Lady Liberty: A 360º Performance in New York City

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Artist Statements:

Hans Glick (Director): “Lady Liberty: A 360º Performance in New York City” was created as part of #ImmigrantVoices, a two-part campaign amplifying underrepresented voices in American pop culture. We bring the viewer to NYC’s Battery Park, where poet Brad Geyer and acclaimed choreographer Ashlé Dawson join forces to tell immigrant stories through spoken word and dance. Using immersive technology, audiences are able to experience the performance on headset, mobile, or desktop. #ImmigrantVoices is a production of Fovrth Studios, Global Citizen, and The Future of Storytelling for Good.

Brad Geyer (Poet): Lady Liberty was written in a fury, a violent outburst in the midst of watching a report regarding the refugee crisis in early 2016. A national movement to turn our backs on the most essential values that this country stands for, for the sake of an illusion of safety from an imaginary threat, made this poem an inevitability. I was moved to tears watching this report, and 10-15 minutes later, all the feelings and ideas that had been fermenting for the past year had put themselves together on the page. Lady Liberty is a plea to the nation to continue to stand up for liberty and freedom, and not give in to fear and hatred, and a request that if we do choose to denounce the ideals represented by the Statue of Liberty, that we tear it down, rather than betraying her legacy right before her eyes, while keeping a beacon of hypocrisy mounted for the world to see in our port. This video would not have been possible without the support, direction and keen eye of Hans Glick, who discovered me performing the poem at a rally in Washington Square Park in Manhattan and was inspired to help turn the piece into something even larger, and the backing of the entire Global Citizen organization, a group which fights every day for global equality.

Ashlé Dawson (Choreographer): Lady Liberty crossed my path while I was creating a new work already based on immigration and the refugee crisis. While in search of the perfect music I discovered Brads poem. Filled with chills, I listened to it on repeat for over an hour and the entire mental imagery of what I would create movement wise took shape. This is one of the most incredibly well written poems I have ever heard. It cut to the rawness of the refugee crisis and provoked question to the true essence of freedom in the United States with no holding back. I knew the words in Lady Liberty were the ones that would drive my choreography to visual life and Brad’s voice laid the groundwork for the tone. I carefully designed each movement to accentuate the words and situations depicted in Brads story, thus involving the audience audibly and visually, stimulating their minds and hearts.

BIOGRAPHY:

Ashlé Dawson (Bio) is undisputedly one of the most versatile choreographers and performers in the industry. Through uniting her own blended heritage and multi-cultural dance background with commercial and contemporary forms her work has become globally recognized. Recent credits include choreographer and activist with Global Citizen Festival & 360 Video, Wild N’ Out (Prince Royce), Times Square New Years Eve (Univision) for artists Don Omar, JenCarlos Canela, Alejandra Guzman & El Dasa. She is one of the original Top 4 on the 1st season of SYTYCD and has worked on America’s Got Talent, Latin Grammys, was the champion professional on Mira Quien Baila (Spanish DWTS, US) with partner Johnny Lozada (Despierta America), Latin Billboards, Premios Juventud and more. She has had the chance to work with Steven Spielberg (The Post), Anne Hathaway (SNL), John Leguizamo (Fugly), Gloria Estefan (American Idol), John Oliver (Last Week Tonight) and artists such as Wisin y Yandel, Leslie Grace, Fonseca, Romeo Santos, Tito Rojas, Flex, Belinda & Tito Puente Jr. Her work has been used by companies including AUDI, New Balance, Macys, Canon, Paul Mitchell and more. Ashlé is the founder and director of Breaking Conformity Productions, Inc. and the artistic director of “Latin Fusion Dance Project” both based in NYC. She is an in-demand guest teacher internationally and is honored to be on faculty at Broadway Dance Center.

Brad Geyer (Bio), NYC-based poet and artist: “BRADMAN is me, an award winning writer / multi-instrumentalist / actor / slam poet / photographer / filmmaker / karaoke competition finalist who was voted Most Likely To Host A Talk Show by WHS Class of `05. I’ve been a Stand-Up Comic, radio DJ, local TV producer, warehouse worker, art dept. PA, and busboy. I’ve performed martial arts, hip-hop, poetry and music at festivals around the world, break-danced for network television, and starred in an original musical. One time I played bass guitar in the pit for a teen production of Footloose and it was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life.”

 




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About Author

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Hans Glick is a Seattle-based video producer and documentary filmmaker. He believes in the power of compelling, empathetic visual storytelling to start conversations and effect change. He's a versatile videographer and editor with a range of styles under his belt, including social media video, event coverage, marketing, and documentary. Prior to Seattle, he spent three years as a video producer for Global Citizen, an NYC-based nonprofit devoted to ending extreme poverty by 2030. He's also freelanced for a variety of businesses and nonprofits. His work has taken him to Sierra Leone, Senegal, South Africa, India, Alaska, the Philippines, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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