I’ve been collaging. I don’t know if its the heavy concentration of cutting and pasting, or the tediousness of picking out the right amount of magazines you need to justify the cost at Half Price Books. Either way, I’ve been doing this in my spare-ish time. Its also a distraction from the task Im suppose to be doing. And since I am living alone, I can keep it forever (or until Im sick of it). This summer my parents allowed me to stay at their placed in Milwaukee while I worked for Signature Dance Company. At Signature, i taught Modern, Afro-Fusion, and Conditioning to girls ages 5-18. I also had the pleasure to teach and choreograph the adult company and community class.
I want to focus on two pieces I created. The first is entitled “Home is, Milwaukee is. . . ” was a piece for Senior Company. I wanted a piece that mentions women (Milwaukee in particular) struggle with police brutality and their lack of human/girlism with the gaze of others. I worked on structured improv exercises that got their movement out. Also we played Black Girls Games to remember our childhood. I utilize Nas “Cop Shot the Kid“ and Jamilia Wood “Vry Blck” to get the lyrics to guide the movement. It was a fun new process I was trying and I am grateful for their dancing bodies. The second piece i want to focus on is “Mercy; Me” The song Have Mercy by Eryn Allen Kane explains blessings, the world, and asking mercy on the world we have. I created this piece for the Junior company. I utilize Bartenieff, Horton, and West African Technique to articulate the spirals, weight shift, and play on Familiar of my body and Unfamiliar movement within their body. I challenge to dance on different rhythms to resemble the idea of “dancing to the beat of your own drum.” But mostly this piece was about how I felt lost during my military experience. In this point I left the church, denounce my religion and live my life in a different format. This was post attack and silence of me and my pain and being. In the full version of the piece you will find by the end the dancers are exhausted. In the rehearsal and making process I wanted to gear them for this piece. But this was a metaphor for my emotions towards the end of my journey of lostness. But prayers of others and stillness brought me to a journey of Healing.
I bought a harp this Summer. Many people were shocked. I literally saved for a year (and used school money) to purchase this instrument. I played in middle and high school. i won many awards. It was my secret talent. My Middle school music teacher got me inspired. I listed to black harpist for a while. I never knew about black harpist.
This summer I took time to get back to the things I love. Another summer in an environment where part don’t know what I’m doing, another part trying to change what I’m doing, and small piece that doesn’t appreciate what I am doing, and a pinch encouraging to keep going. Navigating this is difficult for me because the first two parts are family and really close family/church folks. Im Milwaukee, all my identities meet at the intersection and crash.
I draw a lot of my inspiration from visual artist, musicians, and performers. Instagram and Pintrest are a huge resource for me when it comes to gathering the tools and inspiration I need to succeed. I’m a gatherer. All the books and visuals I tailored to help guide me in my project. Also, i’ve followed peers, colleagues, and future colleagues in the field in their exploration process to gage my thoughts and process, and to keep myself relevant. I also supported many local (Milwaukee) musicians this summer because I believe if i put great things out, it’ll come in return.
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Monae, Janelle. YouTube, YouTube, 27 Apr. 2018, http://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=280&v=jdH2Sy-BlNE.
Nance, Terrance. “Random Acts of Flyness – Official Website of the HBO Series.” HBO, HBO.com, http://www.hbo.com/random-acts-of-flyness.
Neal-Barnett, Angela M. Soothe Your Nerves: The Black Woman’s Guide to Understanding and Overcoming Anxiety, Panic, and Fear. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003. Print.
Pierce-Baker, Charlotte. Surviving the Silence: Black Women’s Stories of Rape. New York: W.W. Norton, 1998. Print.
Seutin, Alesandra. “Vocab Dance Company.” YouTube, YouTube, 27 Aug. 2018, http://www.youtube.com/user/vocabdancecompany.
Thomas, Mickalene, Jennifer Blessing, and Carrie M. Weems. Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs. , 2015. Print.
Zachery, Andre. “Renegade Performance Group.” Renegade Performance Group, 27 Aug. 2018, http://www.renegadepg.com/.