Using dance as a vehicle for transformation, No Roles Barred embraces communities all over the nation. (Dorfman will work with kids from Overtown and Liberty City.) Its precursor, Familiar Movements (The Family Project), gave family members the chance to perform together, form new bonds, and shed light on issues not easily addressed. The changes that Dorfman witnessed inspired him to develop this project. “I began to notice that in doing something differently, the participants found incredible new connections in their lives,” he explains.
Dancers have ranged from business executives to teenage mothers. Cooperation is key. Dorfman notes: “You can't make changes if you don't get involved,” The Miami children (none of whom has ever taken dance lessons) are required to rehearse three hours a day and will collaborate with Dorfman on all aspects of the performance -- theme, music, movement, and choreography.
A willingness to take risks is Dorfman's criterion for selecting candidates. As he points out: “Sometimes it's easier to work with people who aren't trained dancers. They are not so attached to their training. They will try anything, and the results of that alone can be incredible.” Also impressive is the performance of Dorfman's own six-member company, David Dorfman Dance, known for athletic movements and an idiosyncratic combination of humor and drama.
The No Roles Barred Project doesn't intend to demonstrate that there's a professional dancer in all of us, but rather that in each of us there is a dance -- something that needs to be said. In the process of learning and expressing that something through movement, the dancers are altered. The audience is sure to be transformed as well.