Publication Date

Fall 1997


My project is a dance that provides a physical metaphor of the separation of the body from soul and the spirit that must occur when we perform actions hurtful to others. Of major importance to me was that the main character in the dance would be either one person functioning as many characters or many actors presenting one body. This one to many, rather than one-on-one relationship between actors and characters is integral to the drama. The audience is challenged to see the magnitude and weight of human relationships if people are not individuals whom we can dismiss but rather an embodiment of many or viatal parts of a whole. This paper describes characters I found in my research of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and was inspired by my questions regarding the trade. I have learned , through stories told by elders, that the questions exist because slave trade was a taboo not to be mentioned. Thus the dance visually states what we cannot verbally discuss. Since visiting Cape Coast Castle, the museum display of the china plates that the Europeans traded for enslaved Africans haunts me. This memory titles the piece.