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Relay of Voices

  • Quawpaw Canoe COmpany 291 Sunflower Avenue Clarksdale, MS, 38614 United States (map)

In 2019, six dancer-athletes comprising “Relay of Voices” will relay run the length of the Mississippi River and make stops in 104 of the cities and towns along the way. In each community they’ll partner up with residents to learn about their individual lives and the community as a whole. Practicing physical remembering, the athletes will use their bodies as their notebooks, storing not only the facts - somebody said this, or did that – but also the feelings, the nuances of what it means to be a body in that place and time. That visit will culminate with a choreographed celebration relaying the river voices already gathered for the community and its people. Relay is diving deep into rural America, as the heartbeat of the river flows in every small community, their histories and their present days, their very ways of life.

In advance of this larger expedition, the Relay Team is coming to Clarksdale this September to participate in the Water/Ways Exhibition and learn more about the Clarksdale community. They are interested to meet residents from the area who have a relationship with the Mississippi River and other surrounding natural resources. Based in Chicago, IL, the Relay Team is also interested to connect with Clarksdale residents who have ties there due to the 1927 Flood and the Great Migration. Through a choreographed dialogue, the Team will listen and move together with the Clarksdale community and carry home a new knowledge of life in Mississippi and on the Mississippi.