Embodying Trauma

Doing research on human trafficking for her latest piece, The Escape, which integrates dance with music, text, film, and martial arts, dancer and choreographer Lenora Lee says she found that a lot of the abuse women go through is psychological and emotional, not just physical. “A lot of captors threaten repercussions if the women attempt to leave, and they say they will tell families back home,” Lee said. “They divide women and pit them against each other and try and get women dependent on them.” Lee conducted resarch at Chinatown’s historic Cameron House, which has provided support for Asian women and their families for more than 100 years, as well as talking to shelters and legal agencies to find out about current-day trafficking. To Lee, whose dance group is also performing parts of her two most recent large scale works about the Chinese exclusion act and Chinese men and violence for its Fifth Anniversary performance, it makes perfect sense to take on such a serious topic through dance. “You can listen to a lecture about it, but that’s not the same as seeing somebody embody a topic and dance about being raped,” she said.
Oct. 12-14, 2012

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