Veterans and refugees work through the trauma of war with dance and movement in Truths Colliding
Exit12 Dance Company and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum are proud to announce their partnership to present Truths Colliding; an eight-week series of creative workshops that bring together veterans, refugees, and Exit12 artists to dialogue about the impact of war on personal and cultural identity. A free culminating public performance will be held Friday, May 26th, marking Fleet Week NYC and Memorial Day Weekend.
The project hosts a series of closed workshops that provide a safe space for over a dozen participants who have experienced global conflicts as both combatants and civilians. Together, facilitated by Roman Baca, Exit12’s artistic director who served in Fallujah during the Iraq War, and Lead Dance/Movement for Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network Therapist Elizabeth Freeman, specializing in traumatic brain injury at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at Walter Reed, they will share their stories and build cross-cultural dialogue, empathy and healing while transforming their experiences into movement and dance.
Themes of trauma, loneliness, isolation, peace-building, and community resilience will stimulate discussions about the impact of war and our mutual responsibility in conflict. The evening will offer a shared dance work between the professional dance artists of Exit12 Dance Company and the workshop participants in addition to a world premiere by Baca on the dance ensemble. A moderated discussion led by former British Royal Marine and NYU Classics Professor Peter Meineck will follow the performance, fostering a conversation between the cast and the audience about the themes raised in the workshops and performance.
Exit12 started in 2007 as a way for former professional ballet dancer turned US Marine Iraq War Veteran to reconnect and heal post deployment to Fallujah in 2005, by turning war stories into conversation provoking performances. Exit12 has reached over 10,000 military connected individuals and 70,000 civilians with its programming.
“Twenty years ago, the Iraq War started, and two years later as a US Marine, I left for Fallujah,” recalls Baca. “It was the beginning of a journey that would lead me to create a dance company to tell our stories with a clear and underrepresented perspective,” he continues. “I have continued this work through dance and workshops over the years, and perhaps my most impactful, was returning to Iraq to work with the children there whose lives have been irrevocably changed by war. Now, on an aircraft carrier, we are bringing all of these worlds together to continue our service to our country and community by sharing our stories, both shared and different and creating space for peace and understanding.”
“We are thrilled and honored to be working with Exit12 again to host this meaningful project, as part of the Intrepid Museum’s efforts to provide a supportive space for veterans and others impacted by war to express themselves creatively,” shares Charlotte Martin, Director of Access Initiatives at the Intrepid.
A FREE public performance of Truths Colliding will be held Friday, May 26, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. in Hangar 3 of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, located on Pier 86, on 12th Avenue and 46th Street and accessible by the A, C, E, C, Q, R, S, 1, 2, 3 trains to 42nd Street, or the 7 train to 34th street.
Admission is free and pre-registration is required. Click here to register.