The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

ARC Project 2: Shaina Cantino at A.P.E

WHAT: ARC Project 2: Shaina Cantino
WHEN: July 7 – 21
WHERE: A.P.E. Ltd. Gallery126 Main Street Northampton, MA 01060

Shaina will be developing and documenting an evening-length contemporary dance theater piece in collaboration with performer Leah Fournier and dramaturg/designer Rose Proctor. The performance, inspired by Cantino's relationship with her recently deceased grandmother, grapples with various levels of intimacy in the dying process. The movement and text explores the tug between rigidity and expansion in aging and letting go.

Cantino began to create the piece after doing a Craniosacral Therapy (CST) with her 97-year-old grandmother, who had dementia and was nearing the end of her life. Shaina was amazed by her grandmother's response - she kept saying, “This is peace, this is peace.” Her openness to it stirred up questions for Shaina of how our culture relates to those losing mental function and nearing the end of their lives. She saw many of the nurses passing through her room asking, “Why are you scared,” in response to which her grandmother would become more frustrated and disoriented. Cantino also saw how relaxing and supportive her grandmother found a gentle hand on her body and a simple "I understand, it's very hard." Her grandmother responded with, "I feel you here with me."

Cantino will engage the Northampton public in several ways. During the making process, there will be an open-studio time for people to pass through the gallery space, with the option to receive a taste of Craniosacral Therapy. Also during her residency, Cantino will offer a durational performance in the gallery window, legible to foot-traffic. Lastly, she will present several performances at the end of her residency, open to the public.

This project was funded in part by New England Foundation for the Arts’ New England Dance Fund, with generous support from the Aliad Fund at the Boston Foundation. ​

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