Emily Sheridan, "'Don't Rebel': A Modern Dance Film"

For decades, punk music has given a voice to the people society refused to listen to—the “misfits,” the “geeks,” the “outcasts.” Womxn like Patti Smith, The Slits, and Nina Hagen were fundamental in the creation of punk and adjoining underground subcultures, but as these spaces became increasingly male-dominated, femme musicians and fans were forced into the very same margins punk prided itself on eliminating. Despite the latent and blatant sexism punk womxn faced in their communities, they managed to reinforce their importance in underground culture with pride. “Don’t Rebel” is a love letter to the womxn who made an impact, big or small, on the punk scene from a grrrl whose life feels reinvigorated by their music, their styles, and their attitudes. Never having been one for words, the most complete way to express this love is through my own art form—dance. “Don’t Rebel” aims to explore movement that ties together codified modern dance forms and the organic look and feel of movement at underground music shows. The movement expresses the creativity and expressivity of extraordinary womxn alongside the frustration that comes with being a womxn in our current society. The women I am honoring have forever changed my life with their unabashed displays of power, vulnerability, self-love, and girl-love. I hope this brief look into their existence inspires you to dig deeper and learn more about their amazing work.

This project is dedicated to Phoenix Ashley Stone, lead singer and guitarist of Stone Cold Chakra. May Ash live on in our art and our love. We miss you, bebs.

This project would not have been possible without the support of my artistic, academic, and social communities. To everyone of you, I give my thanks.