On Monday, Nov. 7, The Regina A. Quick Center For the Arts hosted a Statewide Dance Meeting presented by CT Dance Now in partnership with Connecticut Dance Alliance. Connecticut Dance Alliance (CDA), Inc. is a non-profit organization that aims to increase public awareness of dance in all its forms and serve the needs of the state-wide dance community. It is a professional resource for dance of all forms across the state. 

Susan Murphy, president of the CDA, opened the lecture by explaining that “CT Dance Now is a collaborative series of dance events between the CDA and the Quick Center.”

In this virtual meeting via the Quick Center Live, CDA encouraged community members to discuss the state of dance throughout Connecticut as well as reflect upon whether the needs of the dance community are being met. 

Kellianne Lynch from the Elm City Dance Collective was warmly welcomed to this meeting to talk about her dance company. CDA board member, Leslie Frye Maietta introduced Lynch from the Elm City Dance Collective (ECDC), explaining, “ECDC  has performed throughout New England in many different venues, but is devoted to serving their home, New Haven.”

She continues, “The company is known for performing in unusual spaces, from city buses to parking garages. They have even performed in houses.” These site-responsive performances are often associated with activism themes such as water conservation, pedestrian safety, property access and ownership, trans-body storytelling and more.

“ECDC embodies the belief that dance brings people together and is a catalyst for social change, healing and transformation”, Maietta emphasized. Lynch confirmed these notions, claiming that at ECDC, “We try to imagine a better world for ourselves, our community and just our beings”.

In this meeting, Lynch highlighted many of the performances that ECDC has participated in, like the National Water Dance, for example, all of which are rooted in social change and bettering the world we live in. She continued to walk through the mission and vision of ECDC, highlighted the founders and board of directors, praised the teachers and choreographers and thanked ECDC’s partners and collaborators. 

One of the performances that Lynch described, one that stood out to me was one of ECDC’s first evening-length productions, titled “Almost Porcelain”. Lynch displayed images of the dancers and the piece and explained that this performance was “a very important turning point for us as a group of artists, the core group of artists, who come together to research.” As Lynch speaks of this performance, her passion for dance and her pride in ECDC is truly exemplified. 

In terms of current projects, Lynch explains that ECDC has partnered with Havenly. Through this partnership, she is currently teaching a cohort of refugee women that are part of a fellowship program that immerses them in education and training. 

 ECDC is doing and has continued to do so much great, creative work to help others and participate in activism through dance. This CT Dance Now meeting with Kellinne Lynch is archived on the Quick Center’s website and is a meeting that I would highly recommend everyone watch, whether you are interested in dance or not.

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