Ode Magazine Issue May/June 2012: Feature on Rebecca Davis

The Rebecca Davis Dance company in Philadelphia has
launched outreach programs in Rwanda, Bosnia-Herzegovina
and Guinea. Founder and dancer Rebecca Davis uses dancing as
a tool for change.

Original Article:RDDC – Press – Ode_Magazine_MayJune2012

TEXT of Article:

Q: How do you use dance in post-Conflict Countries?
A: Whether dance class is taking place inside an air-conditioned
studio or outdoors on a de-mined grassy field, when everyone
puts their arms in the air and jumps, or everyone makes a
pirouette turn to the left, it is exactly the same. Within this state
of environment, new relationships among participants can be developed,
and cooperation can be fostered through choreography
and group performance.”
Q: Why did you develop programs in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Rwanda and Guinea?
A: “I decided to visit a post-genocide country and see firsthand what
it would take to rebuild a war-torn society. I visited Rwanda as
part of a human rights delegation. I realized that I had to use my
art in a way that would diminish divisions and strengthen a sense
of community. Our primary interest is working in environments
where ethnic strife has challenged economic growth. These three
countries share similarities in the composition of the populations
and the historic and present challenges they face. My organisation
slowly developed a new model for integrating these goals with local
employment and capacity-building to strengthen the economic
impact of our work in a community.”

Q: How have these experiences altered your world view?
A: “After traveling around the world, I have come to realize that
children are resilient—even under the worst conditions imaginable.
If they are given a chance to laugh, learn and be loved, they
will make their lives and the world a better, safer place.”