d. Sabela grimes

d. Sabela grimes, a 2014 United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow, is a trans-media storyteller, sonic ARKivist, and movement composer who cultivates the physical/meta- physical efficacies of Afribiquitous life practices. His dance theater projects consider invisibilized histories and grapple with constructed notions of masculinity and manhood. Previously, grimes co-authored and performed in Rennie Harris Puremovement’s award-winning Rome & Jewels. Since working with RHPM, Sabela has conceived, written, scored, choreographed and presented several dance theater works, Philly XP, World War WhatEver, and 40 Acres & A Microchip: Salvation or Servitude from his EXPERIMENT EARTH sound-movement triptych, and BULLETPROOF DELI an evening length solo work.  His current creative project ELECTROGYNOUS articulates that Black gender qualities are infinite, multi- dimensional and distinct manifestations of wombniversal consciousness. 

Known for using sampling as an essential sound-making method Sabela’s “soundprints” as he calls them, encompass field recordings from a variety of context (including the rehearsal process), recording commonplace objects, traditional instruments and media sound bites extracted from online media sources to activate the custom of “versioning” found in Black music traditions, playfully explore unusual ways to use technologies to create sound-shapes in an effort to stretch beyond his own notions of the form and function of modern sound design. Sabela has functioned as composer/sound designer for CONTRA-TIEMPO’s, Agua Furiosa, David Rousseve/REALITY’s, Stardust, Wideman/Davis Dance, Ruptured Silence, Meena Murugesan’s, We Used to See This and Karuppu and composer/live sound artist for Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project’s, Beautiful Struggle

Currently on faculty at USC’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, Sabela continues to cultivate, Funkamentals, a movement system he created that focuses on the methodical dance training and community building elements evident in Black vernacular and Street dance forms. Sabela loves pancakes, speculative fiction and his mama.

Visiting Artist | July 25- August 7, 2016

ELECTROGYNOUS

d. Sabela grimes came to MANCC to develop ELECTROGYNOUS, a transmedia performance work that proclaims the infinite dimensions of a Black gender spectrum. The work circulates speculative realities that counter historically imposed notions of femininity and masculinity. Through a synthesis of ancient AfroFuturistic soundscapes, video architectures, painting and kinetic poetics, ELECTROGYNOUS challenges modern systemic racism by imagining the inclusion of liberated Black bodies into the center of now, as a political act, while rendering a dynamic testament to the other worlds that Black people simultaneously inhabit.

While at MANCC, grimes, with his collaborators, explored the movement and multimedia possibilities of ELECTROGYNOUS. With a serious interest in how communities and cultures survive and prevail, grimes met with FSU History professor Dr. Jennifer Koslow to investigate the history of African-Americans in the area, namely the Smokey Hollow community in Tallahassee, a middle-class African-American community that was dismantled beginning in the 1960’s as part of a government post-World War II Urban Renewal program.

Additionally, d. Sabela grimes and his collaborators visited What Production Company in Tallahassee where renowned musician George Clinton records. Having the opportunity to immerse themselves in the funk sensibility of Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic deepened the exploration of the themes and possibilities of grimes' work. The group met with lead engineer Barry Epperson, along with several other musicians working at the studio. They were given a tour of the space, witnessed recording in progress and also listened to new, yet to be released, Parliament album. grimes and collaborators also shared elements of ELECTROGYNOUS at a public open rehearsal attended by students, FSU faculty and community members near the end of the residency.

This production residency was funded, in part, by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

  • ELECTROGYNOUS rehearsal
  • ELECTROGYNOUS rehearsal
  • ELECTROGYNOUS rehearsal
  • ELECTROGYNOUS rehearsal
  • Mr. Maxx Moses and Meena Murugesan
  • Mr. Maxx Moses
  • d. Sabela grimes and Ursula Rucker
  • d. Sabela grimes
  • Mr. Maxx Moses
  • d. Sabela grimes
  • ELECTROGYNOUS rehearsal
  • grimes and collaborators talk with FSU History professor Dr. Jennifer Koslow
  • Dr. Koslow shares Tallahassee's Smokey Hollow history
  • d. Sabela grimes visits George Clinton's What Production Company
  • What Production Company tour
  • What Production Company tour
  • Ursula Rucker
  • ELECTROGYNOUS informal showing
  • d. Sabela grimes
  • d. Sabela grimes
  • d. Sabela grimes
  • ELECTROGYNOUS informal showing
  • d. Sabela grimes
  • d. Sabela grimes
  • d. Sabela grimes
  • d. Sabela grimes

Collaboarators in Residence: Mr. Maxx Moses [Visual Artist/Performer], Meena Murugesan [Video Artist/Performer], Ursula Rucker [Writer/Performer]

Featured Artist

Rosie Herrera

Dining Alone
April 8 - 9
Dance Place, (DC)

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