Mission Statement and Philosophy

Mission Statement and Philosophy

The Defiance Project Logo

The Defiance Project is a modern dance and performance art company that uses processes of defiance to engage a community of collaborators through personal and collective experiences of presence, connection, and change. 

The Defiance Project is a dance company.

Dancing- this dancing- is done every time someone moves and is moved.

Movement is of the body, but also of the mind, spirit, soul, breath, words, being.

A company- this company- is a community of people participating in this movement of exploration, transformation, and acceptance.

Participation in this dancing and this community is as simple and whole as being present with us, building connections with us, and allowing oneself tochange and be changed.

Dance with The Defiance Project, directed by Sophie Needelman, in whichever way and through whatever media you chose. We are collaborators, innovators, shakers and movers of our bodies and beyond.

The Defiance Project is a dance company that uses processes of defiance to engage a community of collaborators through personal and collective experiences of presence, connection, and change. 

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Defiance.

The Defiance Project uses the creation, expression, practice, and performance of dance to explore what it means to defy. The company behind this project manifests defiance in both the form and function, and process and product of the work it does. As a director, Sophie Needelman is interested in the method and means and process of defiance as a tool in and of itself- independent of what is being defied or why. Defiance is a lens through which we can experience and interact with expectations, standards, norms, and comfort- regardless of what the nuances of these objects of defiance may be. Choosing to experience through the act of defiance is defiance in and of itself.

Defiance is not just open disobedience- it is not just a reaction and it isn’t an innately negative thing. Defiance is power and empowerment; it is an action- our action- and dance is the form it takes. Through the creation, practice, and performance of dance we employ defiance as the means to an end of a world where defiance is no longer necessary. The value in defiance is that it allows one to achieve exploration, acceptance and transformation- presence, connection, and change.

The company behind this project manifests defiance in both the form and function, and process and product of the work it does. This work examines Defiance as presence within and because of one’s physical being, as occupation of self through sought sensation. This work examines Defiance as connection within and among physical beings through breath, pulse, and rhythm. This work examines Defiance as change through movement, because and in spite of connected presence and present connection.

Boundaries must first be known in order to be broken. Defiance allows us to know ourselves- because of and in spite of these boundaries. It yields the growth necessary to then become limitless as a dancer and as a human being.

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Change. Movement is change; by moving we are changing. Even in a state of rest, our bodies move with pulse and breath; these movements are the foundation of life. Change is innate to our humanity and to our lived existence. Defiance is embracing oneself as a changing being- by changing oneself. Change, without judging change as progressive or regressive; it is merely a process and a product that leads to a difference based on what once was the same. Move and be moved.

Connection. Points of connection within the body are the source of initiation and engagement for movement. Connectivity allows for space to be made as a foundation for and initiation of movement. Space allows for engagement. Connection is liberating. Connection between bodies exists through the catalyst of rhythm. Our breaths and pulses are consistent and constant; the stability of rhythm is innate to our humanity and existence. We can control our bodies on a rhythmic level to connect to other bodies, connect to music, and connect to the momentum of life in space.

Presence. It is generally known that physical sensation it inspires thought. However, this cycle is reversed through dance; one must intentionally seek the physical sensation that comes from movement. Through this, presence is both created and maintained. One can only feel completely present by being aware that there is sensation to be sought- and thus that one can experience presence through thinking about the physical sensation that can come from moving through space.