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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

BODY AND SOUL: Italy Bianca: Pleasure Within

Italy Bianca (photo: Ashanti Hinton)
A brown-skinned woman with locs wearing a black,orange, and green halter top on the left side of the frame. Behind, a white background.

Photo: Aesam Sharafaldin

A brown-skinned woman with locs down to her waist and wearing a silver long necklace with two silver bracelets. Eyes closed and right arm on top of the left. Behind, a black background.

 

"My life is a dance," says dancer-healer-teacher Italy Bianca, "How am I going to stage it, each and every day?" Body and soul are connected, she knows from personal experience of trauma, healing, and creativity. In this talk to inspire other artists, teachers, caregivers, and anyone, Italy invokes what she has learned through modalities such as massage, acupuncture, herbalism, spiritual practice, and the use of sensory deprivation tanks.

Listen to her episode of Body and Soul podcast here!


Photo: Ernesto Mancebo

A brown-skinned woman with locs in a black dress leaning against a black cloth. The body is leaning towards the right with legs in a squat-like position. Arms are reaching out to the left side.

Italy Bianca is a sacred multimedia artist and herbalist who seeks to serve and enlighten the collective. From South Carolina and based in Brooklyn, NY, Italy believes that dancing leads to the transformation and healing of our personal and collective traumas; and aspires to offer the gift of transformational healing through community art. Her work focuses on creating work that portrays the rawest layers of human experience in collaboration with other local dancers and musicians. She has collaborated with various NYC dancers and companies such as Aeternus Dance Company, Asha Dance Company, Fiyah Dancehall Theatre, Sydnie L. Mosley Dances, and Marguerite Hemmings. In 2017, Italy was nominated for a Bessie Award in the Outstanding Performer c, and Chategory and appeared in Crystal Water's I am House video in 2018. Italy received a B.A. in Dance Education, Performance and choreography from Coker University and trained at the Joffrey Ballet School in their Jazz and Contemporary Dance program. https://www.italybianca.com/

Thursday, April 27, 2023

BODY AND SOUL: Catherine Kirk: an artist of many measures

Catherine Kirk (photo: Carrie Schneider)

A brown-skin Black woman, facing her right looking out straight ahead. She has a shaved head and is in front of a Black backdrop.

At left, Catherine Kirk; at right, Tamisha A. Guy in the duet MotorRover (photo: Whitney Browne)

from MotorRover, a new work by Kyle Abraham in collaboration with A.I.M, here showing two Black female dancers. The dancer on the left has a shaved head and is standing upright with her hand on her chest looking to her right, wearing olive colored pants and top. The dancer on the right wears dark gray, descends to the ground with her right hand outstretched, and looks down to her right.

Like her bestie Tamisha Guy, who spoke in our previous episode, Dallas native Catherine Kirk is a ten-year veteran of A.I.M by Kyle Abraham and a thrilling performer. Kirk describes herself as "an artist of many measures," one fascinated by stories and questions of "why humans are the way we are."

Listen to Catherine Kirk's episode on Body and Soul podcast here.

Catherine Kirk in If We Were A Love Song (photo: Christopher Duggan)

A Black woman wearing a dark gray dress. Body facing left with her arm reaching on a downward diagonal and her leg outstretched.

Catherine Kirk (she/her) was born on the unceded land of the Kiickaapoi and Wichita peoples, now called Dallas, Texas. She began formally studying dance at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts before graduating from New York University, Tisch School of Dance. A multi-hyphenate, Catherine is also a dance maker, marketing strategist, arts administrator, dance educator, and yoga teacher. Kirk has completed seasonal programs with San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Movement Invention Project, and Springboard Danse Montreal, where she performed work by Fernando Melo, Ohad Naharin, and Sharon Eyal. Upon graduating, Catherine apprenticed for Sidra Bell Dance NY before collaborating and performing with Danakah Dance, UNA Productions, Burr Johnson, Jasmine Hearn, and Helen Simoneau Danse. She is thrilled to be working as A.I.M’s Marketing Associate and performing with the company. Catherine joined A.I.M by Kyle Abraham in 2013.

For more information on A.I.M by Kyle Abraham, click here.

BODY AND SOUL: Tamisha A. Guy: Bring it back home

Tamisha A. Guy (photo: Carrie Schneider)

A brown-skin Black woman looks over her left shoulder and directly at the camera. Her hair is out in an afro style, she has a soft gaze, half smile, and sits in front of a black backdrop.

Tamisha A. Guy in Bebe Miller's Rain (photo: Christopher Duggan)

A Black woman wearing a bright red dress and tights, facing left in a bow with her arms outstretched as they flick one leg into the air aiming to connect both knees.

