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Macondo Dance Connect – green lit!

The Macondo Dance Connect project has been green-lit! It is a mixed reality performance project created in collaboration with Cabula 6 and the dance organization Tanzquartier Wien and will involve bringing kids together from the Macondo refugee community using folk dance, mapping and Second Life.

The objective of the Macondo Dance Connect project is to re-connect youth from the refugee community to their native cultures by allowing them to explore and identify with folk dance from their native countries, while allowing them to discover the nature of cultural identity through creative collaboration in virtual space.

girl from Macondo during mapping session

[Image from Cabula6 in the Macondo]

We will facilitate a process in which we ask the students to make dance phrases based on the kind of movement and folk dances they may have learned in their native countries, thereby allowing them to reconnect with their native cultures through dance and providing an outlet for expression and sharing between cultures.

We hope to provide a cultural exchange through shared creativity that will enable the youth to gain a sense of empowerment as they explore their identities through dance, inspired by their native cultures as well as their newly acquired cultures.

There will be a workshop component inside the virtual world Teen Second Life which will provide the students with the ability to explore identity through the use of avatars and roleplaying. The workshop will enable them to expand their notions of evolving identity, making it dynamic and creative precisely at a moment in their lives when their multiple identities are both in flux and in danger.

Cabula6 has been working within the Macondo community, creating some interesting installations – one of which involves mapping. Their Living Maps exhibition entails “individual maps, fantasies and visions of Macondo drawn by different people who have lived in the neighborhood anywhere from fifty years to 1 month…fused into a single massive map and displayed on the billboard wall of the Zinnergasse-Kaserne bus stop.” The Macondo Dance Connect program will build upon this effort, encouraging the students to map aspects of their neighborhood onto objects in the Teen Second Life environment, so that a virtual extension of their experiences becomes part of the online performance.

In a series of progressive sessions within a workshop from 8-16 May, the students will learn performance skills involving dance, while also learning technical skills such as digital storytelling and creating in the online virtual world Teen Second Life, in order to create a mixed reality performance that will occur both live and online simultaneously. The performance will be on saturday, 16 May, live and online. You’ll be able to view it on a regular web page as well as within Teen Second Life. Stay tuned for more details…

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