Coming up on Connections: Thursday, March 22

Mar 22, 2018

First hour: Into the Night: Portraits of Life and Death 

Second hour: Ballerina Aesha Ash and the Swan Dreams Project

Should we fear death? That question is at the heart of a new documentary about death from accomplished filmmaker Helen Whitney. It's called Into the Night, and it's coming to PBS and WXXI TV on Monday, March 26. Whitney chose to focus on nine individuals from very different backgrounds, trying to understand various perspectives on how we approach the end of our lives. One of those individuals is University of Rochester astrophysicist Adam Frank, who describes himself as an "atheist plus.” We hear from him this hour, as well as Helen Whitney.

Then in our second hour, a special re-air of Connections. We talk to ballerina Aesha Ash. She's a Rochester native who danced with the New York City Ballet and performed all over the world. Now, she's using her success to inspire and empower young African American girls. The Swan Dreams Project features photographs of Ash dressed in ballet attire, walking in different neighborhoods in the City of Rochester. She says she wants young people in lower income neighborhoods to see that ballet – and all professions – are open to them, just as they were to her. We discuss the project, and how the arts can be used to dispel stereotypes and empower people from all backgrounds.