Benefit Concert Shines Light on Domestic Violence

For immediate release: October 06, 2017

Stories from Survivors Fuel New Work by Award-Winning Choreographer

Full Circle Dance Company logoBaltimore, MD -- On November 4 and 5, Baltimore’s Full Circle Dance Company will present Unshamed: Baring Our Secrets and Our Souls, a concert to benefit the Bridge Program, a domestic violence intervention program whose mission is to break the cycle of intimate partner violence. A program of the Center for Injury Prevention and Policy at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center, the Bridge Program provides assessment, crisis intervention, advocacy, education, and counseling to people who have experienced domestic violence.

At the center of the benefit performance is a new work by award-winning choreographer Donna L. Jacobs, whose dual identity as both an artist and a hospital administrator provides a rare perspective on this public health issue. At the root of Jacobs’s choreography are deeply personal stories. Drawing on the diverse experiences of participants in the Bridge Program, Full Circle’s 17 dancers, and members of the community at large, Jacobs has created a dance that explores the complex issue of domestic violence from many angles. A key theme is the way secrecy and shame make breaking the cycle especially challenging. Supported by a Ruby Grant from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, this new work will challenge the audience to bring discussion of domestic abuse into the light and to envision solutions at both individual and societal levels.

“For some of our most difficult problems, art can offer a new lens”, said choreographer and Full Circle Director Donna L. Jacobs. “Movement is a different language for sharing stories and information and for tackling serious issues. A different language can sometimes help us see things differently, leading to new insight. We are so very grateful to participants in the Bridge Program and others who have shared their personal stories in order to help us bring attention to this issue, which can affect absolutely anyone at any stage of life.”

“Domestic violence is a serious problem in our community,” said Tara Carlson, Director of the Center for Injury Prevention and Policy at R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. “It takes unimaginable strength and courage for victims of intimate partner violence to stop abuse from dominating their life and to trust a stranger who appears at the hospital bedside and says ‘I am here to help.’ We are so grateful to Full Circle Dance Company for bringing this powerful program to the community to raise awareness of the need to provide these services to those in need.”

Full Circle Dance Company is well-known for presenting highly varied programs of dances that are thematically related but stylistically diverse. In addition to Jacobs’s new work, the benefit concert will feature works by six other choreographers, each examining secrecy from a different angle. Unshamed: Baring Our Secrets and Our Souls touches on such issues as the secret lives of office mates, characters in folk literature who are secretly animals, skeletons in the family closet, colorism as an often unrecognized legacy of slavery, and more. 

Performance Details

Full Circle Dance Company in Unshamed: Baring Our Secrets and Our Souls

When:

  • Saturday, November 4, 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, November 5, 2:30 pm

Where:

Chesapeake Arts Center
194 Hammonds Lane
Brooklyn Park, MD 21225

For Tickets: www.fullcircledancecompany.org
Information: 410-235-9003

###

About Full Circle Dance Company

Full Circle Dance Company is one of Baltimore’s premiere professional ensembles. Its award-winning choreographers present dance that is emotionally and physically challenging and that addresses topics relevant to the community. Founded in 2000, Full Circle has developed a signature creative process, exploring in depth a single theme each year from a variety of perspectives. Choreographers with diverse backgrounds and visions are provided with dancers, space, and freedom to approach the theme from any angle. The resulting performances give audiences a chance to view such complicated subjects as race, religion, gender, and motherhood through different lenses.  Full Circle Dance Company performs frequently throughout Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia, and has also performed by invitation in Arizona, Tennessee, New York, and Connecticut. Its work has been covered in Dance Magazine, Pointe Magazine, Dance Studio Life, Baltimore Magazine, and the Baltimore Sun and has been featured on local television news programs and on WYPR Baltimore Public Radio. 

About Artistic Director Donna L. Jacobs

Donna L. Jacobs, Full Circle Dance Company’s Artistic Director, is an honors graduate of the New York School for the Performing Arts, Wesleyan University, and Georgetown University Law Center. As a young dancer, Ms. Jacobs studied with Bernice Johnson, Michael Peters, Chuck Davis, Frank Hatchett, Gertrude Sher of the original Graham company, and master Graham teacher Penny Frank. While attending Wesleyan University, Ms. Jacobs was asked to join the dance faculty and taught advanced modern, ballet, jazz, and African on campus and as a freelance artist. Since coming to Baltimore, she has performed with several local companies.

Ms. Jacobs is the director of the Morton Street Dance Center, Inc., and has over 40 years of teaching, choreography, and production experience. Under her direction, Full Circle has received numerous grants and awards. Her choreography has been featured in the Broadway Dance Center’s “Best of” Choreographer’s Showcase and has been performed by invitation around the country. Ms. Jacobs has received numerous awards including the Mark Ryder Choreography Award from the Howard County Arts Council, Dream Bridge from the Dream 4 IT Foundation, a Ruby grant from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, and a b-grant from the Baker Artist Awards. She has been inducted into The Daily Record’s Maryland “Circle of Excellence” for her professional accomplishments, and named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women three times. Ms. Jacobs is a Senior Vice President at the University of Maryland Medical System.

About the Center for Injury Prevention and Policy at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, University of Maryland

In 2011, the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center created the Center for Injury Prevention and Policy (CIPP). The CIPP represents a multidisciplinary team focusing on injury trends, and developing prevention education programs for the State of Maryland. The established mission of the CIPP is “to reduce preventable injuries and violence and reduce the consequences while establishing a culture of injury prevention in Maryland.” CIPP’s vision is to put an end to preventable injuries for Maryland citizens. Injury is a public health issue and efforts need to be made to keep Marylanders and all Americans safe from the preventable injuries and violence.

This initiative is part of a defined partnership with the community, school systems, legislators, and businesses, including the Department of Juvenile Services, Department of Parole and Probation, public and private schools, the State’s Attorney’s Office, and community organizations. CIPP prevention programs are targeted to middle and high school students, high risk adolescents and adults. Career education programs are also available for high school students interested in the medical industry.

The prevention staff provides scientific presentations, participates in various committees, task forces and coalitions on distracted driving, impaired driving, violence and injury prevention, and fall prevention. CIPP’s commitment to prevention is apparent and is funded by grants and donations. With community support and partnership more people can be reached to reduce preventable injury and death in Maryland.

The Bridge Program within CIPP is a domestic violence program whose mission is to break the cycle of intimate partner violence in Baltimore City and its contiguous counties. The Bridge Program does this by providing assessment, crisis intervention, advocacy, education and counseling along with linking patients to the best resources in our community.

###

For more information, to arrange interviews, or to attend a rehearsal open to journalists, please contact Liz Pelton, [email protected].

To schedule an interview regarding the Bridge Program, please contact Lisa Clough at [email protected].