Capturing the raw beauty and powerful grace of a dance company for at-risk youth, FREE
journeys behind the curtain to spotlight the intimate stories of five inner city teenagers whose lives are transformed by the power of collaborative art.
In a city infamous for crime and high dropout rates, Destiny Arts Center in Oakland, California, provides a safe place for teens to share their stories, build community and express themselves through dance. Each year, 20 diverse students are accepted into the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company, where they spend months creating a dance performance based on their lives.
Jamany once thought guns, violence and drugs were the way to fit in. “Without a father to show me how to live my life,” he says, “I turned to the streets.” Alaysia is in the painful process of trying to cope with a childhood rape. Nee Nee lives with her mother, who has breast cancer and can't afford to pay the water bill. Omar, who has been through eleven foster homes, is diagnosed with HIV. Tilly has little outlet for the pain of a difficult relationship with her girlfriend and resorts to cutting.
When Destiny Arts offers them a chance to move their bodies and share their stories, their lives begin to change. Under the thoughtful guidance of Destiny’s artistic director, Sarah Crowell, their journey reveals how collaborative art can be a foundation for personal discovery, growth, resilience and hope. Using guided meditations, poetry and dance, Crowell creates a safe space for students “so that they can come through adolescence shiny, and not broken.”
When young Jamany dances on the sidewalk with the sunlight highlighting his every move, as his voiceover tells us how dancing has positively impacted his life, he is practically golden and glowing.
LEARN MORE ABOUT DESTINY ARTS CENTER • www.destinyarts.org