Sr. Marie Angela and Sr. Julie welcomed everyone. We watched a short introductory video which explained the purpose of the project. Then we gathered in the center of the room for the video in which choreographer Debbie Allen demonstrated the basic steps and how the steps implemented the words to the song. Once we had gone through that practice session and actually did the theme dance, we branched out into other music--"That Old Time Rock & Roll," the Mummers Strut, a bit of calypso, the Electric Slide, -- bit of everything! Then Sr. Julie showed a short film clip which she explained was difficult to view: flashing scenes of women being violated and abused in various ways and ultimately various people rising in dance to protest this violence. We closed our evening by a short ritual in which we anointed one another with oils and prayer. The whole experience was truly awesome! Some who attended left donations and these we will give to Dawn's Place, a safe house for trafficked women in Philadelphia where some of our sisters volunteer.
I took a lot of photos. Some of the earlier ones are a bit dark because they were taken when we were learning the steps--the lights down because of the video. I moved to the back of the room where I had a bit more light but then I was mostly photographing people's backs. The later ones are better. Most I think speak for themselves. Sr. Julie is going to put the photos into a video collage and I'll post that when she's finished but for now--just a glimpse of our wonderful "rising"!