Rythea Lee is one of the three core characters whose journey our film follows. Formally trained in modern dance, Rythea discovered Contact Improvisation after college while living in New York City.  Contact catapulted her onto a journey of self-discovery,  and over the course of a decade, deep healing. Today, Rythea is a therapist, teacher and Performance Artist. Our film follows her transformative  journey. 

Rythea will be facilitating a workshop on movement and healing during the upcoming everyBODYmoves festival

The following is an excerpt from her conversation with An Intimate Dance director Sanford Lewis.

SANFORD: As a contact dancer as well as a therapist I know you are very conscious of boundaries.

RYTHEA: In contact, because you’re physically close to people, and they have such liberty with their bodies, it’s an especially interesting place to be looking at how we manage and understand boundaries. But boundary issues are not unique to contact. You look anywhere, in all different areas of life, and people are inappropriate, and there’s all kind of confused energies.

SANFORD: How do you help people examine these issues in your work?

RYTHEA:  I work  a lot with people who’ve suffered from trauma. Trauma confuses boundaries. There’s  sexual abuse,  physical abuse and emotional abuse, all abuse disrupts healthy boundaries. There are many ways that people  heal; relearning healthy boundaries is part of that. Rythea_relaxed

SANFORD:  In contact, isn’t the boundaries issue simply about consent and agreement? We just pay attention to where the energy goes, in a constant conversation?

RYTHEA: Consent also can be complicated.  You might think you’re being consensual but you have all of this unconscious material that you’re working out. You may be going along when you actually don’t feel like doing what you’re doing, you actually don’t feel comfortable. Maybe you don’t have the ability or the voice or the consciousness to know how to take care of yourself.

SANFORD: So how to deal with this reality?

RYTHEA: We need to be reminded … It’s always okay to move away, to end a dance.  We have the right to our “no” as well as our “yes”.

How can I get involved?

1) Share this blog post on social media
2) Send this to organizations in your area that focus on healing, arts, disabilities rights, etc. and invite them to collaborate on a screening of the film.
3) Sign up for email updates so you know when the film will screen in your area.

Join fellow dancers and community members for an interactive workshop on healing through movement with Rythea Lee on Saturday, March 26th to kick off the everyBODYmoves festival.