For Sharing Dance Day 2019, Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS) commissioned artists Esie Mensah and Philippe Alexandre-Jacques to create a piece of choreography that explores how our familial, cultural and community roots influence our identity. We often think of roots as entrenched and unchanging. But in fact, they grow over time, deepening and moving in different directions as they are affected by the elements around them.
In the same way, our identity also expands, grounded in that from which we’ve come, but also shaped and molded by the new experiences, new traditions and the communities through which we wander and to which we are welcomed. These powerful interactions can affect the core of who we are and, like with roots, help us forge new paths.
NBS Sharing Dance Day events engaged tens of thousands of people across the country in a nation-wide celebration of the power of dance.