Visiting Artist | Site Visit October 13 - 15, 2017 / March 4 - 17, 2018
Let ‘im Move You: This Is a Formation
Jumatatu Poe comes to MANCC for his first residency to develop Let ‘im Move You: This Is a Formation, a new dance work drawing from J-Sette, a dance form with origins in southern drill teams, made popular on majorette lines at historically Black universities and on independent squads in the gay African American club scene. In collaboration with J-Sette performer Jermone “Donte” Beacham, Poe will develop and direct a series of projects informed by this dance form and its performance codes to examine the idea of “team” in performance. The piece will incorporate live and manipulated video design that will reference pop-star-scale megalomania and the hyper-surveillance of Black bodies, and live DJ-ing that will transform familiar pop and club beats into non-traditional time signatures. While Let ‘im Move You will be staged in black box theaters and white box gallery spaces, Poe and Beacham will also organize intervention performances in historically and/or predominately Black neighborhoods, testing the boundaries of propriety and belonging in these settings. Throughout, the project will confront the historic imaginations and limitations of such respective spaces.
While at MANCC, Poe and Beacham will explore how to and where to stage these outdoor guerilla performances in cities governed by car culture. The artists will also continue their work of figuring out how to move the work into new environments and communities with varying laws of governance (stated or assumed).
The artists will utilize MANCC’s black box theater to test integrations of live DJed sound and manipulated media design. Poe and Beacham will also engage with FAMU’s Diamond Dance team to further explore J-sette culture. The artists will be joined by two groups of dancers - one group rehearsing in the south (Dallas) who are dancers trained in club aesthetics, and one group rehearsing in the north (Philly) who are dancers trained in contemporary Africanist dance form aesthetics - who perform at an intersection of masculine and feminine embodiments. Other collaborators in residence in addition to the project’s DJ and video designer will include a researcher, contextualizer and agitator guide, and an ethical artistry guide.
As a part of MANCC’s Embedded Writers Initiative, Poe and his collaborators will be joined by Jasmine Johnson who is an Assistant Professor of Theater Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University. This initiative, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is designed to support the re-imaging of dance writing conventions in order to better respond to and engage with a wider range of ever-evolving contemporary forms.
Poe and Johnson will come to Tallahassee for a two and a half day pre-residency site visit October 13-15, 2017 in order to begin to lay the groundwork for their spring residency that will include community interactions.
Painted Bride Art Center will produce the premiere of Let ‘im Move You in August 2018.