Duets of Difference by Creative Traffic Flow

Creative Traffic Flow 2018/2019 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


Duets of Difference: What Matters to Us

Directed by Creative Traffic Flow: Jeesun Choi, DawN Crandell, Kristin Rose Kelly Film Editor and Cinematographer: Luke Ohlson Choreographed and Performed by Michi Osato Music Composer: Teresa Lotz Featuring Students from The University Settlement Adult Literacy Program Hosted by Baba Israel Technical Support by Emma Rivera

Duets of Difference: What Matters to Us is a short film exploring the identities/stories of University Settlement community members studying English as a second language in the Adult Literacy Program accompanied by music and dance. The film is a culmination of a month long teaching artist residency with four different  classes. What Matters to Us is a virtual re-imagination of Creative Traffic Flow’s project, Duets of Difference. In this time of heightened xenophobia and political intolerance, the project explores how people from different communities with different life experiences can connect in their differences. Students in the  program represent many different ages, ethnicities, and experiences. There were at least 11 different languages spoken amongst the class. What Matters to Us explores differences in family, relationships, and how to communicate as an English Language Learner.”

Duets of Difference: What Matters to Us” is made possible by the generous support of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. The Performance Project is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.