On set in New York City’s Battery Park, poet Brad Geyer and acclaimed choreographer Ashlé Dawson join forces to tell immigrant stories through the arts of spoken word and dance. Historically, Battery Park was one of the primary ports to receive immigrants after processing in the famed Ellis Island. Immigration has become a hot-button issue in the United States, leaving vulnerable communities targeted, marginalized, and fearful for their families’ futures. Together Geyer’s words and Dawson’s choreography tell an emotional story of what it means to be American in a changing America.
Geyer’s poem “Lady Liberty’s Lamp” highlights the importance of the Statue of Liberty as a beacon of openness and hope. The poem reflects on recent political developments, edging the United States into isolation, and the impact on America’s collective identity.
Choreographer Ashlé Dawson worked with 17 dancers to create an interpretive dance based on Geyer’s words. The troupe included dancers from across the world, including Puerto Rico, India, Denmark, and many more — a perfect compliment to piece that celebrates diversity. Originally choreographed for a traditional stage, the number was re-worked to fit the 360 medium.