MANCHESTER, NH — New Hampshire Dance Collaborative (NHDC) will present ‘Are You Okay’ at The Rex Theatre in Manchester on Dec 7 at 7 p.m.
Created by Anthony Bounphakhom of The Block Collaborative in Portsmouth, ‘Are You Okay’ sheds light on the subject of mental health and the value of self-care through hip-hop dance/street styles and dance movement.
“Dance can reveal so much about ourselves and our struggles as people,” said Bounphakhom, who expressed gratitude for the recent sneak preview of the full show that took place on November 17 at The Factory. “I’m appreciative of the support offered by New Hampshire Dance Collaborative and their belief in the power of dance as a way to deepen understanding of one another.”
Whereas the sneak preview revealed just excerpts of ‘Are You Okay,’ the full performance will fully explore the struggles of three main characters as each grapples with personal demons. “The story will take the audience on a fantastic, imaginative adventure through dance movements,” added Bounphakhom. “It’s an adventure you will feel in your body.”
Learning dance on the street and through workshops, Bounphakhom has found widespread success with his choreography featured at venues throughout New England, including The Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston. He is also a featured dancer in the recently released film, Hocus Pocus 2, now streaming on Disney Plus.
According to NHDC Founder Joan Brodsky, her support of Bounphakhom and The Block Collaborative reveals a deeper mission. “I believe that incorporating more dance into our human experience would be a powerful tool in further developing human understanding and tolerance for each-other.,” she said. “My support of Anthony’s work is reflective of my belief that dance is an underappreciated form of human expression in our culture. I hope to change that.”
In addition to serving as narrator for ‘Are You Okay,’ Najee Brown will moderate a discussion after the performance. Brown is founder of Theater For The People, a BIPOC produced touring theater in Eliot, ME.
“I want to help people open their minds and bodies to possibilities only dance can offer,” added Brodsky, who said NHDC’s mission “to make dance a more well-understood, accessible and utilized art form.” We are very grateful that Najee can help us demonstrate the relevance and importance of dance.”