Work Women Do

This theme emerged organically from all of the research we have done about how women in global communities of color resist violence and seek social justice.

Shaatranga: At the Edge of New Worlds
2017
Shyamali: Sprouting Words
2017
Horidraa: Golden Healing
2016
Roktim: Nurture Incarnadine
2015
Neel: Blutopias of Radical Dreaming
2014

Our research uncovered little-known, yet vital stories of women from global communities of color, often from the margins of their societies, laboring in multiple ways to keep their communities moving toward healing and vibrancy. Often, there is no recognition that this work is, in fact, historic. We came to understand that while the scale of this kind of labor might seem small and local, it often bridges the gap between living and giving up.

The research for this quintet of dance theater pieces began with conversations from women leaders from local and global communities of color who have taken on extraordinary projects because they felt compelled to act on their beliefs, their commitment to community, and their politics. While their work had been deeply impactful, it had gone largely unnoticed because it was not work that ends in quantifiable results and large-scale policy shifts.

The quintet series identifies stories about such labor and celebrates it, not as biographies of women’s lives, but as imagined stories of the journeys of women who, while they may never have known about each other, labored together in our imagination and choreography.

Because we wanted to celebrate labor that generally remains unmarked as “work,” this series also redefines the notion of what constitutes labor. Women’s varied work includes physical, emotional, intellectual, philosophical, and political ways of laboring. This series tries to embody and articulate these kinds of labor that are crucial in sustaining our world.