Rest in Peace….
Some people’s work inspire movements, some save lives, some remind us that we are essential and provide balm to our wounded spirit, and some make us strong and fierce, Womanist scholar Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon‘s life and work did all this and more!!! Rest In Peace!!!
There is a Black Arts Movement on the way in Antwerp, Belgium at Zomerfabriek Mama’s Open Mic. Recently I had the opportunity to witness young Black Belgians women read poetry and prose from their toolbox for survival and flourishing in a sexist and racist society. Although my digital notepad failed and I no longer have their names I want to send out good vibes to this community of poets and musicians.
Some years ago (no need to mention how many), I began a journey with the explicit translation of text to movement/dance. If I am being honest, my choreographic process, for as far back as I can remember, always began with the translation of the images in my head and/or sensations in my body to text. I would then, through numerous studio sessions, translate the text to movement/dance and in the process sculpt out the essence of a story. It is for this reason, I have journal loads of choreo-text, some became fully realized dance works, while others await their dance life.
My collaboration with Joanne Kilgour Dowdy began in the latter years of the 1990s when we were both based at Georgia State University. In that first collaboration we translated her PhD dissertation to dance. During subsequent years we collaborated on other projects, one of which was Carmen Montana: a story of literacy on the move. Base on the true story of an adult literacy student’s struggle to gain literacy and self actualize, the making of Carmen Montana took Dowdy and I on our own powerful journey. On this video the then Dr. Dowdy, now Professor of Literacy Studies School of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies at Kent State University, Ohio, interviews me about the rehearsal process of Carmen Montana: a story of literacy on the move.
Halifu Osumare in conversation with Ruthlyn Salomons, Resident Dance Supervisor at Lion King On Broadway, former dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Mikhail Baryshnikov White Oak Dance Project, Donald Byrd/The Group and Assistant to the Choreographer of The Color Purple on Broadway. At Gavin Brown, Osumare and Salomons discussed Dancing in Blackness, A Memoir.
A surprise audience guest, the amazing Sylvia Waters
Halifu Osumare speaks with graduate students and dance educators at The JODY -the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program at Hunter College of the City of New York.
Dancing in Blackness, A Memoir
An amazing reunions!!
Halifu Osumare and Ntozake Shange interviewed by Wuyi Jacobs, host of Afrobeat, on WBAI.
The reading at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. Osumare read from Dancing in Blackness, A Memoir and Shange read from Wild Beauty: New and Selected Poems; they then engaged in stirring conversation.
Halifu Osumare inaugural speaker at The Jody, the new dance research center at Hunter College, Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program.
In early March, I took on the task of organizing the NYC tour and launch of Professor Halifu Osumare’s newest book, Dancing in Blackness, A Memoir. It is now two week to the opening event on May 17th, 2018 from 3:00 – 5:00 at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter , where Halifu Osumare will be join by her lifelong friend Ntozake Shange.
The authors will read from their newest publications, Shange released Wild Beauty: New and Selected Poem in late 2017, and enter into conversation about the intersections of their lives and careers, highlighting ways in which dance nurture and fortify them as artist, activists, and educators. Come join Osumare and Shange on this first stop of Dancing in Blackness, A Memoir book tour! Reservations are highly recommended. Click HERE to make your reservation.
But if you cannot make it…
Join Osumare on May 18, 2018 at 6:30 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, Harlem location – 439 west 127 Street. Osumare will read from Dancing in Blackness, A Memoir surrounded by Arthur Jaffe”s exhibit AIR ABOVE MOUNTAINS, UNKNOWN PLEASURES –
in which Jaffe “expansively extends his exploration of ontological Blacknuss* as a generative and pluripontantial phenomenon—one capable of addressing the social stresses weight, fissures and breaks of being Black—and concomitantly, Black Being and Thingification—in the world” Greg Tate, 2017.
Osumare’s Dancing in Blackness, A Memoir reading will engage visual arts and dance as co-collaborators in the making and deployment of blackness as an audacious response to experiences of living-while-black in contemporary western spaces. Make your reservation at RSVP@GavinBrown.Biz, or call 212/627-5258
But, if you cannot make it to this event …
Join Osumare on May 21, 2018 in Brooklyn at Greenlight Bookstore, 632 Flatbush AveBrooklyn, NY 11225 location. Co-hosted by Urban Bush Women, Osumare will read from Dancing in Blackness, A Memoir and enter into conversation with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Founding Artistic Director and Chief Visioning Officer of Urban Bush Women. Osumare and Zollar’s conversaton will highlight dance as a tool for community building and social justice. Reserve your seat through the following Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/2476394135919639/
Reward yourself... Make it to one of more stops on Dancing in Blackness, A Memoir NYC Book Tour!! You will get sustainable fuel for living a dance inspired life, and tools to build the better world many persons of goodwill truly seek.