Dance and Theater Join in a Healing Ritual

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A scene from a recent episode of 'House/full of BlackWomen' (Photo: Robbie Sweeney)

Theater director Ellen Sebastian Chang and dance maker Amara Tabor Smith (Deep Water Dance Theater) have mixed theater, dance, ritual healing and a bit of social work in a series of shows called House/Full of BlackWomen, addressing issues of displacement, oppression, and sex trafficking in Oakland.

A scene from a recent episode of 'House/Full of BlackWomen'
A scene from a recent episode of 'House/Full of BlackWomen.' (Photo: Robbie Sweeney)

This newest episode, passing/through/the great/middle, invokes the Yoruba Orishas (a pantheon of gods from Africa who came to the new world with African slaves) as it tells a story about displacement and migration from Oakland. Ellen Sebastian Chang tells us that the show will take the audience on a journey too, from International Boulevard into the theater and back onto the street. “The audience is moving so they get this feeling also of being constantly in a state of migration of motion," Chang said, "the difference between moving by choice and moving by force.”

passing/through/the great/middle runs Feb 2 and 3 at the Eastside Cultural Center in Oakland. Details here.