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Move to Change 2019 Program

MODArts Dance Collective (MADC) presents Move to Change is to use dance as a form of social justice and arts activism through the lens of people of color (POC). The goal of Move to Change is to create cultural and gender affirming spaces for artists of color (African, Latina/o/x, Asian, Arab, Native American [ALAANA]), MENA, & SWANA to educate, empower, & illuminate issues that reflects their histories and cultures through their unique and rich movement aesthetics.

Hot Water Over Raised Fists (excerpt)

Choreographed by Jenny Oliver

Music by "My Heart is Full" by Norah Jones, "Sol" by Alef

Performed by Stacey Badgett, Jr.,  Erin Chiesa, Emma Malbon, Ndubuisi Ofoegbu, Jenny Oliver, & Rachael Thomas


Jenny Oliver works to bring awareness to socio-political issues facing Indigenous and Black communities through movement and education with tribal affiliation to the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag. She’s an inaugural Boston DanceMaker’s Resident, the first Dance in the Galleries choreographer in residence at the Museum of Fine Arts and was nominated for the 2019 Brother Thomas Fellowship. Jenny is on faculty at Tufts University, Emerson College, Dance Complex and DMPAC.


StefanieBelnavis.TheDiahannProject - Mod

In 50 Years

Choreographed by Kayla Yee

Music by Abram Blau

Performed by Tessa Allen, Leila Mire, & Kayla Yee


Using art as a tool for activism, Kayla offers her own story and experiences as a healing ground for others. Welcoming perspectives from high and low, left and right, she focuses on the union of human nature with ourselves. Her piece “In 50 Years” is a collaboratively created exploration of trauma and compassion in connection to our world’s political and climate crisis. “In 50 Years” was previously presented by What Will the Neighbors Say?, Sophia Frank and José Rivera Jr. for the FringeClub @ the Nuyorican, as part of the NYC Fringe BYOV 2019.


72F7F263-3828-414C-B8A4-76D5497C3A79 - K


Choreographed & Performed by Bernard Brown

Music: “Box” by Steven T. Gordon


BERNARD BROWN, Lester Horton Award recipient, is an artist, activist, and scholar. Brown has performed with David Rousseve/REALITY, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, TU Dance, Shapiro & Smith Dance, and Doug Elkins Dance Company. His choreography has been presented at Royce Hall, REDCAT, Phoenix Center of the Arts, ODC Theater, among others. Brown is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Sacramento State University, presenting his scholarship on blackness, post-modernity and activism across the US and abroad. His activism has been featured in the New York and Los Angeles Times, calling him "...the incomparable Bernard Brown..." 


Face - Joe Pugliese - bbmoves Bernard Br

Arab-Fucking-Esque: Not Your Sexy Harem Girls

Choreographed & Performed by Nadia Khayrallah and Leila Mire

Music: "Arabian Dance" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, "Iavnana" (Georgian folk) performed by Mziuri*,  "Slave for You" and "Toxic" by Britney Spears

Music editing by Nadia Khayrallah  


*Note: The melody of Tchaikovski's Nutcracker "Arabian" dance (originally called the Georgian dance) was based on this Georgian lullaby for sick children. We have not been able to determine when this piece in the Nutcracker began to be referred to as Arabian. 


A graduate of Columbia University, Nadia Khayrallah currently performs with Gotham Dance Theater, eSKay Arts Collective, and Artists by Any Other Name. She has presented work through Dixon Place, Dancers Unlimited, Queens College Arts Festival, Queensborough Dance Festival, and YallaPunk. She is a member of the Dance/NYC Junior Committee, creating conversation on social and economic issues in the field.



Leila Mire is a Lebanese-American performer, choreographer, educator, and writer. She received her BFA in Dance from George Mason University in 2018. She has performed for ClancyWorks, ICONS, Silk Road Dance Company, and in freelance work. Her most recent work was presented at the IRC, the National Cathedral, and Green Space. She has also been published for her research on "Orientalism and the Perpetuation of Racist Stereotypes in the Nutcracker." 


nadia and leila headshot - Nadia K.jpg

The Shadow on the Steps

Choreographed & Performed by Janet Aisawa 

Directed by Osamu Uehara

Music: "Sosaku" by Kiku Taura, performed by Kogen Taiko

Film:  Shadow on the Steps by Yuko Takebe  Poems by Shigeko Kojima, Yasuko Matsumoto, Etsuko Hayabuchi,  Fujiko Kurita


Janet Aisawa’s evening length works include “Them,” 2017, "Spring Together" co-directed with Beth Soll, 2015, "Generations, A Lifetime in Dance," 2012 and "The Nostalgic Body," 2004, a collaboration with Mary-Clare McKenna.  She conceived and performed in Yuko Takebe’s film, "Shadows of Hiroshima" 2016. She currently dances with Fly-by-Night Dance Theater an aerial dance company and Beth Soll & Company.


Janet_HS - janet aisawa.jpg

Door of No Return 

Choreographed by James MahKween 

Music by Peter Adams- song for viola 

Performed by Malcolm Dunbar, Jazmine Smith, James MahKween, & Brittany Spivey


James MahKween is from Atlanta, GA. He graduated with a BFA in Musical Theater from American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). After graduating, MahKween has been setting and reaching goals. He has performed   with Lula Washington Dance Theatre, JazzAntiqua, and Kouman Kele African Dance and Drum Company,and BrockusRed . Recently, he has been developing his own dance company “Eternity Dance Theatre”. His choreography has been shown at NAACP ACT-SO 2014 & 2015, Highways Performance Space, DANCESCAPE,DanceSpot LA, Tri-Art Festival, Sol-Cal Dance Invitational,Carnival Choreographers Ball, and HHII Dance Festival.MahKween has also produced his own showcases REFLECT and Love Inclinations.


James MahKween (edited copy).jpeg

in due time

Choreographed & Performed by: Leah Tubbs

Music: Moby’s Inside


Birmingham, AL native & Harlem resident Leah Tubbs studied dance at Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA) and the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. She has had the great opportunity to work as a professional artist with numerous dance companies, teaching artist, and arts educator. Leah and Shaun Tubbs established MADC in 2011 to increase diversity, inclusion, and gender equality in the dance field through its work, festivals, and residencies.


***Unauthorized recording (audio, video, still photography, etc.) of this concert or its presenting artists without the express written consent of MODArts Dance Collective is strictly prohibited.***


Gratitude & Support

MADC would like to thank our donors & Patreon supporters: Dr. & Mrs. Amamoo, Anonymous (7), Sharon Banks, Neva Cockrell, Lindi Duesenberg, The Robert Wood Foundation, Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, Laura Dadap Gilmartin, Rev, & Mrs. Lee, Karen & Brian Lowy, Audrey Madison, REELYDOPE Media, Susan Mende, Leslie Natraj, Tanya Patton, Tammeca Rochester, Colleen Sellers, Harriette Smiley, Elizabeth Soulier, Cathy Torelli, Kirsten Trued, Laura Tubbs, Nikki Watrin/Dance Kidz Inc., Kara Zacconi, Paul Brill, Shauna Davis, & Asha Sienkiewicz. 

MADC is a sponsored project through Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Help us to continue to be an agent of social change. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation, become a Patreon patron, purchase an item from MADC's Etsy shop, or discover other ways to support the company.

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