Boston based dance educator, Jenny Oliver uses choreography as advocacy through her dance collective, Connections Dance Theater. Her work raises awareness and funds for social justice issues affecting people on the margins.
In 2019 she developed Hot Water Over Raised Fists, a socially conscious dance work that invites audiences to connect to the water crisis in Flint, MI and Indigenous communities fighting against oil pipelines using an unique appraoch to educate audiences while bringing support to people and communities (dance advocay method) affected by water injustice. As audiences enter the immersive in-the-roun performance space, featuring three 12-foot fringe curtains surrounding the stage and lighting design that creates an exciting transformative environment, they are invited to learn about the water issues by engaging with educational materials displayed on 10-trifold bulletin boards. Throughout the 80 min experience, dance translates the narratives of these crises into visceral choreography that uses themes of unity, empowerment, honor betrayal, loss and hope. This work is a continuation of the dance advocay method developed to impact and bloster communities on the margins. HWORF has already impacted audiences and affected communities, as the prelude to the premiere (2018) raised $1,171 for a health center in Leogane the premiere run of shows (2019) raised $2,275 for an early childhood center in Flint, MI and amplified the MA Indigenous legislative agenda containing 5 bills that reflect some of the key concerns within Massachusetts.