Displaced Promises began with the idea of exploring the history of modern dance and linking it with themes of social issues and oppression, as Alvin Ailey did when he created Revelations, an iconic ballet that tells the story from slavery to emancipation. Unfortunately, slavery has never ended. It still happens in an inhumane defiance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Displaced Promises is about contrasting the everyday of the dancer, with the harsh reality that awaits in the real world. Instead of rejection and the toll their art form can take on their bodies, thousands of dancers are offered a chance—a promise­—only to have their bodies used in direct violation of their basic human rights.

Inspired by the work of an organization called Stop the Traffik, Displaced Promises uses three creative forms—writing, dancing, and film—to highlight this form human trafficking: the displacement of those who only want to move for a living.

(Text by Cara Chong)

This is an independent project created for educational purposes by Cara Chong and Kim vanderHelm, supporters of Stop The Traffik.

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