Filmed in early May of 2020 while most of the world was still under lockdown, dancers used the LFDTCLASS framework to create solo performances informed by our recent project, ‘Mapping Now: Vital Little Plans’ , a map inspired by New York City’s grid systems on the Lower East Side. The map is annotated with statements inspired by the writings of Jane Jacobs and are gentle suggestions or prompts that can be taken into action through reflection, in movement, or on the streets.
In response to Jacobs’ prompts and her work’s foundational principle that: any given public space is defined by the degree to which we participate with it, 101.2 has dancers engage in a movement-based dialogue about the human experience that questions and maps the way we move in public space, and ponders notions of access, of privilege or isolation.
Mapping Now: Vital Little Plans
This project was initiated in March, 2020 as a contribution to New York City’s celebration of Lower East Side history month. It has seen many iterations since then. Moving from a live performance in its first stages, then evolving as an interactive digital work under the rapidly changing contexts of a global pandemic, followed only and encircled by the largest civil rights movement in history. We now see that this project is and always will be a work-in-process. It is like all things that sprout up in moments of adversity and challenge – shaped by changing circumstances. Today we present the work in yet another format. As a map and an offering that might enrich your journey and help mark your path on the road to radical change.
Strengthening community through movement has always been at the core of this project, and at the core of the work we do as an organization. Lo Fi Dance Theory began on the LES six years ago in May of 2014 – and since then our partnerships and projects have unfolded in ways that are always unexpected. Our projects confront new realities, require us to bend our minds and our bodies in order to take on existential and physical challenges – all while posing the questions:
Where am I? Where have I been? Where am I going?
We had planned to release the second or third version of the project the week that George Floyd was killed – sparking the movement we’re now all a part of – and requiring another total re-evaluation of this work’s application. The map needed to go through another change, to be stripped down and made naked again, for it to land on something that might help us to address a moment of unprecedented shifts in reality. More questions needed to be asked.
- Could the map be used by everyone?
- Could the map potentially provide solace to people experiencing the rut of isolation? Orfrom the anger resulting from their own complacency? Or from the anger over the
complacency of others?
- Could the map help people evolve their own questions about unjust doctrines andcontemporary existence?
- Did certain philosophies we were holding on the universality of the human conditionneed an overhaul? (The answer there was: yes.)
The map was reshaped again.
Today we offer this work as a means to provoke and critically engage in dialogue about the human experience, to question and map the way we move in public space. It offers vital little plans that you may access at any time, in any way you choose to. We made it so that you can layer on layer, level-up your practice of living with awareness over the long term. It’s your choice. Reach for the levity of abstraction, move so that your heart faces it all – or stand firmly on the ground and ponder notions of access, of privilege or isolation. It can guide you, it can support you, it can take you to your edge and make you feel uncomfortable, and it can then comfort you again. It will only be understood fully if you have taken an oath with yourself. Are you committed to a lifelong practice of dismantling oppression? Are you willing to be an accomplice in this great transformation? Will you keep your interrogation open, and never stop asking :
Where are we? Where have we been? Where are we going?