Private Project

Murmurs of the River

"Murmurs of the River" is an interdisciplinary, collaborative, choreographic film on race, identity, and memory led by choreographers Jeanne Travers and Bliss Kohlmyer, with community-based dramaturgy by Andrea Assaf, voiceover direction by Dora Arreola, animation by McArthur Freeman, and editing by Ace McColl. Featuring original text and music by Tampa-based artists, including partners Art2Action, Heard ‘Em Say Youth Arts Collective, and Kitchen Table Literary Arts, with national contributors.

Inspired by the anti-racist work of Ibram X. Kendi, Murmurs of the River is a call-to-action response to systemic racism, bringing together the passionate voices and creativity of actors, dancers, musicians, visual artists, poets, and writers to build a genuine and constructive response to the ongoing historical review of fundamental concepts of human equality and civil rights.

  • Jeanne Travers
  • Bliss Kohlmyer
  • Dora Arreola
  • McArthur Freeman II
    Animation Director
  • Andrea Assaf
    Eleven Reflections on September
  • Jeanne Travers
  • Art2Action, Inc.
    Eleven Reflections on September
  • Ace McColl
  • Jennifer Petuch
    Cinematographer and Videographer
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Student, Other
  • Genres:
    Dance Film
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 23 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 28, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - University of South Florida
Distribution Information
  • Art2Action, Inc.
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Jeanne Travers, Bliss Kohlmyer, Dora Arreola

JEANNE TRAVERS is a Professor within the School of Theatre and Dance at the University of South Florida where she teaches Contemporary Modern Dance, Choreography and other dance-related courses. She received her BA in Dance from the University of California at Santa Cruz and her MFA from the University of Utah where she graduated with honors. Her choreography has been presented in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and North Africa. She has also been a guest teacher in Australia, Bolivia, China, Ecuador, England, France, Italy, Germany, Korea, Trinidad, Tunisia and Vietnam. Jeanne is also the Co-founder/Coordinator of the USF/China Dance Exchange Program between USF and Beijing Normal University in China. She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants including the USF Kosove Outstanding Teaching and Service Life- Time Achievement Award, the USF Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, The USF Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the USF TIP Award for Outstanding Teaching, a USF Woman in Leadership and Philanthropy Research Award, a USF Diversity award, numerous USF Sponsored Research Grants, Cultural Grants through Embassies, Outstanding Choreographic Grants through the State of Florida and International Cultural Grants. Jeanne Travers is also the Co-founder of "Holding Common Ground: Pathways to Cultural Exchange" in Vietnam.

DORA ARREOLA has more than thirty years of professional experience as a theater director, choreographer and performer. She was a participant at Grotowski's Workcenter in Pontedera, Italy (1987-89), and is currently an Associated Professor of Theatre at the University of South Florida. She has taught, directed, and performed in Mexico, the U.S., Nicaragua, Canada, Poland, India and Italy. She holds an MFA in Directing from the University of Massachusetts. Dora is co-author of the book Mujeres en Ritual: Género y Transformación /Gender & Transformation (CECUT, 2014); and is featured in the book Grotowski, Women, and Contemporary Performance: Meetings with Remarkable Women (Routledge, 2013). The creative research that Dora Arreola has developed over two decades integrates elements of traditional dances and songs of Mexico and the contemporary theatre practices of Tadashi Suzuki, Jerzy Grotowski and Rena Mirecka, creating a complex system of physical movement.

BLISS KOHLMYER, an artist with national/international recognition as a choreographer/performer/creative scholar, is engaged in an ongoing and deep research process that uses the concept of liminality, or the state of being in the in-between, to investigate the layered intricacies of our inter-personal/ intra-personal interactions and the states that separate victim/villain, sanity/insanity, life/death, young/old, individual/group, earth/spirit, water/vapor, thought/action. In New York City, she danced and toured internationally with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and the Sean Curran Company. In San Francisco, she danced with Janice Garrett and Dancers, Robert Moses’ Kin, and The San Francisco Opera Ballet, among others. Bliss has presented at the Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS) conference in Trondheim, Norway, the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) conferences in Miami and Chicago, and Florida Dance Education Organization (FDEO). Her collaborative work with pianist Svetozar Ivanov (Sound Moves Duo) has been presented in Florida, New York, Michigan, Colorado, England, Austria, Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. She is currently an Associate Professor of Dance at the University of South Florida.

MCARTHUR FREEMAN, II is a visual artist and designer whose work explores hybridity and the construction of identity. His works have ranged from surreal narrative paintings and drawings to digitally constructed sculptural objects and animated 3D scenes. Freeman is also the co-founder of Imagine Blackness, an innovative project that combines AI technology and Black speculative storytelling to explore and reimagine black representation. Freeman’s work has been published in Nka Journal of Contemporary African Art and has been exhibited nationally in both group and solo shows. He has presented talks at SIGGRAPH Asia, The National Council on Education for Ceramic Arts (NCECA), and ISC (the International Sculpture Conference). Freeman earned his BFA degree in Drawing and Painting from the University of Florida. He received his MFA from Cornell University, with a concentration in Painting. He also holds a Master of Art and Design from North Carolina State University in Animation and New Media. Freeman is currently an Associate Professor of Animation and Digital Modeling at the University of South Florida where he continues to use digital tools to address traditional processes as he explores hybrid ways of making and thinking about art.

Add Director Biography