Dancing Through Prison Walls is a California-based dance and performance project whose mission is to dance with, choreograph with, and tell stories within embodied carceral landscapes and beyond, amplifying voices of incarcerated folks, and addressing mass incarceration. Begun in 2016, the work embraces a porous community of incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, and “free world” dancers, choreographers, visual artists, and performers, with the artistic direction of social practice choreographer Suchi Branfman, whose ten-year choreographic residency at CRC Prison in Norco, California runs through 2026. The resulting hours of dance, choreography, performance, film creation, writing, and community conversations comprise a body of work that is at its essence a critical dialogue about freedom, confinement, and ways for surviving restriction, limitations, and denial of liberty through the act of dancing. Collaborators Tom Tsai, Jokhtar Ferbrache, Ernst Fenelon Jr., and Selina Ho will join Branfman in residency at Montalvo Arts Center.
Photo by William Short.