free the body
Free the Body
is an interdisciplinary and social justice research project conceived by GROUND SERIES member Brittany Delany with dancer and postnationalist Lauren Bright and sound designer and human rights/peace educator Peter DiGennaro.
The work explores one's own questions and answers concerning the liberation of the individual and group soma-political body. The project is studied and experienced through formal dance research, sound art, and the phenomenology of multifaceted experience born through an immersive and impactful movement and sound installation.
Culling from a wide range of sources, including the natural world, physiology, gender studies, performance studies, abolition feminism, Terror Management Theory, formal Human Rights standards, Chinese Astrology and Zen Buddhism, the artists along with the witness-participants investigate somatic liberation given a variety of input within the “Free the Body” piece and project.
In addition to the installation and live performances, Free The Body will host public programs and provide connections to resources for abolition, bodily autonomy, healthcare and human rights.
How to free the body?
What does it mean to
free the body at micro
and macro levels?
CONCEIVED AND CHOREOGRAPHED by Brittany Delany
SOUND INSTALLATION by Peter DiGennaro
PERFORMANCE by Brittany Delany, Lauren Bright and cast
PHOTOGRAPHY by Monica Morones and Labkhand Olfatmanesh
MAKEUP by Selene Colón
CREATED for/with Coachella Valley Art Center, Indio, CA
BLOG : Free the Body Blog
Free the Body - Public Programs
To be announced
Coachella Valley Art Center
Free the Body - Presentation
Build Peace 2022 Conference: Exploring the Unseen
November 4-6, 2022
Free the Body - Installation & Performances
Jan. 14-28, 2023
Coachella Valley Art Center
Opening Night & Performance
January 14, 2023
January 21, 2023
Closing Night & Performance
January 28, 2023
8AM to 1PM
Free the Body Artist Bios
Born in Boston, Brittany Delany is a choreographer, dancer, event producer and writer based in Los Angeles, CA. As she grew up playing sports and learning dance moves from music videos, she found dance homes in several communities including hip hop, jazz, contact improvisation, modern, postmodern and site-specific dance. In 2009, she earned a BA in Dance: Choreography & Performance from Wesleyan University. She loves to research, teach and perform around the world. Hip hop aesthetics such as the break, cypher, satire, innovation and musicality are key values in her work. She has studied east coast and west coast styles, and learned from some of the pioneers at hip hop events around the world. Duncan Dance technique, Postmodern sensibilities of abstract composition and ‘everyday’ movement also underscore her approach, sensibility and design. Blending hip hop’s polyrhythmic breaks with modern and postmodern techniques allows her to reinforce dynamics with accented thresholds even as it destroys it with those same layers. Some of her favorite ways of moving involve her training in improvisational techniques – freestyle hip hop dance upright styles, ensemble postmodern dance, and contact improvisation training.
She has performed with dance companies and a constellation of artists and choreographers at CounterPulse, Highways Performance Space, Joshua Tree National Park, Movement Research at the Judson Church, Temescal Arts Center, Electric Lodge, among other stages and sites. She is founding co-director of GROUND SERIES, a dance & social justice collective which uses performance to practice place-based justice by cultivating accountability to land, body and history. Additionally, she is founding member of Wyld Womxn, an intersectional feminist creative collective based in the Coachella Valley.
With over a decade of experience working as a dancer, choreographer, event producer and writer, Brittany values the power of imagination and teamwork.
“Dance and choreography are my survival tools—they help inspire me to make sense of the world, transform ideas into action, conduct research, and grow as a listener, healer, artist and friend.” -- Brittany Delany
As Secretary and founding member of the Arts & Planning Division of the national American Planning Association, Brittany is committed to equity, creativity and multi-faceted community-centered partnerships.
In her writing, she loves to listen, attuning to nuance, and opening up shared curiosity. Since 2007, she’s had the pleasure of connecting with artists of all stripes to amplify their stories. She has worked as a dance editor and contributing writer to dance magazines, journals and digital publications. Her writing has been published in magazines, journals and blogs: Contact Quarterly, In Dance, Hot Stepz Magazine, Voice of Dance, World of Dance, Stance on Dance. In her work writing for dance companies and arts organizations, she strives to highlight the heart. As an event producer and development professional, she enjoys crafting customized, effective communications for press, campaigns, social media, fundraising and grantsmanship.
