Last summer while still performing with Sarasota Contemporary Dance, I was introduced to “Physical Theatre“, a genre of theatrical performance that encompasses storytelling primarily through physical movement, by Award wining Choreographer Kwesi Johnson. Little did I know this was something that I had been implementing in my work for many years. I always tell people “I’m not a choreographer, I just have something to say”. Physical theatre has always intrigued me even before I knew it had an official name.
I remember back when I was in my second year at The Juilliard School, We had to create work for a dance composition class. Well one of my first pieces was tiled “The only one: Push”. This solo work was danced by me, the poem performed by the now very famous actress Rutina Wesley, a singer did some ooh and aah, and the text itself was written by the late Nelsan Ellis. I created this work at that time to question why there were so few African American women in the dance department. In the Fall of 2013 and the Spring of 2014 I created a work on the ST. Petersburg College Dance Students that both included original text inspired by the dancers that touched base on relationships and not being able to let go and choose between right and wrong. There were two other opportunities leading up to the present where I also used physical theatre to say something I felt that really needed to be said. One might even call me a Dance Preacher. HaHaHaHa!!! I crack myself up sometimes!!!
I find myself really inspired by the work of Lloyd Newson, the artistic director and choreographer of DV8, a London based physically integrated dance company. We know that we are accustomed to dancers only dancing and not really using their voices to help tell a story. My continued goal is to create work were the dancers will perform to the fullest all while speaking full length monologues, telling stories or reciting poetry.
In the up coming performance of Journey to Freedom I continue to explore physical theatre using my dancers and spoken word Artist to help enhance their stories and testimonies of life’s struggles and how we can overcome. Click Play to take a sneak peak!
Don’t miss your chance to witness my very fist professional choreographic and directorial debut of “Who I AM: Journey to Freedom” Opening September 20th & 21st at First Unity Spiritual Campus 7:30 p.m. nightly. Tickets now available at Eventbrite
Thanks for tuning in!