Davalois Fearon, dancer, teacher and winner of a 2014 Bronx Council on the Arts BRIO fellowship, has used her grant towards the initial choreographic endeavor of her piece ‘Consider Water’ which she now performs across the U.S., most recently in Seattle, WA.
After receiving a BFA from the Purchase College Conservatory of Dance program Fearon was struggling with how to make a living doing what she loved most.
“I had wanted to do the piece, but I didn’t have the funding. The grant allowed me to leave the restaurant job I was working to go to a Florida residency and create the solo,” she said.
Fearon works full time performing and teaching with the Stephen Petronio Company.
She is also currently working on her master’s degree in dance, taking classes online from the University of Wisconsin.
The piece which she choreographed and her husband, multi-reedist Mike McGinnis composed the music for, aims to raise awareness about the effect that water has on the world.
“It’s something we use so much, but we don’t often consider it. We use it when we get up to wash our faces, we use it when we bathe and we drink it, but we don’t often think about the people who don’t have any clean drinking water because of disasters like hurricanes.”
Fearon’s idea for the piece came after she had a conversation with United Nation’s ambassor Robert V. Lierop.
“I got a big spread in the New York Times and he contacted me. We ended up talking about my growing up in Jamacia and this issue about water, and he asked me ‘well what are you gonna do about it’ ?”
At first Fearon had no idea, but she soon focused her energy into creating the piece through dance.
The piece takes the audience through the various stages that water can be; gas, liquid, and solid. It then shows the joys that water brings with sweeping movements, and contrasts the miracle of water with the devestation it is capable of delivering.
One scene shows a dry landscape as the background and almost no movement by dancers.
“Living on the east coast we New Yorkers have an abundance of water, but so much of the rest of the world has a real shortage,” said Fearon.
Fearon plans on showcasing ‘Consider Water’ in the Bronx this coming October at BAAD, as she still calls the Bronx her home.
“I love the Bronx” said Fearon. “It’s great to bring the work that I do to the community.”