Article by HTP editorial
Arcadian Broad is a lead dancer with the Orlando Ballet company. In May, he generously lent his time and talent to collaborate with the Hidden Tears Project performance of RED at the Fringe Festival, in the shared goal of raising awareness about human trafficking and sexual abuse. The dance performance RED explores sexual assault and recovery through a series of segments using red elements as narrative and thematic expressions. A filmed version of RED (titled Shades of Red) in Virtual Reality is currently in pre-production.
Broad joined the Orlando Ballet in 2011. At age 16, Broad was the youngest dancer ever hired by the Orlando Ballet, and has since become an accomplished choreographer, composer and actor. He was joined for the RED performances by fellow Orlando Ballet lead dancer Kate Robichaux.
Q & A
With the Hidden Tears Project based in Los Angeles, and the two of you in Orlando, some rather creative strategies were put in place for this collaboration. What was it like choreographing a piece over Skype?
It was a journey, haha! I’ve had similar processes with learning over skype, but it’s always been a solo endeavor. This was the first time having to learn partnering choreography for me. Kate and I work a lot with each other so we know how our brains and bodies work together. So we could really focus on understanding what Jordan was wanting from us for this show.
How did you become involved with the Hidden Tears Project?
I was told that Josh Marinov contacted Gabe Preisser from Opera Orlando looking for dancers. We’ve worked together on a couple of their shows before. So Gabe referred Josh to Robert Hill, Artistic Director of the Orlando Ballet, who put us in contact with each other. It’s amazing how tight and helpful the Orlando Arts community is!
What did you know about human trafficking before working on RED?
Before? Nothing. Now? An inkling of the enormity that this “business” presents. It’s scary how shielded we are as a society to this matter. Unless you have a direct link to this world…it’s practically nonexistent.
In your opinion, what kind of potential does social impact art have?
I know it has the potential to get people thinking. I believe that is its purpose. To ask the questions that wouldn’t be “acceptable” on a normal basis. If an audience member can be transported to the world we are creating in front of them, and they feel what these characters feel and leave with a different perspective on the subject, we succeeded.
Have either of you participated in the Fringe Festival before this year?
I’ve come and watched shows at the Fringe Fest for about 3 years now. But this is my first time performing! Very happy to be a part of this cool event.
What can you share about your experience working on RED?
One I’ll always remember! It’s been eye opening. Seeing the statistics. That Florida is #3 in most trafficked victims. This system makes 150 BILLION dollars a year, off of people’s suffering. It’s truly an underground entity that has managed to elude a major portion of the populous for a while. Slowly but surely that will change. What Hidden Tears Project is doing is laying the foundation to bring this to light more. Also, I love meeting new people! Jordan, Jason, Josh and Carol are great people to have in your life and I’m happy I got the opportunity to meet and work with them!
To learn more about Arcadian Broad and the Orlando Ballet company, click here
To learn more about RED, click here