Valentine’s Day usually stirs up images of flowers, chocolate and heart decorations – or a “Shred Your Exes Photograph” party for scorned lovers to celebrate the romantic holiday in a slightly different way. This February 14 (2013) a global movement called “One Billion Rising” will take place across the world including dance celebrations in Madison, WI.
“One Billion Rising” was conceived by Eve Ensler, best known for her play The Vagina Monologues. This movement coincides with Ensler’s previously established “V-Day” campaign to stop violence against women and girls. One billion women have experienced abuse and Ensler envisions one billion women and supporters dancing as a revolution, as “an act of solidarity,” and as “a refusal to accept violence against women and girls.” Dance was specifically chosen to combat violence and “shake the world into a new consciousness” because dance is “dangerous, joyous, sexual, holy, disruptive… It can happy anywhere at anytime [sic] with anyone and everyone. It’s free… It’s contagious and spreads quickly.”
While various sites will celebrate “One Billion Rising” differently, an official dance has been choreographed by Debbie Allen to “Break the Chain.” The dance is a flash mob dance, reminiscent of the ones created for National Dance Day, because people all over the world will dance at different times but will be connected by sharing videos of their celebrations. Tonight University of Wisconsin - Madison students Ash Émon and Gopika Nair are hosting an event for others to learn the official "Break the Chain" choreography in the Humanities building at 7:00 PM. If you are unable to attend, the dance can also be learned on-line.
All (women, men and children) are invited to join “One Billion Rising” in Lathrop Hall on February 14 from 10:00 PM until midnight. The free sock hop dance party featuring DJ Infynite is sponsored by the University of Wisconsin – Madison Dance Department and the Domestic Abuse Intervention Services. Knowledge of the flash mob dance is not required; what is important is that you bring yourself and enjoy ownership of your body as a protest against rape, physical abuse and domestic violence. Let us dance together to demand an end of violence against women.