Our work, Escape from the House of Mercy shines a light on NYC history, women’s history and the buried stories of those silenced and overlooked inhabitants of the House of Mercy in Inwood Hill Park, a workhouse to which women and girls could be committed for simply dancing or walking alone at night. We expanded the project to 50 minutes, adding spoken and sung vocals as we were preparing to present at Danspace Project/St. Marks church (Dance Access) in April 2020. When that was cancelled due to COVID 19, we paused for many months, meeting only on Zoom to check in and discuss ways to share our work. This short video is a bridge between the place where we left off and the live performances that we look forward to presenting in the future. This work can be presented indoors or out, with recorded sound or live music, with a flexible running time and with a cast of 5-9 dancers. It was originally designed with flexible production elements to maximize opportunities to accommodate many different possible venues and performance situations.
In this short video you will see footage that was meant to be part of our theater performances and footage shot by individual dancers at various locations between July and October 2020. This material was then edited by company member and videographer, Erica Lessner.