The Ritual of Breath Is the Rite to Resist
Classes & Workshops
The Ritual of Breath Is the Rite to Resist

Community and Healing Rituals Workshop

May 06 - 08, 2022

This event occurred as part of the 21/22 Classes & Workshops season. This is an archived view.

21/22 Classes & Workshops

Led by community organizer, performer and professor Dr. Shamell Bell, this three-day intensive workshop seeks to engage the community in healing practices and modalities that will add to the ritual offerings associated with The Ritual of Breath Is the Rite to Resist, a multidisciplinary project opening in September 2022. Produced by the Hopkins Center and co-commissioned by Stanford Live Arts, the work invites audiences to rise up against the theft of Black breath, to meditate on our shared humanity, and to join in the agency of shared resistance. 

Who is this for: Black activists, artists, organizers, students and those allied against the state-sanctioned violence against Black communities.

What does participation involve: Anyone interested in participating in the workshop should submit an application, which will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Participants will contribute to the creation of this vital new work and model for activist theater, and will be credited accordingly. For those who are interested, there will be opportunities for continued engagement with the project into September. Participants must be available Friday, May 6 (6-8 pm), Saturday, May 7 (9 am-6 pm), and Sunday, May 8 (12-4 pm), and will receive a $200 honorarium for their participation. 

More on the workshop
Moved to action by the atrocities of police violence, the creators of The Ritual of Breath Is the Rite to Resist have drawn inspiration from the healing practices of survivor mothers and communities who have lost their children to state-sanctioned violence. As a group, participants in the workshop will build on this foundation and move through a process of "collective freedom dreaming" using somatic practices and exercises, which will manifest in collaboratively created rituals. These rituals will be folded into the overarching performance project, and will serve as a model framework for other organizations across the country interested in bringing the work to their communities.

Our use of the term "ritual" is open, not religiously bound, and refers to any sequence of activities including repetition of a word or gesture that becomes a tradition in a community. Rituals can be public or private, in-person or virtual, solo or collective.

More on the guide
Dr. Shamell Bell is the Co-Social Impact Director for The Ritual of Breath Is the Rite to Resist alongside Ms. Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner. She is a mother, community organizer, dancer/choreographer and documentary filmmaker. Her work on what she calls "street dance activism" situates street dance as grassroots political action from her perspectives as a dancer, choreographer, healer and scholar. Dr. Bell has been a visiting faculty member at Dartmouth, teaching in the department of Theater and the African and African American Studies program. Bell received her PhD in Culture and Performance from UCLA, an MA in Ethnic Studies from UC San Diego, and a BA with Honors in American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. 

More on the project
The Ritual of Breath Is the Rite to Resist is an evening-length opera-theater piece by Jonathan Berger, Vievee Francis and Enrico Riley. Set in seven movements, the work responds to the murder of Eric Garner and confronts wanton killing of Black people at the hands of police officers. Accompanying the performance will be a virtual "toolkit" for community action with seven rituals inspired by and intersecting with the content of the performance.
Learn more about the project and creative team >

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