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Reconciling Experience: Dance excerpt, Q&A and reception

The Exchange, Strand Campus, London

21 Nov RomanBacaMainImage Part of Art & Reconciliation

An immersive dance installation in the Exchange gallery 

Choreography: Roman Baca, Fulbright Scholar, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Director Exit12 Dance Company

Performed by students from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

An immersive look at military training and the effects it has on the mind, body, and the individual.  Taking pages from the training manuals to prepare for major conflicts, this choreographic investigation also invites members of the audience to get up close, and participate with several of the exercises. 

Experiences are tiered for audience members, levels from a little participation to a lot, gives the audience a personal experience of the power of ritual, sacrifice, and military training.

About the piece

This excerpt is part of a larger work to Igor Stravinsky’s The Rites of Spring, collaborating with dancers, musicians, artists, and military veterans. The work looks at the evaluation of training for war on the individual and how it informs personal experience from an ethnographic approach.

The panel will discuss the potential of creative processes to reconcile experiences, considering the individual and collective body, choreographic tools and the implications of performance.

"Roman provides a unique glimpse into the experience of an otherwise closed off segment of society, and provides an opportunity to compare and reckon with our own experiences, biases and embodied behaviors." Stefan Schilling


  • Roman Baca, classical ballet dancer who served in Fallujah, Iraq as a United States Marine currently pursuing an MFA in Choreography at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London.
  • Stefan Schilling, PhD Candidate & Teaching Fellow at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Defence Academy, UK. His PhD is a social-psychological analysis of group-identity in military teams.
  • Melissa Abecassis, Melissa spent 3 years in Israel/Palestine committed to dialogue and conflict transformation. She co-directed EcoME Centre for Peace and Sustainability in the West bank and now facilitates non violent communication.

  • Chair: Jayne Peake, Independent Dance Artist, Arts & Conflict Hub Co-ordinator, Programming Manager, The Exchange, King’s College London. 

Event Series

The event is part of an exhibition, Reconciliations  running in parallel at the Exchange, Bush House, King’s College London from 1 November-1 December 2018, and at the Knapp Gallery, Regent’s University London, from 1 November 2018-19 January 2019. The exhibitions are part of a major AHRC-funded project, ‘Art & Reconciliation: Conflict, Culture and Community’,  Art and Reconciliation explored the politics of reconciliation across the Western Balkans and beyond from a variety of perspectives in three strands, HistoryDiscourse and Practice.

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