A Walk in Our Heels


A contemporary ballroom dance piece performed in the round, featuring two ballroom dancers, a singer, and a percussionist. Born out of a celebration of the latin/rhythm ballroom tradition, this piece also poses a direct challenge to ballroom’s traditional aesthetic. Since the footwear of ballroom is split along gender lines, the blurring of this duality became the primary theme of this piece, which opened the door into questions of sexuality—how do the high heels affect the dynamic between male and female bodies within different styles (cha cha, rumba and bolero) —and explorations of stylized presentation? In collaboration with singer Greg Osei and percussionist Meredith Butterworth, we explored the language we use to talk about gender, bodies, and the rhythm which latin dance relies on.

Direction and Choreography: Abdiel and Kelsey Burns

Performed by Abdiel, Kelsey Burns, Meredith Butterworth, Greg Osei

Arrangement and Original Composition: Greg Osei, featuring songs "Black Sweat" by Prince and "Woman's Work" by Kate Bush.

Premiered at Common Roots Festival 2016, at the Martha Graham Studio Theater in NYC.

Photos by Christopher Jones

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