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The tragic murder of Hadiya Pendleton was a deeply tragic event that brought light to the high rate of violent crimes in Chicago. Even though the incident was last winter, the hurt from the murder can still be felt. Nicole Clarke-Springer however, is making sure the poignant incident is never forgotten by creating a piece based on the young girl to be included in her show.
Springer said she was deeply moved by the young women’s death. Springer said that being a mother of two herself, the tragedy struck her even harder than most. She said when she heard the young girl’s name, Hadiya, she felt extremely drawn to finding out what her name meant. She researched the name until she found out its meaning. Hadiya means “spiritual guide.” Springer says from that point on she knew what the title of her ballet should be: Hadiya.
The choreographer said that the piece will not be about the girl’s life or her death. The segment will be about the spiritual challenges that come up when people have to endure the pain of violence.
Springer went on to say that during the ballet, you won’t see any events of her life or her death. You will experience what her name truly means, spiritual guide, and what it means to truly listen to it. She says listening to that small voice can push you to being a higher form of yourself.
Because the ballet segment is not directly about the life and times of Hadiya Pendleton, her parents approve of her name being used. Her father, Nate Pendleton, said that anything sending a positive message out to the young people of the community is important. He approves of the positive spirit of the dance.