David Henry, Bill T. Jones Director of Performing and Media Arts
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
When I dance I feel pleasure, a sense of vitality, connection, and grace. That is the private reality of my dancing. The public reality is that I am almost 70, and my physical presence, my aging flesh, makes some people uncomfortable. I used to feel apologetic about that. At times I looked in studio mirrors while dancing and thought about how much my aging face detracted from my dancing. I fantasized putting a bag over my head. With my face hidden only my dancing would matter. Being in “On Display” has opened the possibility that being exactly who I am is not only acceptable but powerful. I can communicate my inner reality through my body. I too can create beauty and meaning with my physical presence. With the very aspects of my body that people may recoil from. Get used to it!
Diane Duggan, Ph.D
The disabled in Italy are much marginalized and generally unaccustomed to being included and integrated. The concept of Independent Living is just now making its way into the national dialogue. I was witness to this unprecedented event of true integration and consciousness-raising brought into being by Heidi Latsky’s creative vision. ON DISPLAY is extremely important.
Monteroni Ambassador, Sarah Swenson
A brief but sincere note of thanks...
Thank you for the opportunity to be part of Heidi Latsky Dance. Each time I participate in a performance, I am positively stunned by the collective experience.
Amro's Juxtapose is such a breathtaking piece, and I am honored to make an appearance.
I am humbled beyond words to be featured on a billboard in Times Square, New York City, in this piece and as part of HLD. I never imagined that a Hispanic, plus-sized, disabled, female/dancer would ever be represented on a billboard among other fiercely diverse bodies––and certainly never imagined I would be that person. This artistically meaningful placement speaks volumes for the increased awareness and acceptance of people within and beyond these communities, and is such a wonderful gift to the arts.
Thank you for opening doors, widening perspectives, challenging stereotypes and breaking barriers.
Milagros "Millie" Gonzalez, M.A.
Thank you for the beautiful, thoughtful and meaningful display of value within each of us. I am in awe. Tonight I was not sure what to expect going to On Display Austin at the Lamar Pedestrian Bridge downtown. Online I saw that it would be something like people standing like statues making very small movements. So I thought "Ok, I'm going to support my friend in his performance." Once I arrived and walked among the unique performers that were located at different locations on the bridge, I fully felt the unique experience that was taking place. Each person had a unique position they were in. The artists were completely focused in the intent of their movement. Watching each person engaged in their position and slow movements revealed to me their unique value and importance within the performance and world around them. Hundreds of people passed by looking at first in bewilderment and then in awe of the performance that they were a part of. Some breezed by running, cycling or skateboarding not taking the time to see the performance and yet their presence made it that much more powerful. It was a wonderful feeling to know again that all life is valuable and each person is not just a body but a soul as well.
Thank you Heidi for your choreography and vision of all life having its own intrinsic value. I am inspired!
Senior Teacher, Pilates Center of Austin
We are taught the concept of not to stare... Now the audience is receiving permission to look. I think all people have a layer of self consciousness about something. The vulnerability creates something like freedom or a release of pressure.
City Ott Thompson
ON DISPLAY MILWAUKEE
Dear Heidi and to everyone at your studio really,
From the deepest part of the bottom of my heart, Thank. You.
Four days after my son was born, we were called back to the NICU, because the doctors discovered my son suffered from a stroke during his delivery. As an acupuncture student, I took him to get acupuncture starting at 5 months. (Treatments are not the same for children. He didn’t mind.) He walked on time, uses his arm, but still struggles with milestones. In this era of people wanting to “hack” and perfect everything, reaching milestones are sources of anxiety for moms.
A few days after I first heard the news, I thought I would introduce Logan to dance. I hoped it would be a source of expression, confidence, and of course, motor function enhancement. We all have setbacks and different abilities, and there has always been a beauty in the imperfect to me. Logan turns two next month, and I've wondered how Logan will grow up— how would he feel?— will he always feel like a part of him isn’t him? In wishing to help him develop, will he always feel like a work-in-progress versus the beautiful boy that he is?
When I watched an interview with Jerron, he talked about feeling on display and his feelings showing up in his body. Logan puts his hand in a fist whenever he is scared or upset. I find myself surrounded by patients who want to perfect their bodies and “hack” their systems. I met a child on 10 supplements, because his mom didn’t think he was growing fast enough.
When I saw Jerron, I saw my son, and when I saw his performance and the snippet of your company’s performance, I saw the possibility a world without the “biohacking” and without all the “perfecting”— a world where people can see beauty again, and perfection is just simply and completely irrelevant.
We miss you and "ON DISPLAY GLOBAL", we who are on the other side of the world can not wait (for december 3).Thanks to you and your movement "ON DISPLAY" we know a new dimension, although as the world association of disability with all its problems we have known it for 25 years. We did not know of Heidi Latsky and her grand design if not for Sarah with her stories in "American Italian," showing us your videos and photos we have understood the extraordinary person you are. We didn’t even know Sarah before, but by her professionalism and her gentleness she won the hearts of everyone. To you we must say a huge thanks to the emotion that you made us experience, and that we are still living, because of that installation "ON DISPLAY MONTERONI" staged in the hot afternoon of August 5, 2016, in the atrium of the historic Baronial Palace, one of the most beautiful monuments of Monteroni. It was the first time our children and many friends were seen as white living sculptures admiring them in all their grandeur and beauty of their difference. Thanks Heidi for everything, for your passion for your work, for the vision of life, to "ON DISPLAY":Monteroni di Lecce sends a big hello, a big hug from all of our kids and if you find yourself in Italy we'll be welcome.
See you soon!!!!!!
Tonino Mello of Servizi Disabili Monteroni
Just a note to say once more what an enthralling and transformative experience it was to watch you and your extraordinary troupe. The music, costumes, movement, timing, layout, everything was unlike anything I've ever seen. I felt I sort of entered into a new world that I've never seen before where it's ok to be exactly who we are with all our gifts or bumps and warts. You gave us a great gift tonight that I personally will carry forward in my life. I don't know what to call it yet but it feels something like what I think grace is.
I want to thank you again Heidi. Your troupe is beautiful, courageous and magnificent.
Farmer Eve, Hurleyville NY