Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago alum Keyierra Collins ’16, a graduate of the Dance Center’s BA Program in Dance, performs in Chicago Takes 10 — a free virtual series featuring performing artists from across the city — on Thursday, June 10, at 6 PM. Collins will be performing under the auspices of Chicago’s leading incubator for new dance and performance, Links Hall, which is one of 10 non-profit performing arts organizations to curate and engage dancers, musicians, puppeteers, and performance-makers for the series.
Keyierra Collins is a Chicago-based dancer, teaching artist, choreographer, and 2020 3Arts Walder Foundation awardee. Collins’ work explores dance and movement as tools to heal the collective and individual trauma experienced by people of the African diaspora. Her work creates a platform for people of color; historically traumatized and oppressed, to voice their expectation for change, liberation, as well as healing. Her process is kinesthetically driven and often inspired by conversations between friends, or an abstract thought or feeling related to socio-political issues. Having toured and worked with artists in Haiti and Nigeria, Collins desires to continue her travels collaborating with artists around the world.
Collins’ performance piece is inspired by a solo from the 1938 film Swing danced by Consuela Harris. An actress and swing dancer, Harris was considered the best hot, shake, swinging dancer of the 1930s. “As a movement artist, it had been difficult to stay connected to my technique during the pandemic,” says Collins. “I am rediscovering how dance and movement exist in my body both now and in the future. My process of rediscovery begins with my feet — my base and source of movement. This work, influenced by the relationship between [my] feet and torso, uses West African dance, swing, and jazz as an explorative approach to finding my feet.”
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