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Between Silences: A Dance Film and Conversation on Grief

“How do I talk about this work? If I say it’s about grief, no one is going to want to come…But I felt it was important to name it. Unless you’ve gone through it, [grief] is a taboo subject.”

—Ali Kenner Brodsky

“The language that we have around grief is problematic because of our culture, because we don’t like to talk about it. But grief doesn’t heal, it evolves.”

—MorganEve Swain

From May 22nd through 28th, artist/choreographer, Ali Kenner Brodsky made available her award-winning dance short film, between silences. Before our COVID19 closure, SPACE was anticipating the world-premiere of Brodsky’s latest, MoMents of Nice, an evening-length work that explored memory, loss, and love through a series of eight vignettes. Her short film was based on one of those vignettes, the most depressing piece…

On May 28th, Brodsky and her frequent musical collaborator, MorganEve Swain joined Little Death podcast host, JJ Peeler, for a panel discussion moderated by SPACE Executive Director, Kelsey Halliday Johnson. Via Zoom, the group discussed the making of between silences, artistic responses to death and dying, and the new frontier of grief during the pandemic. We are proud to present a recording of that discussion below.

About the panel

Ali Kenner Brodsky, artistic director of ali kenner brodsky & co., makes gesturally rich and emotionally driven dance-theater works. She was a 2019 artist-in-residence at the Croft: Ground for Art, a 2018-19 Catalysts artist at the Dance Complex, 2016 Emerging Choreographer in Residence at Bates Dance Festival and 2014 recipient of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Choreography Fellowship. In 2003–04 she was an artist-in-residence at The Joyce SoHo. She has received NEFA’s New England States Touring and Dance Fund grants.

Kenner Brodsky’s work has been performed at Joyce SoHo, Puffin Room, DanceNow Festivals, Dance Space, WAX, Dixon Place, Judson Church and Dumbo Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, Wilbury Theater Group, Dance Complex, AS220, Jamestown Arts Center, Great Friends Festival, Provincetown Dance Festival, Massachusetts Dance Festival, Southern Vermont Dance Festival and Dance for Peace. She has designed award-winning movement for The Wilbury Theater Group (Providence), and served as rehearsal director for and danced with the national touring company Lostwax Multimedia Dance from 2012–15. She has performed with Andy Russ, Jessica Howard, Rose Pasquarello-Beauchamp, Betsy Miller Dance Projects, Emma Hogarth and 83 paperbirds-moving lab.

JJ Peeler is a performance maker and healthcare worker living in Portland, Maine. Her performance work is related to the intersections of science, education, grief, and movement. Her work typically features collaborations across disciplines. JJ is a member of Bare Portland, a site-specific performance collaborative. JJ is the co-host of The Little Death, a podcast about death and dying. You can listen wherever you listen to podcasts. JJ is also pursuing a Masters in Nursing to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. JJ is passionate about the health concerns related to older adults, palliative care, reproductive health and justice, and arts integration in healthcare. 

MorganEve Swain has spent the past two decades playing music in studios, bars, venues, festivals, and homes. Based in New England,  she’s driven all over the US in a 12-passenger van, lived on tour busses, and flown overseas to perform in Brazil and Europe. She currently fronts The Huntress and Holder of Hands, works as a violin technician, and collaborates with several musicians, writers, and choreographers on various projects. She also loves dogs. 

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