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KU Students Coordinate Dance Show for Suicide Awareness

Elementum is a student production directed by Jillian Armstrong and Emily Holloman. The show is taking a spin on the heavy topic of suicide and looking at the positive aspects of a life worth living.

“Instead of focusing on the pain and heartache of suicide, we decided to turn it and look at how to prevent it, how to look at your life and find the things that you find essential and keep pushing forward, and to not let everything else in your life bough you down and to find ways to keep living,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong and Holloman found a way to incorporate that message for the production.

“We decided to push all of our choreographers for this piece to focus on the essentials of their life and that essential part being happiness, what they find necessary for happiness in their own lives,” Holloman said.

Armstrong and Holloman have both struggled with effects of suicide. Both wanted to find someone who can understand and relate to those struggling. When they heard about Marcia Epstein, a specialist in suicide prevention and bereavement, they realized she was the perfect fit.

“One of the big things we know, and that’s why I love this thing about a dance performance that’s related to suicide bereavement is that we need people to know they’re not alone, that they’re not the only ones that have this experience, that it is something that you can integrate and work through,” Epstein said.

Epstein’s advice for those struggling is to find people you can talk to. If you do not know who to talk to, the crisis text line is an option. The number is 741-741.

Elementum will preform March 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Blackbox Theatre at Robinson Center. The show is free and show accepts all donations. The money is going towards Survivors of Suicide. For more information visit Elementum’s Facebook page.

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