War, in dance and image

This weekend, on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, COSTA COMPAGNIE will premiere “Conversion/ After Afghanistan” at the Frances Daly Fergus­son Theater here on the Vassar College campus. “Conversion/After Afghanistan” is a multi-me­dia performance piece incorporating documen­tary, contemporary dance and spoken word ele­ments in order to explore the experiences of the Afghan people and of German and American soldiers immediately preceding the end of the NATO-led ISAF mission in 2014.

“[They are] asking the bigger questions, who has the right to tell other people’s stories,” as dancer Saskia Globig ’19 explained. “Can danc­ers and documentary filmmakers and interview­ers accurately represent what people in colo­nized or attacked nations are feeling? … How should we have compassion? How should we be critical?” Saskia is one of a number of Vassar students from the Dance Department who are lending their time and talents to this collabora­tive storytelling event.

Other Vassar students are contributing in different ways as well. COSTA COMPAGNIE has incorporated the stories of some of Vassar’s Posse students into the performance for the up­coming premiere.

COSTA COMPAGNIE’s work appears to be collaborative in many ways. Not only have they incorporated the Vassar community, but also many varied forms of art into their performance.

With a subject as nuanced and difficult as this one, it is only natural for COSTA COMPAG­NIE to investigate using many points of view and various media. It is also especially topical considering the fairly recent implementation of Vassar College’s Posse Veterans Program.

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