Dancer, Choreographer, Playwright & Educator
Jinah Parker is a multi-faceted creative force from Buffalo, New York. A dancer since the young age of four, her work has been hailed as “stunning,” “eye-poping,” and “inclusive” (Jazz Right Now). As a dancer, choreographer, playwright, and educator, Jinah’s work is inspired by the tenacity of Debbie Allen and the endless intellectual curiosity of Katherine Dunham. Read More >
I am SHE
An interactive and multimedia presentation about sexual violence against women and girls, with Jinah Parker, dancer, choreographer, educator, and playwright of the critically-acclaimed theater production SHE, a Choreoplay. In this engaging give-and-take with her audience Jinah highlights her own personal experiences with sexual violence; discusses her journey in producing SHE; the #MeToo movement; the intersections of sex and race in America; and what she feels recovery and healing can be for women and girls, for men and boys, for all gender identities.
"Students were blown away: SHE was transformative for most of the students in attendance. It was one of those events that gave us the best of both worlds. In other words, students who never were exposed to professional dance were overwhelmed by the form and beauty and amazed at how it could comment on contemporary topics. Secondly, the students were educated about painful and important topics – many shocked by the statistics about women and assault in general and even more not aware of the angle on police misconduct/brutality and women of color."
"Every single person that attended said that the play was more than entertainment it was an actual moving experience. Many of the attendees were domestic violence survivors currently residing in safe houses throughout the city. Their counselor reported that viewing the stories of triumph was very inspiring. Most impressive were the young men from one of the Boys Group Home. They said their eyes were opened and they are committed to paying special attention to how they treat women."
"How do you dance the struggle of Sandra Bland? What does #BlackLivesMatter look like in dance? How do you dance the work of Alice Walker, of bell hooks, of Audre Lorde? Somehow Parker’s singular interpretation is able to do this. Michelle Obama famously said 'When they go low, we go high.' To borrow that phrase, Parker and Co. take us low, so that we may go high— soaring over generations of womanist/feminist movements, of mothers and daughters, of politics, of black mothers and their sons—sons with names like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Jordan Davis, and Emmett Till."
"I’ve already heard from faculty members that it was a transformative experience for their students. The level of the artistry as well as the urgent theme combined to hit home in an emotional way that forever changed them."
"A talk-back held after the play gave the audience a chance to comment on what was seen, learned and processed and somehow this ends up being almost as thrilling as the choreo-play itself."
"SHE is a powerful play that promotes greater awareness around sexual and gender violence, and uplifts women who've been directly impacted to speak out, share their stories, and find safe space with each other. As a long-time and vocal advocate for all women, I'm proud to support art that not only entertains, but that also educates and empowers others to take action and create change. SHE is a must-see production of dynamic performances integrated with real-life stories"