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Streaming arts pick: @madjieverywhere

Dancers Adji Cissoko (left) and Madeline DeVries from the Instagram account @madjieverywhere.
(Velntina Reneff-Olson)

With much of the arts moving to online and streaming platforms, here’s a look at an off-the-radar highlight:

My pick: @madjieverywhere, an Instagram account created by two dancers from Alonzo King LINES Ballet.

Why: Before coronavirus, this account showcased the adventures of dancers and close friends, Adji Cissoko and Madeline DeVries. But now that the San Francisco-based contemporary ballet company is on pause, @madjieverywhere is evolving into a place for art, contemplation and healing.

Due to coronavirus, the friends had the idea to write and email each other a poem at night, Cissoko writing from Toronto and DeVries from San Francisco. In the morning they read the poem three times and record a short, interpretive dance to the words.

“One take is all you get ... read - feel - dance - done,” they explain on an Instagram caption.

The results are often unpolished, raw movements in a bedroom, a bathroom, a backyard. Sometimes the short videos uncomfortable to watch, especially since often there’s no music. It’s as if you’re being forced to deal with something you’d rather put away.

This poetry-dance project has inspired other dancers, musicians and writers to write or record themselves doing their own interpretive movements. Cissoko and DeVries also encourage anyone watching to send in their own writing or dance videos.

“We are doing this to inspire others to keep moving, exploring and to stay creative,” said Cissoko. “The important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong - just have fun!”

Find it: @madjieverywhere on Instagram. To see the dancers’ professional side, follow @linesballet.


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