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Southern Voices 9: Dance Out Loud

On June 23, 24, and 25, D'Project presented Southern Voices 9: Dance Out Loud, an international dance festival, at the Contemporary Arts Center. Since 2008, Southern Voices has provided an annual opportunity for both accomplished and budding choreographers to stage their work, offering a diverse selection of modern, ballet, and cultural dance.

This year's show was punctuated with short video interviews prior to each piece, giving the audience insight into choreographers' creative processes and journeys. Inspiration often came from personal and human experiences, grounding the works in both light and heavy themes. Dancers expressed gratitude and appreciation for the blank slate Southern Voices presents to them -- they are encouraged to experiment and take risks to create innovative and truthful art.

This year, Southern Voices featured works by 9 companies: Teresa Fardella, Donna Crump & Jarrell Hamilton, Monica Ordoñez of Mélange Dance Company, Monique Moss of Third Eye Theatre Interdisciplinary and Improvisational Performance Company, Barbara Hayley of New Orleans Dance, Micaela Paule of Micaela y Fiesta Flamenca, Cheryl O'Sullivan of D'Project, and John Rodi and Svetlana Tchernatsova Al Neyadi of Komenka Ethnic Dance Ensemble.


Lydia Straka is a New Orleans native who has recently completed her freshman year at Washington University in St. Louis. Though still juggling possibilities for her future, she loves to write and cares deeply about social justice and women’s rights. Lydia can be contacted at lydia@nolavie.com.