New series explores the effects of the prison system

"Bleeding Backwards" pitch video

“Bleeding Backwards” pitch video

Dance Project
premieres a film about
Laquan McDonald and
Jason Van Dyke
during the first
week of December

Chicago — 7 November 2018 | Motion/Pictures Dance Project is excited to announce the premiere of Better Off Dead at Links Hall on December 7th, 2018.

Better Off Dead is a dance film loosely based on the 2014 murder of Laquan McDonald by Jason Van Dyke. This project is the first installment of Bleeding Backwards, a series of dance films that explores the effects of the prison system on individuals and communities.

Bleeding Backwards is the latest undertaking by Motion/Pictures Dance Project, a Chicago-based film production collective created by Talia Koylass, a Chicago Public Schools alum and graduate of Fordham/Ailey School of Dance (BFA, ‘17).

The series is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; and the Pollination Project, an organization that “make(s) worldwide daily seed grants to inspiring social change-makers who are committed to a world that works for all.”



One of MPDP’s guiding principles is Activism through Art, and Bleeding Backwards is no exception to the rule.

For each volume in the series, MPDP will partner with a local non-profit dedicated to mitigating the harsh effects of the criminal justice system in communities throughout the city.

For Better Off Dead, MPDP has partnered with First Defense Legal Aid. This organization provides “free, 24-hour legal representation to people in Chicago Police custody and educates Chicagoans about how to protect their constitutional rights,” as outlined on their website.

Better Off Dead will screen December 7th and 9th at Links Hall (3111 N Western Ave in Chicago, IL) as part of the Co-MISSION Festival of New Works.

For more information on this series, it’s partners, and creators, visit the Motion/Pictures Dance Project fundraising page here or follow the organization on instagram at @motionpicturesdance.

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