Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Reasons to be thankful!

I have many things to be thankful for--among them, being so often surrounded by gifted, accomplished artists. This season, I had the great pleasure of moderating BRIC Arts Media's post-show Q&A with choreographer Ronald K. Brown (celebrating his troupes's 30th anniversary) and poet Cheryl Boyce-Taylor. For Ronald K. Brown/Evidence's season at BRIC, Brown and Boyce-Taylor presented a revival of Water, their 1999 collaboration. 

The Q&A followed the performance on Friday, November 13 as New Yorkers were just hearing and struggling to process the horrific news from Paris. All through our conversation, I felt the unshakable force of Ron and Cheryl's groundedness and focus. I was happy that they both emphasized how important it is for young, innovating artists to value and tap the experience of arts elders as they move forward in a field--and a world--presenting numerous challenges.

Movers and Shakers: Dance Activists in NYC
a panel at Brooklyn Historical Society
(photo: Tyrone Z. McCants)
L to r: Jason Samuels Smith, Eva Yaa Asantewaa, AntBoogie,
Tamia Santana, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Camille A. Brown
(photo: Tyrone Z. McCants)

I also had the honor of being invited, by Meredith Duncan, Programs and Communication Manager of Brooklyn Historical Society, and Tamia Santana, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Dance Festival, to moderate their panel on dance and activism at BHS. The panelists? Knockouts, all: Camille A. Brown, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, AntBoogie and Jason Samuels Smith, distinguished in their respective genres of dance and deeply engaged with community, education and social justice.

(photo: Tyrone Z. McCants)
(photo: Tyrone Z. McCants)

Despite a late-fall downpour that kept some people home, we had a good gathering and a rich, wide-ranging discussion touching on the power of the arts to shift the way we think and imagine, the fundamental importance of technical discipline, the role of the body in political action, and the perennial challenge posed by mainstream media and conventional tastemakers and gatekeepers. So often, our talk returned to the imperative that progressive artists just go for it, find their own truths, control their own spaces, creating alternatives in an end run around these barriers. I greatly appreciate the example these artists continue to set for us all.

Finally, I want to thank all of you for your nourishing support over the years. InfiniteBody continues to be here for you, and I hope you will continue to enjoy it and send your friends and colleagues my way.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Eva :-)


Amber Henrie said...

the dance community has much to be grateful for in you Eva as an advocate and critic!

Eva Yaa Asantewaa said...

Hey! Thanks, Amber!

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