Move to Change day has been in the works, and this year was the first year I had the opportunity to participate as a “mover” and a “changer.” Adele Switzer organized a Move to Change performance at 621 Gallery in Railroad Square the Friday preceding Move to Change day. In this event, a bowl full of “values” was set up. The public could write their values, or something they’re thankful for, and place it in the bowl. Once the values began piling up, us dancers entered the space. We randomly selected a value from the bowl, said it aloud, then preceded to improvise given the writing on the slip of paper and all that it entailed. This was a heart-warming experience, not just for the dancers, but for the audience as well. When improvising in a public gallery space, where people are walking around observing the art on the walls, it can be intimidating to feel as though you’re interrupting their experience with your movement. In this event, it didn’t feel that way at all. I started focusing on the few others I was improvising with, but as I became more comfortable, I saw the audience gather around us, observing their values being expressed through movement. It was a truly touching experience, and one I will remember for a lifetime. After experiencing that, I can say I understand what Move to Change day is all about.
Mary Catherine Womack