Welcome back to "What Dreamers Do," the podcast that explores the power of dreams, creativity, and the human spirit. Today we have a special guest joining us on the show. Please welcome Matthew Olwell, a multi-talented artist, musician, and dancer. In this episode, titled "Rhythm and Resistance," we dive deep into the world of dance, and how artists can use their performances and classes to address social injustices.
Throughout our conversation, we explore the importance of acknowledging our own immigrant histories, the power of the arts in engaging in difficult conversations, and the need to create spaces for meaningful change.
Drawing on his extensive experience in both Irish dance and Appalachian flatfooting, Matthew shares insights into the connections between these styles and the nuanced elements that make each unique. We discuss the whitewashing of Appalachian history and the complexity of its dance origins, including the influence of African diaspora dances. Matthew challenges reductive versions of these dance forms, highlighting their gradual amalgamation and hybridization over time.
Additionally, we delve into the significance of dance and music in connecting with others, creating shared spaces, and bridging divides. Matthew shares personal stories of powerful moments of connection and understanding that he has witnessed that were brought about by artistic exchange.
As we navigate the conversation, we confront uncomfortable histories, address the legacy of slavery, and examine our own responsibilities as artists in helping to create meaningful change in the world. This is an episode you won't want to miss!
Matthew Olwell's Blog
August Heritage Center
Knock On Wood Tap Studio
Loyd Shaw Foundation (dedicated to education about American folk dance)
Country Dance and Song Society
Maivish (Matt's Band)
Terpsichore's Holiday (live dance week)
Post-Roll with information about the Appalachian Flatfooting & Clogging Academy
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