Circle of Chairs

A digital folk dance performed by twelve individuals. Participants are given a MP3 player with a pre-recorded soundtrack and specific set of movement instructions. Circle of Chairs has been danced by the employees of  Bar Agricole, members of the Old First Presbyterian Church, attendees of a literary salon at The Stud bar, a queer book-club on Ryan’s roof in Hayes Valley and by students at UC Berkeley.

Circle of Chairs is a timely intervention in a moment characterized by estrangement, suspicion, borders, and scarcity. A performance where everyone has something to give, this dance is about the “forces that move us” out of our enclosures and into engagement. Encountering strangers can unleash anxiety and distrust; Circle of Chairs provides a structure for turning that experience into connection, movement, and delight. We want to embody what it is like to arouse generosity, to provoke joy, to risk intimacy.
— Sima Belmar, Lecturer, UC Berkeley