UNC-Chapel Hill’s Process Series season begins with two presentations of Heather Tatreau’s “Voices: A Walking Tour” November 5-6, both beginning at 7 p.m. 

Curated by Tatreau, the site-specific performance takes the shape of a contemplative walking tour of campus after dark to discover the hidden voices in the school’s landscape. Beginning at UNC’s historic Old Well, the tour guide will lead audiences to performances in dance, spoken word, and song at various monuments and historically significant sites on the UNC campus.

The performance asks: what can we learn when we are quiet and let the voices of the past come into conversation with the present? Can we create a space where every voice belongs? Who has been left out of our community’s narrative? These are questions that members of our Carolina community have been asking more and more as we reconcile with our past. ‘Voices’ offers an opportunity for community members to come together, contemplate, and imagine a more just future. 

Tatreau, a UNC dance faculty member and professional choreographer, created her first presentation of the project in November 2018. Her intention was to re-visit UNC campus monuments to mark the changes in the physical and political landscape.

Nowhere is more emblematic of the school’s changing campus than the empty field where Silent Sam, a Confederate monument toppled by protestors, once stood.

Local choreographer, Killian Manning, is creating a dance performance response to be performed at the politically charged empty space.

“Although the statue has been removed and buildings have been renamed, systemic racism still flourishes here,” says Manning. “The Walking Tour gives us an opportunity to reflect on the past three years and to imagine how we can move forward.” 

 “Heather’s work … invites a diverse array of local voices and brings them together to offer commentary on the places we call home. When we walk past those places, we will reflect upon newly exposed truths.” says Process Series Artistic Director, Joseph Megel.

This tour will also include Chapel Hill Poet Laureate C.J. Suitt, giving voice to the African-American workers who built the campus with a performance at The Unsung Founders monument.  “UNC sits inside the community of Chapel Hill. This is a small reminder,” says Suitt. 

The tour will also visit Peace and Justice Plaza on Franklin St. to provide a link between the university and the town with a song from “Affordable Housing: The Musical,” under the direction of George Barrett. As the Executive Director of The Jackson Center, Barrett’s work reminds us that Chapel Hill is not just a university town. How do we give voice to wider community issues like homelessness?

This walking tour also gives voice to the UNC student population. Tatreau’s Modern Dance Technique students will create a performance piece as part of a site-specific dance project at The Student Body sculpture garden outside of Hamilton Hall.

Tatreau has also created a collaboration with the Carolina Indian Circle to incorporate native student voices through a performance at The Gift. This brick walkway outside of the Student Union was created by Senora Lynch of the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe to pay homage to the original inhabitants of the university’s land.

“Our physical landscape informs and reflects our values as a community,” says Tatreau. “Site-specific performance brings awareness to these values and offers an opportunity for diverse perspectives to be considered. I am grateful to have such thoughtful collaborators for the tour.”

For more information and ticket reservations, go here.

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