Caribbean-born dancer Tamisha A. Guy celebrates her tenth year with A.I.M by Kyle Abraham--the New York-based, award-winning troupe which recently completed a triumphant spring season at The Joyce Theater. Acknowledging a time of deep contemplation and yearning for home, Guy speaks of her own fervent aim--to perform live for her family and community in Trinidad.

Listen to Tamisha A. Guy on Body and Soul podcast here.

At left, Catherine Kirk; at right, Tamisha A. Guy in the duet MotorRover (photo: Whitney Browne)

from MotorRover, a new work by Kyle Abraham in collaboration with A.I.M, here showing two Black female dancers. The dancer on the left has a shaved head and is standing upright with her hand on her chest looking to her right, wearing olive colored pants and top. The dancer on the right wears dark gray, descends to the ground with her right hand outstretched, and looks down to her right.

Tamisha A. Guy (she/her), a native of Trinidad and Tobago, began her formal dance training at Ballet Tech, under the direction of Eliot Feld. Later she attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School and SUNY Purchase College as a double major in dance and arts management. She has completed summer programs with Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Springboard Danse Montreal and has performed works by William Forsythe, Pam Tanowitz, and Mark Morris. In 2013, Guy graduated with honors from SUNY Purchase College and joined the Martha Graham Dance Company shortly after. In 2016, Guy was selected as one of Dance Magazine's Top 25 to Watch and she also received the 2016 Princess Grace Award. In 2017, she was named one of the Best Dancers of the Year by Dance Europe. In 2021, she was awarded the 2022 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Dance which recognizes foreign-born scientists and artists in the United States. Tamisha joined A.I.M by Kyle Abraham in 2014.

For more information on A.I.M by Kyle Abraham, click here.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Ogemdi Ude to present world premiere of "Cameo"

Ogemdi Ude (photo: Maria Baranova)

Ogemdi Ude's Cameo (WORLD PREMIERE)

April 20-22, 8pm EDT

curated by Eva Yaa Asantewaa for Gibney Presents

Get tickets!

One of Dance Magazine's 25 Artists to Watch, Brooklyn-based dance and interdisciplinary artist Ogemdi Ude brings the world premiere of Cameo to Gibney Center as part of Gibney Presents, Gibney's premier presentation series, offering a rich bend of dance and performance in fully-produced, evening-length commissions.

Cameo is a duet about preserving and losing memories that features a multimedia installation, a live soundscape, and a complex improvised score. In it, Ude and her group of Black femme collaborators engage in an essential Black cultural practice – sharing the stories that make us who we are, even when we have forgotten pieces along the way. Structured as an elaborate memory card game, Cameo challenges the performers’ capacity to process, reinvent, and push forward after facing the obstacle of forgetting in the mind and the body.

Each performance will feature a different pair of artists, giving audiences the opportunity to see the work from different perspectives.

Cameo is choreographed by Ogemdi Ude and performed by Runako Campbell, Selah V. Hampton, and Dava Huesca. Cameo’s rehearsal collaborator is Symara Johnson.

Friday, April 7, 2023

It's the Age of Daniel Alexander Jones' "Aquarius"

 

Joyous news from Daniel Alexander Jones (aka Jones, Daniel)! His new album, Aquarius, is available today for listening or downloading at https://jonesdaniel.hearnow.com/
 
Daniel writes: "It is the first full album I have done under my own name, after years of performing as my “altar-ego” Jomama Jones. These are the opening sounds of a new creative chapter and I hope the music will speak meaningfully to you of love, loss, healing, transformation, and matters of the soul."

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

BODY AND SOUL: Dr. Iquail Shaheed: Blackness. Social justice. Joy.

Dr. Iquail Shaheed
 


(photos: Andrew Fassbender of Rachel Neville Studios, courtesy DANCE IQUAIL!)

 

My guest, Dr. Iquail Shaheed, Artistic Director of Philadelphia-based DANCE IQUAIL!, sits in to talk about his desire to reflect the "three pillars of creating a new world" and how working with incarcerated populations has led to his new work, Public Enemy.

Listen to Dr. Shaheed's remarks on Body and Soul podcast here.

BIO: Dr. Iquail Shaheed is a Philadelphia-based artist, activist, and the executive artistic director of DANCE IQUAIL! through which he creates new works and programs that centers on Blackness, Justice, and Joy.

Dr. Shaheed has worked with internationally acclaimed companies such as Philadanco, Compagnie Thor (Brussels), Sean Curran Company, Ronald K Brown/Evidence, and the Fred Benjamin Dance Company.

As an educator, Iquail preserves the Horton Technique by serving on faculty at The Ailey School, and NAISDA Dance College in Australia.

He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ballet performance from the University of the Arts, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Choreography from Purchase College. Dr. Shaheed is also the first Black Male to earn a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Dance from Texas Woman’s University.

http://www.danceiquail.org/

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