Student Reflects on the Experience of Creating ‘Operation Breadbasket’

John Miller IV

John Miller IV has been a company member of the Panoramic Dance Project student dance company for three years. For the Spring 2014 concert, students in the company worked to produce Operation Breadbasket, a mixed media modern dance honoring its namesake Civil Rights movement. Students compiled research and interviews to gain a historical understanding of the material, then applied their own interpretation, skill and emotions to create an educational piece of art that gives personal meaning to a significant period in U.S. history.

Here John speaks about his personal perspective:

Operation Breadbasket was a transformational experience that seriously pushed my understanding of the Civil Rights movement and people wide open.

What I appreciate the most is that the story, although told from an African American perspective, wasn’t portrayed as an African American issue – but a human issue. And that is what I felt that we embodied in practice and on stage as a company.

Panoramic Dance Project is comprised of female, male, black, white, Asian, undergraduate and graduate students, all kinds of majors, all kinds of dance backgrounds, and all kinds of family histories, but that doesn’t matter when we are in the studio.

I feel like we embodied Operation Breadbasket in the fact of we all came together to overcome mistakes, misconceptions and not just to learn a dance but have genuine conversations as people and embrace the human issue together.

–John Miller IV, Panoramic Dance Project company member