Anderson, Wayland B
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The full-length contemporary ballet Trapped used Igor Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" to examine contemporary issues surrounding the life and brutal death of transgender teen Gwen Araujo. The new work premiered at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center Feb. 22nd and 23rd at 8:00 p.m. I was inspired by the airing of the Lifetime channel made-for-TV movie "A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story." The movie was based on a true story. It told the story of a teen who was violently attacked and killed by three men. They killed her after learning that she was biologically male. After seeing the movie, I wanted to take the opportunity to hear and think about her story, and to share it with a new audience. The dance is supported by Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. Trapped altered the well-known synopsis and merged it with Gwen's story. In both versions, a woman dies violently in the end and that is the common factor between the works. The cast of Trapped include 11 dancers from the University of Maryland. Each night the ensemble hosted a talk back with the National Community Engagement Campaign on the issues raised by the piece.