These Beating Hearts

These Beating Hearts: Dances for our Ancestors presents contemporary dances by Quilan Arnold, Lauren DeVera, and Malcolm Shute. Each artist has a debt to our ancestors to reflect on.

For Arnold, it's understanding his grandfathers' fight to be fully recognized by leadership within the US marines, US immigration, and Virginian municipalities. This dual fight is remembered and mythicized in Arnold's solo, "GrAndbuelo's Quarter" through interviews, fashion, memorabilia, and Afro-Latin Street/Club dances.

For Shute, it’s the way his father continues to contribute to his life after passing. Shute’s “Rain on Window” depicts times in our lives when we hit a wall, as in times of grief. Three dancers spatter like rain against a wall, then drizzle down, puddling at the base.

Lauren DeVera underscores topics of family and intergenerational trauma in her work. “NANAY” (Nah-Nai', mother in Tagalog, Filipino Language) explores the impact of the mother wound: the pain passed down through generations of women in patriarchal cultures. “NANAY” seeks to help us reclaim our personal power and tap into the inner mother within ourselves. DeVera comes upon her sleeping mother and quietly steals an embrace, a pivotal scene that depicts the quiet suffering of our loved ones. This excerpt from "NANAY" will follow the journey of both mom and daughter, as they seek to find healing and connection in their similar, yet unique paths. In the names of our elders, we explore not only the conflicts they endured, but the peace that they found.

These Beating Hearts: Dances for our Ancestors will be performed one night only: Saturday November 18 at 7pm in Dance Place, 3225 8th St NE. For tickets, go to


Dance Place
3225 8th Street NE
Washington, DC 20017
United States