under / stand

“Physical interviews have been a new way to connect on basic and deep level.” – Delaine Dobbs

“Talking with so many people helped me realize that I’m not alone.” – Reshma Anwar


under / stand

an action dialogue on racism

In Old English, one meaning of  the word “understand” is “to stand among”– to engage in an action of connection.

UNDER | STAND is a public dialogue project, where participants from diverse backgrounds engage in a collective “physical interview” process where the body– the ground of bias in racist systems– emerges as a ground of connection and communication.

a new way of communicating

Reshma Anwar during UNDER | STAND

Using simple physical actions, such as walking, tapping, and gesturing, participants create a compelling physical map of their lived experience as individuals and community members. Moving through stations of conversation–physical and spoken– they respond to questions from their own point of view and the viewpoint offered by others.

Engaging with voice and action, participants see, hear and offer multiple perspectives simultaneously, allowing the complexities of social experience to find an appropriately rich strength of expression.

Upcoming events:

March 6th, 2018: The University of Southern California, Los Angeles

April 27th, 2018: Smith College, Amherst, Massachusetts

April 29th, 2018: The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought, Northhampton, Massachusetts


Participants responding during a physical interview process.

UNDER | STAND is an ongoing project, please be in touch if you would like to bring UNDER | STAND to your school or community!

Current partners include: Smith College, Amherst | the University of Southern California, Los Angeles | Roehampton University, London | The School of Contemporary Dance and Thought, Northhampton

The project was developed and is being shaped by the time, ideas and actions of many people and communities. Special thanks to Reshma Anwar, Robin Aren, Mikaela Brandon, Delaine Dobbs, Francesca Harper, Emily Hart, Tasha Hess-Neustadt, Sam Kaltenhaler and Maya Miller for their work on the development of UNDER | STAND, and to many others who offered their thoughts and experience. Thank you to New York University’s Center for Ballet and Arts for their generous support of the project.


Conversation between participants in a community workgroup for UNDER | STAND

To book an action dialogue or create an action dialogue process in your community, please be in touch here.


photos: Robert Ripps