On Wednesday 21 November over 60 students, scholars, dancers, artists and guests participated in an immersive dance performance, as part of the Reconciliations Exhibition in the Exchange, Bush House.
The piece, choreographed by Roman Baca, director of Exit12 Dance Co, former US Marine and current Fullbright Scholar at Trinity Laban Music & Dance Conservatoire, explored how training for war impacts the mind, body and psyche of an individual.
The space was transformed into a partially lit zone of exploration with the dancers weaving through the audience, and the artwork. Members of the audience were invited to participate, donning arm bands, flash lights and responding to written instructions giving them a personal experience of the power of ritual, sacrifice, and military training.
Roman’s work demonstrates his own process of reconciliation as a trained dancer, then US Marine, and now as a choreographer working with material that explores the possibility of reconciliation for veterans, as they transition back into civilian life.
After the performance a panel with Roman, Stefan Schilling (School of Security Studies) and Melissa Abecassis (former co-director EcoME Centre for Peace and Sustainability in the West bank) discussed how dance can add to research, study and dialogues around reconciliation.
The Department of War Studies has pioneered collaborations with leading dance companies since 2015 and continues to develop links with word class institutions, like Trinity Laban.
The event is part of an exhibition, Reconciliations, running in parallel at the Exchange, Bush House, King’s College London from 1 November-14 December 2018, and at the Knapp Gallery, Regent’s University London, from 1 November 2018-19 January 2019.