WITNESS was an act of defiance and a form of protest.
A forum for pondering, research, activation, believing, proving (and disproving), and holistically questioning.
To stand up, or stand by?
Witness [2009-2013] explored the thin line between humane and inhumane — citing injustice, abuse, and lack of privacy as triggers for rebuttal, rebellion, and submission.
The project was an outlet for personal and collective curiosities surrounding ideas of human behavior and codes of ethics.
It evoked a discussion around complicity and responsibility by questioning the role of the spectator. The victim speaks to become the witness to enact and enable future witnesses.
Witness required its collaborators to enter a world of embodied historical fiction from a place of integrity and respect.
Witness began in 2009 at the University of Florida with an accordion player, Frank Ferraro, four women (Melissa Coleman, Melaney Holtham, Kristen McLaren and Whitney Wilson), and a hundred shoes. The women's quartet was performed at ACDFA Midwest Region (at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign) and selected to perform at ACDFA Nationals (at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.) in May 2010. In May 2010, Megan restaged Witness on students of the MASPA Conservatory on Kibbutz Ga'aton in Israel. In July 2010, Witness was set on four students of the American Dance Festival and was performed on the lawn at Duke University. In July 2011, Witness expanded to include four men, four women and a child and was performed in the Branson Theater at Duke University during the American Dance Festival.
In the Fall of 2011, Witness continued to expand and included a series of open investigations, which culminated with two showings in New York (Open Performance and AmuseBouche). In the Spring of 2012, the journey continued and culminated with 20 performers and 4 musicians at Draftwork at Danspace Project in New York. The original women's quartet was performed in June 2012 by Courtney Baron, Megan Kendzior, Sarah Konner and Stephanie Mas at WAXworks at Triskelion Arts in Brooklyn, NY. Explorations continued in the Spring of 2013 as part of the Fresh Tracks Artist Residency Program at New York Live Arts. In Fall of 2013, research continued with a residency at the Our Children's Foundation of Harlem and at Stanton Street Sanctuary. Witness was presented as an evening length work at Danspace Project in December 2013.