Facilitating FIERCENESS: Co-leading a dance residency at NCSU, by Jannet Galdamez

A few weeks back I had the opportunity alongside my colleague Bianca Medina to co-teach a one week residency at North Carolina State University with a group called the Panoramic Dance Project. Panoramic is a college-based dance company consisting of 13 beautiful dancers whose only outlet of dance on campus is through this company. They are all majoring in other areas, such as business and science, and they make time outside of their normal class schedules to commit to their dancing. 

This was my second time getting to lead a residency and share the work of CONTRA-TIEMPO in this intense format, and it's absolutely one of favorite things to do. Getting to co-facilitate the experience with my colleague, Bianca Medina, made it extra special. This was Bianca’s first time leading a residency, and because we both had really beautiful college experiences—having been positively impacted and inspired and having gotten to work with guest artists—now to be able to “sit on the other side of the table” brought it all full circle.

During this residency we set a 20-minute excerpt of our current touring work Agua Furiosa on the students. This excerpt included our big ensemble pieces: Join the Movement, A Masters House, No Nos Moveran, our Rifle Piece, and ending with Like Water for Justice. We used the CONTRA-TIEMPO creative process method in our work: we shared personal stories in Council circles, dove into trust-building exercises, held conversations that helped set the dancers’ intentions in their movement, and taught choreography in a way that allowed the dancers to personalize the excerpts and make them their own. 

It was beautiful to get to experience this group move together, support one another in their roles, and take their connection as human beings to another level. It was incredible to feel and to see how much these dancers were craving this work. They shared with us how certain movements and phrases were bringing up all sorts of connections to their personal lives and to what is going on in the world. This truly was showing up through their bodies, in their movement and how they were working as an ensemble—truly listening to and seeing one another in and out of the pieces. 

If I could choose one word for this week-long residency it would have to be PERSEVERANCE… And this really was our kind of like our theme each day. Every single one of these dancers was so full of determination, purposefulness, and intention. It was an honor to witness.

Check out the dancers in action. FIERCE!!