Event will raise money for the upcoming ‘Invisible’ show

Tucked away in a building where no ones knows her name, no one knows her past and no one knows her story, lives a woman who suffers from domestic violence.

After numerous threats and beatings from her husband, she took refuge in one of the numerous shelters in Calgary.

This woman is part of the inspiration behind an upcoming dance fundraiser for the Invisible show, which will be performed at Theatre Junction Grand, June 14 and 15.

The show’s artistic director, Connie Jakab, seeks to bring awareness to issues including: 

Local dancers from Mpact work together to “portray messages through hip-hop means,” says Connie Jakab, co-founder of the company. The group will be participating in the upcoming Invisible fundraiser and show.

Photo courtesy of Kristy-Anne Swart

• women’s poverty
• domestic violence
• substance abuse
• eating disorders
• women’s homelessness

The Invisible show will be a mix of “hip-hop, contemporary, a little bit of film, and spoken word,” says Jakab.

The show is being put on by local dance organization Mpact and will focus on exposing all of the vulnerabilities that women encounter, says Jakab.

But before the show hits the stage, funds need to be raised.

Sunday’s fundraiser at Hotel Arts hopes to raise the remaining balance of the show’s $30,000 budget.

“The reality is it does happen here,” says Jakab of social issues affecting women. “I would love to bring the truth, what really happens.”

For Jakab, the creative process of preparing for Invisible involves working with organizations in Calgary and doing research in order to portray the issues properly.

“I feel that it is very important, like in the area of trafficking for example, because it is such a hot item right now, for 15-year-old girls to be aware of what these men are going to look for,” says Jakab.

Theresa Tucci, choreographer for the Invisible show, says, “I’m a dancer so I love the idea of doing a positive message through dance.”

“I think that what a lot of people don’t realize is that back behind our lives there are a lot of other things going on with women.”

Tucci will be dancing in a self-choreographed piece that was inspired by her own personal self-image battle.

“I struggled with an eating disorder for 10 years in my youth,” says Tucci.

“I decided it would be good to put that out there because society really pushes a lot of stress on that idea of perfection.”

By telling her story, Tucci hopes that other people will be inspired to get on the road to recovery, or seek help and support from loved ones.

Mpact dancers are part of the entertainment that will be participating in the fundraiser, which is being held to gain funds and awareness for the Invisible show in June.

Photo courtesy of Kristy-Anne SwartOliver Reyes, 30, the other co-founder of Mpact, says the organization creates “opportunity with dance and movement for people to promote change and social awareness.”

Reyes is working as the operations manager and choreographer for the show.

“I think it is very important for Calgary to have a show like Invisible because of the culture. We need to bring in more culture into Calgary in terms of underground dancers and this type of dance, this type of field, especially hip-hop,” says Reyes.

“We are so passive with the kind of change that we can make.”

Reyes, Tucci and Jakab all agree that dance can create awareness about the issue because of the self-expression that dancers use.

Sunday’s fundraiser will include a silent art auction, live dance performances and a three-on-three battle with “the original b-boy crew in our city,” says Jakab.

Mpact has allotted $10,000 of the show’s $30,000 budget to donate to a shelter in Calgary that is for “girls who are pregnant and have nowhere to go,” says Jakab, referring to the Calgary shelter previously known as Wild Garden, which is currently undergoing a name change.

Tickets for the Invisible show will be available for purchase at the fundraiser.

“It is important to remember that even though we have come far for women’s issues, they are still out there,” says Tucci.

The fundraiser starts at 6 p.m. on April 7, with a reception for VIP ticket holders ($70).

The night’s events start at 7 p.m. with tickets being sold for $55 and $30 for students.

bbrezinski@cjournal.ca