Dance Black Joy: Global Affirmations and Defiance

In February, A. Nia Austin-Edwards, a longtime Angela's Pulse collaborator, attended Dance Black Joy: Global Affirmations and Defiance. The 3-day convening was a dynamic space of dialogue, performance and celebration; she reflected some voices and residue from the experience in poetry.

In February, A. Nia Austin-Edwards, a longtime Angela’s Pulse collaborator, attended Dance Black Joy: Global Affirmations and Defiance. The 3-day convening was the third such gathering organized by the Collegium for African and Diaspora Dance (CADD) and hosted at Duke University. Nia joined many other Angela’s Pulse collaborators and community members in this dynamic space of dialogue, performance and celebration; she reflected some voices and residue from the experience in poetry.

“The found poem is a form that knows few bounds. These are the words that found me – in the halls and streets of Duke University; over biscuits and wine and sweet tea; in my dreams when 9am sessions were just a lil too much; in the one hotel-bar-gallery that was open when the city of Durham went to sleep; in the breath, eyes, heart, memories of community. I am still full.”

A. Nia Austin-Edwards

Has it ever been this bad? Yea… There’s was the 60s. And we made it through

I can’t stop crying

Living our lives in a way that is respectful and ethical and meaningful and spiritual

This inherent spirituality of dancing our dances

We’re patting ourselves on the black

An audience full of Black people

I am not dependent on other people to write about and analyze my work

I’m tired… That is the work, Wakanda forever

I start my mornings Black

This is only possible because of the legacy I am in.

Black folks know inherently

“We have given this world more genius than we have ever received.” – Junot Diaz

I make performance my research rather than research my performance

 

I have always been the raisin in the mayonnaise jar

Working to be an activist without being a hater

What is familiar? What is new?

How do we

We figured this out

a bigger megaphone

My life is an improvisation

Or did we

The daily bop

The feedback loops

Improvisation. Not improv.

I thought my ancestors were joy and then I remembered my ancestors, my men are down… It brought me down

Find the groove

 

Emotion is resource

The Black Space

I have always been the raisin in the mayonnaise jar

We’ve always already been there
Black folks know inherently

I affirm Y’ALL

I learned affirmed remembered

I need to sleep but I am still seeing you

I remember that it is ok to ask for help

Joy is not my resting place but I L(o/i)VE here

 

Ready to let my body do the thinking and my mind do the dancing

A warp in the weave of this quilt…the joyfully masochistic years

Twirling souls

Drink to them

It’s like a house settling. This third year, is settled, it’s strong.

Let my body do the thinking and my mind do the dancing.
I’ve never been on a marquee before.

Somebody give me a rhythm.

Don’t hurt ‘em Brenda.

I remembered this is my squad

It’s just what we do… We’re not bound to any form of movement

Ain’t no more food? I guess I got other nourishment

Make. Be. Do. Process.

Dancing is my thriving

About The Collegium for African Diaspora Dance (CADD)

The Collegium for African Diaspora Dance (CADD) is an egalitarian community of scholars and artists committed to exploring, promoting, and engaging African diaspora dance as a resource and method of aesthetic identity. Through conferences, roundtables, publications and public events, we aim to facilitate interdisciplinary inquiry that captures the variety of topics, approaches, and methods that might constitute Black Dance Studies. A diverse gathering of dance scholars and community members, The Collegium for African Diaspora Dance was conceptualized by its founding members and first convened in April 2012 as the African Diaspora Dance Research Group at Duke University. Learn more at cadd-online.org.

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