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DGDG Artist-in-Residence Program at Dallas Public Library

Pictured: Danielle Georgiou Dance Group in SWARM at the Dallas Public Library. Photo: Kelsey Head by Tiffany Bailey

2017 marks the beginning of a beautiful partnership between the esteemed and visionary contemporary dance company, Danielle Georgiou Dance Group (DGDG) and the Dallas Public Library (DPL), for the launch of an Artist-in-Residence Program.Hosted in DPL branches (with black-box theater spaces) which span the city’s most economically challenged areas, this artist residency aims to increase public accessibility to arts and culture as a means to initiate and deepen meaningful library engagement in under- served communities. In November, DGDG performed SWARM at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in downtown Dallas. SWARM is one movement of their larger work, WAR FLOWER, which pre- miered in January at White Rock Lake’s Bath House Cultural Center.

The provision of arts experiences is one way to help close the opportunity gap for minorities and low-income households, as creating enrichment has been connected to lifelong achievement among school-age children. Connecting citizens to the arts through initiatives such as an Artist-in-Residence Program is a proven method for investing in collective cultural capital, unlock- ing creative capacity in Dallas communities that stand to benefit most.

By addressing the historical barriers to participation that impede access to arts resource such as cost, accessibility, and convenience, DPL seeks to reinforce its status as an inclusive environment so that individuals and families may build confidence and comfort through their library experiences, and take advantage of DPL’s wealth of free opportunities to learn about and participate in artistic ventures.

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I spoke with Danielle Georgiou, Artistic Director of DGDG and Justin Locklear, Producer/Conceptual Artist to find out more about the program.

TB: In 2017 you will be partnering with the Dallas Public Library and embarking on an Artist-in-Residence program, the first part- nership of its kind for DPL, how do you feel about that?

DG + JL: We are brimming with anticipation, and exceedingly grateful to partner with DPL!

TB: What will this residence program entail?

DG + JL: The residency will include workshops and master class- es, pop-up performances, online media, and it will feature one full length performance.

TB: Do you have any ideas on your approach for this residency?

DG+JL: The library is such a unique environment, and features an array of textures, architecture, and vibration. We are planning to focus on these nuances, and let that speak through the work. For the workshops, we want to bring concepts of modern dance and physical theater to a new group of learners, and hopefully introduce someone to a new way to express themselves. The DPL provides room for many different communities of people, so our pop-up performances will be available to everyone that uses the library, no matter how they engage. And for the full length perform- ance, we will be presenting a piece centered on the ideas of text, lan- guage, and erasure. The library is a new environment for us, and we want to stretch ourselves to explore the freedom that it provides!

DANCE! NORTH TEXAS a publication of the dance council of north texas vol. 20 • no. 1

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