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The Art of Conversation

Salons are incubators where ideas are conceived, gestated, and hatched. Salons are the frontiers of social and cultural change: they cultivate creativity, revive the art of conversation, and fuel energy to change the world. Salons are gatherings where people talk “big talk,” talk meant to be listened to and perhaps passionately acted upon. 


An important reason for a salon is to practice creativity in a setting where one needn’t fear judgment of his/her/their efforts. Conversation is the way we convey information, inspire each other, and achieve understanding. Conversation is the way we challenge, amuse, and amaze each other.

Core Dance began offering Salon: The Art of Conversation in 2002. Salon conversation presents the opportunity to practice 3 kinds of tolerance: tolerance of different ideas, tolerance of how others treat you, and tolerance of idiosyncratic personalities. Learn that it is okay to have divergent points of view—that in fact, the best discussions are the ones in which we differ the most. When people truly reveal themselves, even while disagreeing, they discover commonalities that bring them together in a powerful way.

October 2021 Salon

Walter Apps & Laith Stevenson

This invitation-only event will feature the work of Core Dance resident artists Walter Apps and Laith Stevenson. Read below to find out more about each artist and the work they will be sharing.

Walter Apps photo by Joseph Titus.JPEG
Walter Apps

Walter Apps, born and raised in Detroit, MI, started his dance training at the age of 4. He received his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from Point Park University in 2016. During his training, Apps has had the privilege to perform works by Aszure Barton, Lar Lubovitch, MADBOOTS, Mark Morris, Luke Murphy, Septime Weber and Ohad Naharin to name some. Immediately upon graduating, he joined Texture Contemporary Ballet in Pittsburgh, PA. Apps then moved to New York City to work with Yin Yue, Rubén Graciani, Patrick O’Brien and Andrea Ward. Since moving to Atlanta in 2019, he has worked as an artist with Core Dance. Apps spends his free time working with photography / videography, editing film and teaching.

Photo by Joseph Titus

Project Description:

“Digital Death” examines the process of consuming natural resources and how humans play a larger role in the cycles of life.This work explores the ways in which humans consume, and the vicious cycle of systems in place that trap / consume the psyches of populations. I layer projection design, lighting, and sound in a way that focuses the mood to a lower tone. Dark humor, satire, and abstraction have been fundamental inspirations in my art making.

Laith Stevenson photo by Christian Meyer .jpeg.jpg
Laith Stevenson

Laith Stevenson is an interdisciplinary artist whose primary mediums are movement and poetry. My creative process calls for honesty and vulnerability. It engages sensations, memories, and personal experiences. They employ both the metaphorical and literal explorations of ideas related to interpersonal relationships, identity, and media consumption. I assume in all my processes that the body is a physical manifestation of individual’s unique histories and narratives. Moreover, I reflect on my lived experience as a trans person of color in my work. I create first and foremost for myself. My process dives deeply into the realms of self-reflection and hard-to-swallow truths. It challenges typical notions of social dichotomy by depicting nuanced perspectives of my subject matter. I ask my audiences to bear witness to the performer/performers enduring an experience; thus, deepening the empathetic response.

Visit their website here.

Project Description:

What is it like to live in a body in which all of our actions and interactions feel like a confession? Queer people are forced to self analyze and reflect on a regular basis in order to meet societies demands and remain safe in the spaces we occupy. Every new interaction is a coming out. Every detail about our identities— a secret waiting to be revealed.

Employing anthropological research informed by the Christian (ACTS) methodology, the artists use the process of prayer-making as a vehicle, to explore the acts of self-reflection and confession in the context of the queer body. What do we desire and what do we feel we deserve? Who taught us how to hate ourselves and how do we unlearn that? This work is about us trying to make sense of the bodies and lives we’ve been given, and if we’re lucky finding some silver linings along the way.

Costuming: Sam Myers


Acknowledgements: A special thanks to all of the individuals who shared their experiences for this process.