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freedom of information 2008

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Got plans for New Year's Eve? I'm going to try to stop by the Firehouse Gallery in Burlington to see dancer Selene Colburn participate in "freedom of information 2008." It's a day-long endurance/dance piece conceived by dancer and choreographer Miguel Gutierrez, in response to the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gutierrez, who lives in NYC, originally performed the 24-hour foi in 2001, after the invasion of Afghanistan. He's reviving the work in 2008 as a reminder that the country is still at war. And he's invited dancers from all over the country to perform it simultaneously, creating a kind of nationwide day of action.

Selene (and 31 other dancers) will be performing Gutierrez's series of movements all day long — while blindfolded or hooded. And wearing earplugs.

Gutierrez started a blog to aggregate information about the event. Earlier this week, he reflected on his motivations and preparations:

I’ve always been fascinated by endurance based work, how a body moves beyond a performativity that is about indicating that something is difficult, and actually undergoing a difficult action, so that the body becomes marked by this strain in real time. I think that in the original incarnation of foi 2001, I imagined that the strain of continuously moving for 24 hours was somehow “symbolic” of the difficulty that displaced people must feel. I now feel like this was a terribly naive assumption on my part, and instead, would like to consider that the “difficulty” that is being symbolized in foi 2008 by continuously moving for 24 hours has to do with how hard it is to remain committed to consciousness, to sensitivity and compassion, how hard it is to stay “awake” to the reality of remote war.


See Selene dance at the Firehouse Gallery in Burlington on New Year's Eve, December 31. It looks like, from the Facebook event listing, that the public will be welcome from 9 a.m. until midnight. Admission is free.

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