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OUR VOICES, BODIES RISING: Beyond Suffrage Toward Women’s Empowerment

A Pandemic Film by Peggy Brightman & Carla Kimball

Artistree will host a free screening of OUR VOICES, BODIES RISING: Beyond Suffrage Toward Women's Empowerment in the Grange Theatre on Saturday, November 6th at 4 pm, and Sunday, November 7th at 4 pm. This event will include a discussion with the choreographer and filmmaker as well as a live performance with dancers, actors, and readers.

(Please note this is a third party performance and questions about the film should be directed to Peggy Brightman at pbri@aol.com)

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OUR VOICES, BODIES RISING: Beyond Suffrage Toward Women’s Empowerment

A pandemic film by Peggy Brightman, Director/Choreographer & Carla Kimball, Filmmaker

FILM ORIGIN:

This film originated as a “live” performance of poetry and dance sponsored by Bookstock 2020 and planned by choreographer Peggy Brightman to mark the centennial of women’s suffrage, but the pandemic forced its cancellation.  Determined to continue working, Peg conspired with Carla Kimball, a videographer with a strong background in photography and dance, who had begun to experiment with filmmaking. They developed a plan for creating a new genre of “distanced” film, upending the traditional working method of choreographers, dancers, and filmmakers. 

UNIQUE PROCESS:  

Adapting to these new and challenging self-distancing conditions, Peg invited Vermont poets to submit poems exploring aspects of women’s struggle for empowerment. Thirteen area poets contributed twenty poems to the libretto, arranged in five acts. Each poem became a “scene” for which choreographic instructions were emailed to actors and dancers. The actors and dancers used smartphones to create and film one-minute scenes in their own homes -- kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, or backyards. They emailed their videos to Carla and then the filmmaker and choreographer collaborated on how to assemble and arrange them.

OUR CAST:

Through word-of-mouth and the assistance of the Vermont Dance Alliance, Peg assembled a diverse cast of dancers and actors. Area musicians contributed to a musical score to heighten the emotional resonance of the combined dance and poetry.  Overall, 40 participants — including actors, dancers, poets, and musicians — have contributed to the creation of this film.  

COMPLETING THE FILM:  

In the final two weeks of May 2021 in chilly weather and under cloudy skies, Carla and Peg met with unmasked dancers, actors, and poetry readers on the scenic hillside behind Artistree in South Pomfret, Vermont.

SUPPORT FOR THE FILM:

This project is supported in part by the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation and by an anonymous private donor. Pentangle Arts Council serves as fiscal agent, and Artistree generously provided the venue for filming.

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This film is dedicated to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her courageous and spirited resolve to achieve dignity and liberation for all.