In chaotic times like these, it’s easy to feel a sense of broad social paralysis; like we’re all going through the motions in order to survive.
Amrita Hepi is having none of that.
“I use dance and teaching as a way to talk to people about their bodies, so they can renegotiate and re-confirm what their relationship to their body is. For a lot of people – even myself at times – we forget its potential to be vibrant, expressive and more than enough,” Hepi says.
This weekend the world-renowned dancer is taking over Nexus Arts with her performance lecture Power Moves for Perilous Times. Part of ACE Open's three-day dance program Physical Forces, it will use movement to give attendees strategies for self-reliance and empowerment. The workshop will incorporate moves from Bruce Lee, Beyoncé and activist Willi Ninja.
“Dance has a long history of responding to the political and being involved as a means of self-determination and political commentary,” she says, “The body is a site of power and dance, in its immediacy and abstraction, is a means to provide and give comment to what’s happening around us – whether that be in a theatre, on a dance floor, or in your bedroom.”
Key to the success of Hepi’s work, however, has been her fierce inclusion of all bodies in the dance space. “When we think of dance we think thin, muscly, neo-classical, elite, legs impossibly high – and if we aren’t that we are not dancers. Let me tell you: that is not only limiting, but it’s untrue. I’m trying my goddamned best to create a space for all bodies because I think it sucks to miss out on the joy that dance can bring because you had someone in your life who told you that dance had to be done in one way.”
So what can we expect from the workshop? “Sweat, LOLs, power struts, and hopefully a bloody good time.”
Power Moves for Perilous Times is on Saturday May 27 at 10.30am at Nexus Arts. Tickets are available online.