Video: Slowdanger Performance Ahead

It’s dance theatre. It’s music. It’s an expression of magic. And it’s happening right here in Pittsburgh. Meet the duo that comprises a collaborative performance entity known as ‘slowdanger’

by Aadam Soorma
May 6, 2019

Springtime in Pittsburgh. A season of bloom and rebirth.

Okay, let’s be real – spring is also the season of potholes among our twisty, hilly roads. Talk to any vehicle commuter and they can attest – “slow danger” signs are everywhere.

Meet the collaborative performance entity whose name is inspired by these warning signs.

Enter the minds of Anna Thompson and Taylor Knight. Together, they comprise a dance theater duo known as slowdanger.

Per the duo, slowdanger is literally a conceptual framework for how the group produces its work. They feel inspired by building upon demolished or deconstructed space and perform regularly at bars and clubs in the area. They also hold workshops and therapeutic classes where attendees are encouraged to express themselves freely and authentically.

We sent videographer Nick Childers to get to know slowdanger and help us share their story and the way the duo interacts with various communities here in Pittsburgh.

slowdanger: empathy machine

In the documentary, you will see footage from slowdanger’s multidisciplinary performance: empathy machine.

empathy machine is an imagined future, a beginning, an ending, an answer, and a warning. This work aims to desexualize intimacy and examine empathy as a continual process of sensitizing ourselves to our own bodies, companions, and environment. The work explores intimacy and empathy, questioning societal reflexes surrounding these terms through the use of physicality, responsive technology and awareness facilitations.

Performers: Ru Emmons, Roberta Guido, Simon Phillips, Taylor Knight and Anna Thompson.

empathy machine was made possible with support from The Opportunity Fund and Pittsburgh Foundation’s A W Mellon Grant.

Learn more about slowdanger

To learn more about slowdanger workshops and performances, visit the upcoming section of their website.

Video credit: Nick Childers. Second camera: Randall Coleman. 

In 2012, Aadam moved to Pittsburgh. He's currently parked (sans chair) in Lawrenceville and plans to stay a while. On the weekends, you'll find him driving a small green bus (Porter Tours) as he leads tours at local breweries. Got a fun story idea? DMs are open: @asoorma.

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