance is when silence is broken and we speak out.

 

The Sounds of Silence program started as a very small idea in 2022. The dance director for Borderless Arts TN, Jennifer James, and I were at the finale of the dance performance at DisneyWorld. Our question to each other was…what’s next. We wanted to see the group dance on Broadway (that happened this past summer) and Jennifer wanted the group to do a sign language dance.

Time passed and grant writing season approached. Our Teapot Diplomat visual arts program had requested an opportunity to learn theater set design. I turned to our theater partner, the Nashville Children’s Theater, and we conceived of a multi-week project of participants learning about set design elements and then making a simple set design. However, the question was why are they creating a set? They could just create a set and nothing happen with it, but it seemed anti-climatic for so many weeks of work.

My next thought was that our dance program could dance to the set, but what would the theme be for this dance? Also, our dance program’s performances were always just one or two dances. Do we build a set and bring people out to see one dance? Thoughts swirled, ideas rose and died, and then the memory of Jennifer’s dream of a sign language dance came back to mind. Once again, one dance was not enough.

From the idea of a sign language dance, came the idea of silence. As we looked closer into silence, we began to consider all of the roles silence plays in our lives….silence of grief, silence of awe, silence or persecution, silence of love, silence of fear, silence of reverence. Silence is woven truly silently through our lives. We focus on the power of words, but silence holds a power that may be even stronger. It was decided…we would do a program dedicated to silence.

This project was two separate programs. The first program was the set design workshops for our visual artists with Joe Mobley of the Nashville Children’s Theater supported by a Tennessee Arts Commission Grant and Mark and Niki Antonini. The second project was the dance project.

There are many people to thank:
Borderless Arts Community Dancers: Antonio Agholor, Danielle Agholor, Adam Boyd, Isabella Forrester-Kent, Rodrigo Gallegoa-Olivares, Austin King, Meghan Maynard, Hope McKee, Erica McMurray, Nathan Miller, Jon Pfeiffer, Torie Summers. (other dancers who could not be with us: Emily Pruden, Sarah Rachman, Collin Ransom)
Foley Art: Bob Stagner
Golden Girls Dance Team: Sadie Brassell, Scarlett DeHaven, Valentina Gallegoa, Iyana Rice, Audrey Rieger, Braylee Simon, Nayliana Taylor
Photography: Pam Sykes
Hosts:Austin King and Thomais Moshopoulos
Set Designers: Antonio Agholor, Danielle Agholor, Rodrigo Gallegoa-Olivares, Austin King, Hope McKee, Erica McMurray, Thomais Moshopolous, Jon Pfeiffer, Torie Summers, Clinton
Sibling Dancers: Meronica Forrester-Kent, Valentina Gallegoa, Sara Pfeiffer
Sign Interpreter: Andrea Baker
Videographer: Karas Barsoum
Volunteers: Skylar Drake, Mary Fakunle, Caroline Haynes, John King, Christian Kissinger, Eddie Kissinger, Shannon Pargin, Michael Watson, Destiny Williams, Andrew Wright

Set Design funding support: Mark and Niki Antonini and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Our dance program is funded in part by a SUP grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Special thanks to everyone at the Nashville Children’s Theater for their wonderful assistance and support.