Going the Distance

April 10, 2012

Perhaps dancers know better than anyone that the surest way to comprehend seemingly incomprehensible things is to physically do them—or to get as close as you can. That’s certainly the case for Cassie Meador, artistic director of Dance Exchange, who embarked yesterday on a 500-mile walk in an effort to grasp the complexities of the resources that fuel her home: where they come from, how they reach her, and the untold stories behind that journey. In a promotional video for the project, called 500 Miles/500 Stories, Meador asks: Why not just research energy use online? Her answer: “We’re talking about power: The literal power we use in our homes, and the power we have with each decision we make about what we use and our relationship to how it is made. It seems important to use the power and the resource of my own body to make this journey.”


Meador began the trek at her house in the Takoma neighborhood of Washington DC, accompanied by videographer and long-distance hiker Matt Mahaney. Over the next two months, she’ll travel through parts of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia to the sources of the energy she uses on a daily basis. Along the way, she’ll lead community engagement workshops while conducting research for a new dance, How To Lose a Mountain, set to premiere in spring 2013. Follow her progress at www.500miles500stories.com. —Siobhan Burke


Photo: Cassie Meador. By Matt Mahaney, courtesy Dance Exchange.