Q: How can dance be a platform for social justice issues?
There are so many ways that are all valid and crucial tools as part of the larger equation. We need all approaches and perspectives. What makes me sad is when people knock each other down because it perpetuates the value system that people either belong or don't. I think there is a big trend right now about public art which is exciting to see created and performed in the communities it is made. This becomes integral to the eb and flow of the voices of the community inside of it. The idea is that it can’t exist without those voices, instead of transporting a work into community and calling it public art.
Similar to site specific dance. About 10 years ago people started integrating art into public space and thinking about how plotting this art in different sites might not make it site specific, just public art. if you commit to it being for the public, you can’t just plop it into all of these different spaces. As dance makers, we are actually engaging with the subject matter at hand, instead of responding to it. We are engaging with the voices of the material and I think that it is kind of new for the Western dance perspective.
Jenna Pollack is a collaborative choreographer, performer, educator and administrator committed to facilitating ethical and equitable spaces. She is one of the Boston Center for the Arts' Dancemakers Residents for the 2020-21 season alongside Victoria Awkward/VLA Dance, and was a 2020 finalist for the Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship for Choreography. She was awarded the 2020 Boston Schonberg Fellowship at Dance The Yard and has received grants from the New England Foundation for the Arts, The City of Boston, and Assets for Artists at MASS MoCA.