Dancing While Black: On Fertile Ground comes to New Orleans
February 21-28, 2016 | April 11-17, 2016
Continuing their long-standing tradition of partnership and coalition building, New York-based Angela’s Pulse and New Orleans-based Junebug Productions are proud to present Dancing While Black: On Fertile Ground.
Three generations of Black women choreographers from across the nation will engage with New Orleans communities, culture bearers, and Black college students in an exploration of art making practices for social movement building. This collaboration is rooted in the past and present legacy of Black creative change-making that New Orleans has long been home to.
The choreographers – Nia Love (NYC), Jaimé Dzandu and Brittany Williams (NYC), and Onye Ozuzu (Chicago) – will spend one week in February teaching workshops across New Orleans, developing site-responsive performance at Xavier University, and sharing works-in-progress alongside local choreographers at Dancing Grounds. This cultural exchange will culminate in April with Dancing While Black: In Our Own Words, a public Story Circle process centering the voices of black dance makers, followed by a performance at the Contemporary Art Center New Orleans.
A New Orleans-based Community Advisory Panel was convened to help shape this project and select the participating artists. Advisors included Carol Bebelle (Ashe Cultural Arts Center), Ron Bechet (Xavier University), Kasefera Gunter (recent Xavier graduate), Kesha McKey (NOCCA), Dr. Jana Meyers-Smith (Dillard University) and Na’imah Zulu (Golden Feather).
Friday, February 26, 2016 | 7:30pm | [more info] @ Dancing Grounds, 3705 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans
Under Construction is an experimental space where artists can investigate emerging ideas while engaging in dialogue with audience members to help gain new insights for their developing creative work. This sharing is unique in that it invites the audience to participate in the process of building a new artistic vision in a space that encourages risk taking and innovation.
Master Classes for the Masses
Saturday, February 27, 2016 | 12:30-6:00 pm | [more info] @ Dancing Grounds, 3705 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans
Master Classes for the Masses are an artistic training and community-building forum where participants can experience the unique aesthetics and teaching methodologies of Black experimental master artists while building their artistic network.
Click HERE for the full class schedule.
Angela’s Pulse & Junebug Productions
A Collaborative Herstory
Dancing While Black Founder Paloma McGregor is a longtime collaborator and partner of Stephanie McKee, Artistic Director of Junebug Productions. McGregor is also a committed ally of the artistic and organizing communities in New Orleans, having facilitated and supported work there through her artistic and leadership roles in both Urban Bush Women and Angela’s Pulse. This project taps into these deep connections while seeking to collapse the space between Black communities and Black experimental dance artists. The artists will create authentic and transformational experiences with Black dance outside the pop culture realm through workshops, performances and dialogue. This work will honor the history of innovation within Black dance traditions, particularly the movement legacies of New Orleans, and illuminate work that is currently pushing the bounds of the form.
Through this partnership, New Orleans culture bearers and internationally renowned dance scholars will share their expertise in a public forum without hierarchy. We hope for collaboration beyond their DWB experience. We dream of featured artists getting grandmothers and teens dancing together in a site-responsive community performance along the Mississippi River. We vision a student choreographer at Dillard University being inspired to work with a senior center to create a performance installation at Congo Square. This is how we build our legacy and continue the generations of work that connects us.