Marylhurst English alum Anya Pearson’s choreopoem, Made to Dance in Burning Buildings, will be performed at Portland Playhouse on February 27 and 28, 2017.
Anya Pearson’s Made to Dance in Burning Buildings fuses poetry, music and violent and visceral contemporary dance to pose the question: How do we heal from trauma? It’s about a young black woman who is raped by her boyfriend’s friends while he watches and develops PTSD as a result. Metaphorically, she fractures into six different women who each represent a different facet of her personality: Compassion, Despair, Madness, Romance, Missing You and Perseverance. These six women poetically narrate her journey through PTSD, while she and the men from her real life, her first love and her abusers, explore through dance the trauma and the series of events leading up to it.
The journey of the play, from page to stage, is the subject of a film Anya is producing. Shot on location in Portland and New York City, Forever Bruised But Not Broken dives into the issue of multi-cultural women and sexual assault. The film profiles the lives of four survivors of diverse backgrounds and their experiences with PTSD, and it chronicles Anya’s journey to make a difference in the fight against rape culture in our community.
Anya Pearson earned her B.A. in English Literature & Writing from Marylhurst University in 2013. She was awarded the 2016 Voice is a Muscle $10,000 Grant for an Oregon writer of color from Corporeal Voices.