Duets of Difference by Creative Traffic Flow

Creative Traffic Flow current University Settlement Artists in Residence, is a new theatre collective formed to create ensemble-driven performances with queer people of color and women as leaders. DawN Crandell, Jeesun Choi and Kristin Rose Kelly met at the inaugural National Institute for Directing and Ensemble Creation in July 2017 hosted by Pangea World Theater and Art2Action, which fosters artists of color, women, LGBTQ-identified artists for arts leadership. DawN is an interdisciplinary performing artist creating work in the space where theater, dance and poetry meet. Jeesun is a playwright and physical theatre artist, dedicated in exploring the body as an instrument for personal and political change. Kristin is a director and documentary theatre maker creating poly-vocal work that explores gender and sexuality within specific communities. Creative Traffic Flow’s process honors all experiences and skills involved in the creation. They strive to present and perform at the highest level of artistic integrity while honoring multiple forms of expressions and perspectives.

Performance Project:
Duets of Difference is a dance-theatre performance that embodies how we find unity and equity despite conflict and difference. By engaging with the University Settlement community paired in duos alongside professional dancers, the performance explores how people persist, challenge and grow in relation to one another. Duets of Difference is a seven-month long workshop series that will culminate in a performance event. The workshops will bring two strangers, unlike each other in age, identity, faith and culture, who may not get to connect in real life, together to foster a deeper understanding of themselves and each other. Through multidisciplinary performance building methods, Creative Traffic Flow will create dance/theatre duets that are informed and inspired by the participants’ identities and experiences.

This project is a response to our current political climate. CTF purposefully planned a long-term project to resist societal impulse to jump to polarization and instead, practice empathetic listening. By using theatre and dance as tools, they want to create space for the exchange of different stories and ideas that may be challenging but much more fulfilling.

Photos by John Quincy