Year: 2015
Duration: 50:00
Premiere: Young Fenix Theatre (Eastern Market, Detroit)
Sound: DJ Kyle Hall
Projection: Marcus White
Set: Marcus White and Adriel Ruben

Blends dance, spoken text, and digital projection on a set constructed from shipping palettes to respond to and  shed light on the environmental and social realities surrounding Detroit’s water shutoffs

The Process

The process was originally driven by exploratory movement exercises that explored motion patterns of water.  We studied how water how water flowed in and out of the city’s infrastructure and how the natural environment connected to the urban landscape. We used images such as ‘down the pipeline’, ‘seiche,’ and ‘pump’ as the impetus for movement creation.  How could the motion of the body react, question, parallel, create counterpoint to the motion of the water.

As we continued to develop more deeply we saw the potential for this project to expand the scope of our work and the power of performance to engage loaded questions.  The question I kept coming back to is ‘who has access to water?’ From this question, the dancers and I worked through dialogue where we wrote about our experiences with community members who were most affected by Detroit’s water shut offs, an aftershock of the many years of political and socio-economic complexities connected to the city.

We  pulled text and quotes from local and national news articles and oral histories and interviews that we played with vocally and embodied in process and performance



This question of access asks the performers and viewers  in performance to delve deeply into addressing the lack of or absence of essential things like water. Yet more importantly, how to make sense of and cultivate a culture of resilience through that absence.  Using narratives and text from Detroiters in performance resonated with audience members and allowed the work to speak to a much larger frame of water inequities.  Immediately following the performance, we engaged over 100 audience members in conversations around the topic of Detroit’s water shut offs.  Many of the audience members were able to enter the conversation because the work ‘softened’ their ability to connect to the issue.  This was the first step to mobilizing communities around central idea of ‘access to water’


Upcoming Events

Performance at REGENERATION
YMCA Boll Theatre
Detroit, MI
April 22nd

OnSite/InSite Festival
Winston-Salem, NC

SoloDuo Festival
Presented by White Wave
New York, NY


  • About

    White Werx is a movement-driven performance company based in Detroit, MI. White Werx serves as a bridge to center professional performance that connects diverse communities around innovative cultural ideas.