DANCING WHILE BLACK is an artist-led initiative that supports the diverse work of Black dance artists by cultivating platforms for process, performance, dialogue and documentation. We bring the voices of black dance artists from the periphery to the center, providing opportunities to self-determine the languages and lenses that define their work. Since 2012, DWB has produced the work of more than a dozen Black dance makers, supported 22 Fellowship artists in the developing their practice and networks and gathered scholars, writers and artists to participate in diverse platforms that center their voices and build community.
Dancing While Black operates at the intersection of aesthetics and organizing. Central to the work is building partnerships – with presenters, organizers, curators and artists. Over the past five years, Dancing While Black has established ongoing partnerships with BAAD! Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, NYU’s Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, the Human Rights Project at the Urban Justice Center, PURPOSE Productions, Urban Bush Women, and BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange.
Our partnerships are rooted in a mutual commitment to equity and serving the needs and visions of artists. In a field that encourages individualism, our work prioritizes community building. We celebrate that there is a momentum building around shifting the dance landscape, and we are committed to help shepherd these efforts. Our commitment to equity requires our solidarity with others who are also doing the work.
“Dancing While Black is…
an occupational hazard, an unrequested accolade and an immense responsibility.
– Christal Brown
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[PHOTO CREDITS]Header Image: Jaimé Dzandu, photo by Julia Wang | Lisandra Ramos writing on wall from DANCING WHILE BLACK: This Body Knows Freedom by Whitney Browne Photography | Process Photo: Ebony Noelle Golden and Sydnie L. Mosley surrounded by Story Circle participants by Erik Carter | Photo of Paloma McGregor by Erik Carter | [DWB Is Gallery] Photo of folks gathered in circle with person on floor from Dancing While Black: On Fertile Ground at the Ashé Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans, February 2016 by Melisa Cardona | Photo of smiling folks in chairs from DANCING WHILE BLACK: This Body Knows Freedom by Whitney Browne Photography | Photo of dancers in suits: Brother(hood) Dance!, ’15-’16 DWB Fellows Orlando J. Hunter and Ricarrdo Valentine, from DWB: Masculinities Re/born by Charles R Berenguer Jr.