PREVIEW: “Chambers of the Heart” by Word Dance Theatre at the Josephine Butler Mansion

From the DC Dance Journalism Project

Chambers of the Heart by Word Dance Theatre
PREVIEW By Raquel Lake

Love is more than just a romance. Love is a noun and a verb. Love is a concept that the Ancient Greeks needed six distinct words to describe its various forms. Some still say Love is what makes the world go round. In the upcoming Chambers of the Heart performed by the Word Dance Theater, audiences will be shown an intimate and interactive piece that will provide them the opportunity to explore their own feelings about love and to contemplate what love means to them.

Cynthia Word, Word Dance Theater creative director, created this piece because, in her own words, “I want to explore and expand the awareness of how love already exist in our lives.” She and her company intend for Chambers of the Heart to be an immersive theater experience with the intent of facilitating the audience’s love journey. It is an intriguing idea that as an audience member I will have the ability to interact with what I am usually there to passively watch. These interactions are the tools Word is using to help guide audience into understanding the narrative that love has in their own lives. By allowing the audience to choose their level of participation she allows them to explore at their own pace. She believes this may help give audience an opportunity to gain a new perspective. The use of dance, original live music, and participation truly will make this a new audience experience.

The venue too promises to be just as inspiring as the dance and theater. It will be held in the historic Josephine Butler Parks Center. The performance will take place in six rooms of the mansion. In each room the audience will experience different kinds of love by watching or doing. The show will begin with all the audience members together until they get to go off and explore each of the other rooms. In some rooms there will be dance, while in others there will be enhanced interactive opportunity. In one room in particular the audience will be asked to finish a love letter.

The last element of all art is the relationship between creator and audience. Cynthia Word wants audience to create with her. Not only does she wants the audience to become co-creators to experience Chambers of the Heart, she wants us to go out into the world and create with love in our lives. The ultimate goal being a better understanding of love and a taking ownership of the role love has in our lives.


Performance information:

November 11 @ 8pm
November 12 @ 8pm
November 13 @ 3pm & 7pm

Josephine Butler Mansion
2437 15th St NW, Washington DC 20009