“Dance of the Orcas” Screening to Kick off ADRSA 2022

“Dance of the Orcas” Screening to Kick off ADRSA 2022

Dealing with a global pandemic for the last two years has brought many of us closer to grief more frequently than we might ever have been before. From unplanned shifts in lifestyles, to social isolation, to the loss of loved ones, many of us have been in mourning in more ways than we have realized.

It is this concept of mourning that inspired the film “Dance of the Orcas” by Iya Prof. Omiyemi Artisia Green, Professor of Theater and Africana Studies at William and Mary and the originator and project director for Sitelines BLM with Cadence Theatre Company, which focuses on increasing writing and production opportunities for underrepresented artists in historically white institutions.

Iya Prof. Omiyemi Artisia Green

“Dance of the Orcas” incorporates Afro-Cuban and other dance forms to take the viewer on a journey through grief and to the freedom and redemption that comes from letting go. The story is based on the real-life tale of a female orca named Tahlequah who pushed her deceased 400lb baby calf-a girl-with her head, through the Pacific Northwest for 17 days in 2018, aided and supported by the rest of her orca pod on a 1,000 mile “tour of grief.”

In Iya Omiyemi’s “choreoritual” adaptation, Tahlequah is embodied by a Black woman and is assisted by her ancestors and forces of nature on an emotional excavation and untethering. The harmonizing and renewal she experiences is worthy of the visibility of her vulnerability and is a reminder that we all need to cry the river in order to find freedom in our truth.

RSVP now to join us for this special screening, which will be followed by a Q & A with Iya Omiyemi. The event will kick off the celebration of 10 years of supporting scholarship and artistry in Africana religions at ADRSA 2022, the 10th Anniversary Conference of the ADRSA. We look forward to seeing you there!

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