M.A. is a writer, musician, sound designer, and international human rights and peace educator with over twenty-five years of experience in the fields of music performance, composition, education, and program development. An alum of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts’ Arts Politics graduate program, he is the founding director of A New Heroism: International Human Rights and Peace Education, LLC, and its flagship program UROCK!. His sound compositions have been on exhibit at the Skirball Center at NYU and Site Projects New Haven, among others. Since 1999, Peter has been a contributing composer to the Wesleyan University Dance Department where he has composed extensively for faculty dance scores. Composing and producing extensively for theater, film, and dance, his theater work includes full scores for Shakespeare’s Richard III and Macbeth; works for Trinity College, Temple University, Springfield College, and Bessie Award winner Doug Elkins; and the Emmy nominated Understanding the Divide (Connecticut Public Television 2001).
While focusing his research, scholarship, teaching, and artistic practice on cultural and social psychologies related to power, identity, and violence – against both oneself, as well as the “other” - special attention is given to external expressions of the intrapsychic, inter-relationality, and the frameworks of traumatology in order to address existential crises and social inequality, with somatic memory and haptic, expressive practices playing central roles in the awareness of, resilience to, and recovery from shame as the root of violence. Peter has performed and taught nationally and internationally, notably in Cape Verde, Africa and Paris, France. As a program director, he founded the NMS Rocks! and NMS Summer Rocks! contemporary music programs in New Haven, CT, centered on Human Rights pedagogies and performance-as-research, while his current priority program - URock! – is an interdisciplinary, student-led, arts, culture, technology, and business program that dovetails in discreet Human Rights and Peace Education frameworks while offering participants the experience of building sustainable, creative, personal and community capacities and economies from their most authentic voices.
Believing in the ability of the audience member as a “witness-participant” (Sontag) to and within the work, and the dialogic classroom as a respectful co-learning environment, his work is designed to honor authentic experience and knowledge in one’s own life while increasing the field of vision and skills necessary to live full, productive, and positive lives as oneself, with full imagination, in community with the rest of the world.
Born in Anaheim, CA to nomadic parents, spending her early life living in a traveling renovated school bus, she never lacked wonder or adventure. Once landing eventually in southern Orange County, she began dancing at the age of three.
She started in theater arts with Children’s Theater experience, Advanced theater in Middle School, and attended four years at the South Orange County School of the Arts (SOCSA) for Theater, Set Design, Dance Production and Photography. She attended Saddleback College for dance studies and found her way into Social Dance. Modern, Salsa and Latin dances bring the most joy to her life.
She moved to the High Desert in 2014 and has since relocated to the Coachella Valley to operate local businesses, create intentional communities, and empower women.
She had the privilege to be Set Designer in 2018 for DETC in their spring productions, A non-profit organization that supports high school students to get on the job experience in working in professional productions.
She is currently studying Shamanism at the Shamanism Foundation, and seeks to help heal what can’t be seen by the limitations of physical sight. Integrating ancient practices to a modern era.
Free the Body collaborator bios
William Schinsky, Executive Director of the Coachella Valley Art Center
Subsequent to returning from a tour in VietNam in 1968-69, Schinsky returned to school and eventually graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a BA in Art, and a MA in Museum Studies and Installation Design. His professional career has included positions as: Gallery Director, Ruth S. Schaffner Gallery, Los Angeles; Visual Arts Program Director for the Southern Arts Federation, Atlanta, Georgia; Curator, Atlanta International Museum of Art and Design; Visual Arts Director, Arts Festival of Atlanta; co-founder/Executive Director, Visual Arts Center, Charlotte, North Carolina and continues as an independent curator. He has been a consultant for the Temecula Valley Historical Museum. Schinsky is an adjunct instructor, College of the Desert, teaching Art101, Introduction to Art.
Schinsky is the current Executive Director of the Coachella Valley Arts Alliance, a service oriented cultural arts organization focusing on the small to mid-sized cultural organizations in the Coachella Valley. Schinsky is responsible for initiating the establishment of the Coachella Valley Art Center, a regional cultural center in downtown Indio offering artist’s workspace, exhibit spaces, exhibition programs and classroom/workshop space. He has conducted Art classes at two Riverside County Juvenile Halls in Indio and Murrieta. The More Than Art program received an individual achievement/appreciation award from the Riverside County Probation Department in 2010. In 2009, the More Than Art program was contracted by the Los Angeles County Department of Education to design and conduct an 11 week Visual Art/Creative Writing/Performance program for the minors at the Los Angeles Central Juvenile Detention Facility. Schinsky has presented Art related lectures and programs at local, state and national gatherings. He has participated as a member of Grants Review panels for the National Endowment for the Arts.
Schinsky also acts as Consultant for the city of Rancho Mirage’s Art Affaire, and has judged for the La Quinta Arts Festival and the Southwest Arts Festival, Indio. He serves on the Board of the Indio Performing Arts Center, Coachella Valley Symphony and Advisory Council for the Dr. Carreon Foundation and coordinator of the Old Town Indio Shopping District business association.