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Rising Appalachia Write A 'Resilient' Anthem

By Bob Boilen | NPR
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

"These times are poignant / The winds have shifted / It's all we can do / To stay uplifted."

Those words are sung so powerfully by Rising Appalachia, the musical project of sisters Leah Song and Chloe Smith. This uplifting, original folk song for these challenging times is called "Resilient."

Leah Song wrote to say that "'Resilient' is a testimony to our witnessing, time and time again, grassroots movements around the world THRIVING and continuing to build a powerful allegiance that defies divisiveness. It's about Standing Rock, it is about the Prison justice movement, it is about urban mural projects and bike cooperatives and re-wilding efforts and front porch gardens... it is about land preservation and indigenous rights and the crossroads between arts, justice and tradition."

The video for "Resilient," shot in New York City, is stark and poignant with the human body, our common humanity as the focal point. Chloe Smith says, "I wanted to strip away 'things' and center the visuals of this song on bodies, voices, instruments, and the simplicity of how each artist chose to express the word, 'RESILIENT.' In a time of so much noise and chatter, this song and video felt important to be a more elegant look at humans of all backgrounds and how we are moving through difficult times with deep expression and raw art."

Movement director and dancer Justin Conte says, "this video/song to me means bravery. Bravery to stand together with full awareness and move forward with grace and strength.

Dancer Amy Secada adds that "resilience is like a game of chess with God, remembering that all great things were created through friction and suffering."

And videographer and editor Alex Allaux says, "My current work on collaborative film projects in the Ritsona refugee camp in Greece has shown me a new definition of resiliency. Talking to residents from war-torn areas across the Middle East, and learning of their journeys by foot across mountains and oceans to cross borders to a new life, multiple times being forced to turn back, yet maintaining the drive and willpower to reach a brighter future, showcases the extent of human resiliency."

The dancers in this video are Quentin Robinson, Justin Conte, Lukas van der Fecht and Amy Secada. Rising Appalachia are on tour and you can find their dates here.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

View this story on npr.org

Videographer/Editor Alex Allaux, Movement director/dancer Justin Conte

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