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Election years tend to make me especially cynical, particularly when they are laden with suspiciously loaded slogans like “Make America Great Again”. So when it comes to a day dedicated to celebrating our country, and our supposed greatness and freedom, I must think of the artists within our borders in order to feel hope. I think of how Jack Ferver and Katy Pyle are opening up the gender and theatrical norms of the closed world of ballet, doing their part to offset how disheartened everyday bigotry and horrific mass shootings make me. I think of the recent work of Kyle Abraham and T. Lang I have seen in order to remember that even in the face of our continued inequality and racism, black artists continue to create inspiring work and thrive because there is an audience out there that wants to be enlightened. I think of how more women than ever are leading dance companies every time I encounter or read about misogyny. I think about William Forsythe coming home and having a month of performances in L.A. this fall, every time I cringe at our insularity and isolationism. These are just a few people coming to mind in this minute that exist among the countless American artists, and the people who present them, who live their daily lives in order to enrich ours. They don’t do it for fame or money, as we all know too well, and sometimes, they even give this great gift away for free.

1.STUFFED 19: Dinner and Dance at Judson Church


Carlye Eckert and John Sorensen-Jolink’s STUFFED returns to the south side of Washington Square Park with performances by Donnell Oakley, HEWMAN, David Norsworthy & Ingrid Kapteyn along with a free dinner donated from local establishments. In their own words, the night is: “No cost, no catch, no proselytizing, no processed food.”

Check it out this Wednesday at 7p and fill your body, mind, and spirit!


2.Glo at the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta

Every Wednesday and Friday until July 15th, Lauri Stallings and her dancers will be performing Movement Choir amongst the exhibits and grounds of this Atlanta institution. This public choreography will invite visitors of the museum to sit, skip, stand, kneel, prance, waltz, spin, be still, jump, and hug as part of a global map of reconciliation and compassion.

12-1:30p FREE with museum admission


I close my polemic with the words of Miro Magloire, who introduces his New Chamber Ballet performances with a new a famous pre-show speech: “If you like what you see, come back tomorrow and bring a friend, lover, neighbor, stranger, or enemy.” Yes! Bring someone to live art this week and don’t forget to toast the artists that make America great when you are watching fireworks tonight!!



Written by Candice Thompson

After more than a decade in Brooklyn, Candice Thompson is now an Atlanta-based artist and writer. Prior to dancing with the Milwaukee Ballet Company and ad hoc Ballet, she trained with Kee Juan Han at the School of Ballet Arizona and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She founded LOLAstretch Dancewear in 2000 and has designed costumes for a variety of theater and dance companies across the country. She recently received a masters degree in Literary Nonfiction from Columbia University’s Creative Writing Program and more of her dance writing can be found in the pages of Dance Magazine, Pointe, and Dance Teacher.