by Diana Wiener
I am excited, and not a little prejudiced, that the Milford Readers & Writers Festival will be heralded in at the Milford Theatre with an energetic and truly unique performance by Humans Collective, an ensemble of performers who come together to create art that is reflective of the diverse human condition. I’m excited because this is an amazingly talented group of young performers and I may be prejudiced because my lovely granddaughter Dana, is a part of this ensemble and, I have to say, the reason they are coming to Milford.
How can you not agree with and be moved by the group’s mission statement: “Through our work we challenge and encourage ourselves and others to become reflective, open-minded leaders for a better collection of humans.”
The group will perform its popular piece “Alone-Ology”, which is described as “a study of the human experience of being alone or lack thereof.” The choreographer, Lauren Cox, has adapted the production for her troupe alone, and specifically for the Festival. There will be a cast of six, five dancers and one singer. The subject was inspired by Maya Angelou’s poem “Alone” and takes the audience from the emptiness of materialism to the value of authentic interactions and the love of another human being. The performance features powerful music, live poetry, singing, and innovative choreography.
Lauren Cox herself was inspired by her visit to India and she describes her experience as follows:
“Working with orphanages and shelters in India changed my perspective on my own purpose forever. When I first started working with a group of displaced girls in Hyderabad, India, ages 8-18, I saw a lot of pain in their eyes and by the end of 6 weeks they knew someone cared for them and was consistently showing up to bring out their happiness. With help from another amazing volunteer, in that 6 weeks they learned basic steps of ballet, jazz, hip hop and social dances such as samba, salsa, bachata and improvisation. Their open-mindedness and enthusiasm caused our 1-hour sessions to grow into 3 hours of consecutive dancing. Because of the money I raised we were able to get each of the 80 girls a lunchbox filled with heartfelt gifts. I have never felt so fulfilled by the art of dance, philanthropy and travel. My dream is to bring my talented network of friends and artists with me on future journeys. Through connecting these drastically different communities we break down stereotypes and spread a little happiness."
I am excited to see this amazing performance once again on stage at our own Milford Theatre on September 30 at 7:00 pm and I know you won’t want to miss it either. I will see you there! Individual tickets for the Humans Collective performance are available for $20 each.