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  • Movement Collaborator Melissa Brading Performs in the Amalgamate Artist Series

    On October 24, 2015 Melissa Brading performed her piece Picket Fence, she states:

    "I made this after working with the women at Bedford Hills prison with Avodah Dance. A story was told to me about a woman there and how cheerful she had remained despite her circumstances. I was told the first day she got there, she made a little white fence with tape around her cell. So, I started with that idea. It took me hours upon hours to figure out the configuration of the dominoes, obviously, I knocked them down over and over again to set them back up. It was frustrating and my cat, Deborah, knocked them down too after I got them just the way I wanted them. But it made me think of the women. It also was a good exercise for me as a performer. If I knocked something down, it would pretty much ruin the piece. And I had to be willing to accept that. And I had to deal with the fact that it takes me 30 minutes to set up a piece that lasts only 4 minutes. But every time I did this piece or thought about it, explained why I was dragging around a bag of dominoes and a yardstick, it made me think of the women.

    Some of them will never get out before turning 80, but they keep moving big, encouraging others and rebuild all they can. I can't ignore the very real fact they are in prison, and I can't remove those walls. But the invisible walls, those we can work with. We can make a real effort to let them know they are seen and to make it more possible for others to see them as well. "