On June 26 and 28, JDPP celebrated the return of our Performance Residency at York CI for its 18th year, now live and in person again, with two performances—one for women on the compound, DoC administration and outside guests, and one primarily for families and some outside guests. The piece ‘Journeying Toward Self’ was a mix of work created through correspondence during the past three years and more recent songs, dances, and writings generated in the abbreviated rehearsal period. Nine women took charge and demonstrated agency, passion, dedication, and creative spirit in developing the material with the teaching team as they examined how one can hold on to hope and possibility even when things are as challenging as the pandemic has been.
It was the shortest amount of time ever for development of material and rehearsals, but the women were not daunted, and neither was the JDPP team. The energy, poignancy and strong sense of resilience and courage in the work was truly inspiring and enthusiastic standing ovations were the immediate audience response at both performances.
As one audience member wrote afterwards, “I really don’t even have words for how much I was moved by the performance yesterday. It was so evident that I was not alone in that sentiment either – among the wonderful and courageous women who performed and among the whole audience. There were so many audible responses to the work and sheer appreciation for the intense effort and teamwork on display. The music was beautiful, the words provocative and the movement and presentation styles were so compelling. I honestly have not been able to stop thinking about it since I left yesterday.”