It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and a Long Island City performance venue is combining dance and other art forms to fight mental health issues.

The Borne Dance Company will present its fifth annual Eating Disorder Awareness Show at The Secret Theatre at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28, and Saturday, Feb. 29.

Entitled “Bound,” the program is part performance, part workshop with some guest appearances. It features a brand-new dance piece that explores the restrictions that humans place on themselves and how their ability to self-sabotage prevents them from moving forward or finding peace. Plus, it includes original works from the realms of comedy, literature, music, spoken word, theater and visual art.

“We compare ourselves to other people, chase away healthy relationships, procrastinate, and indulge in dysfunctional behaviors all because we are afraid we are not good enough to get what we want in life or that we may lose it once we get it,” stated Borne Artistic Director Katie Kilbourn-Santiago. “[‘Bound’] explores these themes while using black bands as a metaphor for self-sabotage … We watch the dancers on their journey to freedom from these self-induced limitations.”

The Feb. 28 lineup includes Ev, Whiskey Jules, Amazing Amy, Frank James Martinez-Chevez and dancers, Noor Dance Academy, Ross Lampert, DanceAction, Audrey Dimola and Chloe Kastner Dance Company. Meanwhile, Whiskey Jules, Amazing Amy, Ross Lampert, Raquel, Rebecca Brown, Alexa Mamoulides and dancers, Kim Elliott Dance and Terri Muuss are on the list for Feb. 29.

There’s no admission charge, but organizers suggest that each attendee pay $20. Most of the proceeds will be donated to the National Eating Disorder Association for education and prevention efforts.

Founded by Kilbourn-Santiago and another professional artist, Kianna Moye, in 2015, the NYC-based Borne is best described as a team of dancers, musicians, poets and visual artists who collaborate to create work that sparks compassion, empathy and interest in eating disorders and other mental illnesses. Members, many of whom have had personal experiences with emotional trauma and recovery, strongly believe that education leads to prevention.

The Secret Theatre, which is located at 44-02 23rd St., can seat about 100 people at a time in a space with a three-quarter round stage. It’s a few blocks from the Court Square-23rd Street station on the E, G, M and 7 lines. There’s on-street parking, and the facility is wheelchair accessible.

Higher among performing dancers than the rest of the population, eating disorders include anorexia, binging, bulimia and rumination (regurgitating) syndrome. There’s also Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, which involves a lack of interest in food. Genetic, experiential and societal factors contribute to eating disorders, but exact causes are not clear. Treatments typically involve counseling, exercise, establishing routines, maintaining a proper diet and medication.

Images: Borne Dance Company


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