Freedom Week is on in New York City and on October 1, Love 146 took part at the LABA Theater at the 14th Street YMCA. The event combined an evening of dance, speakers, and an interactive panel to educate and invoke the importance of fighting human trafficking.
Love 146’s own Sarah Council choreographed two performances called Shadowlands and Hold Sway. Inspired by the stories of trafficking survivors, Shadowlands opens on faceless dancers, whose exposed spines are contorted into the small spaces of stackable platforms. As the work unfolds, these structures mold and change into hiding places, hotel beds, prisons and pedestals accompanied by a haunting musical score composed by Greg Heffernan. Hold Sway explores the difficulties of a controlling relationship as the two people push and pull out of each other's lives. Performances were done by: Ellen Augusto, Sarah Bodie, Melissa Brading, Kathryn Bringle, Lauren Kime, and Sarah Pope. These two performances together left the audience in rapture of its depth, vulnerability, and insight into the world of human trafficking. Sarah Council is not the only Love 146 member who is also an artist. Love 146 co-creator Lamont Hiebert, also front man of the band Ten Shekel Shirt, contributed with a video of his single, “Fragile”.
After the artistic portion of the evening was complete, Restore's executive director, Faith Huckel, educated audience members about human trafficking and how Restore is taking part to help. Capping off the evening was a panel discussion including Sarah Council, Ed Adams from the Love 146 Long Island Task Force, Deirdre Mars from Not for Sale, and Faith Huckel. The panel addressed such issues as the biggest challenges in fighting human trafficking and what people can do about it in their day-to-day lives. After the audience was dismissed, they were able to peruse merchandise tables from Love 146, Not for Sale, and Stop Child Trafficking Now while enjoying refreshments and talking about what they just learned that night.
The night was a great success for the New York Chapter of Love 146 as more than 100 audience members filled the theater. Love 146 is grateful to all those who helped bring this event together and those who took time out of their Friday evening to come, listen, and learn.