FSU Alumnus Choreographic Fellow | 2020 - 2021
Darrell Jones is currently MANCC’s year-long FSU Alumnus Fellow, furthering his archival research around the work of his late father, Dr. William R. Jones, who was an internationally recognized and celebrated activist, scholar, philosopher, theologian, and educator. The first Director of the Black Studies program at FSU, Dr. Jones dedicated his long career to the analysis and methods of oppression, and to working with others in their anti-oppression initiatives. A fundamental part of his work was the exploration of religious humanism and liberation theology.
William’s line of research has been highly influential in the development of Darrell’s thinking as an artist. As William’s tools were often words and speech, Darrell's are cellular, embodied, and expressed mainly in the physical and three-dimensional world. Through his own research of experimenting and analyzing oppression as it lives in the body, Darrell has sought to excavate how individuals accumulate identity and mirror culture through movement. His materials have explored the imprint of societal oppression on bodies around the intersections of race and gender with tactics of employing rigorous tasks in the studio to discover choreographic material that arises when the body is pushed to the edges.
While at MANCC, Darrell continues to work through these physical lines of inquiry, while also navigating his father’s office space, which houses an extensive archive encompassing authored books and articles, a large selection of research books, taped lectures, and 35 years of teaching materials around mechanisms of oppression and the intersectionality of race, gender, and class. During his first month in residence, he met with Katie McCormick, Associate Dean of Libraries for Special Collections and Archives at FSU, and Rory Grennan, FSU Manuscripts Archivist, to continue discussions surrounding this vast archive. Darrell maintains a personal interest in cataloging these materials as a creative tool with applications in movement research and as a model in embodied archival processes. The process of archiving his father’s work with his own creative applications is concurrent with these conversations around choreographic archival materials.
In addition, Darrell worked via remote means with Ralph Lemon, with whom he has had a longtime artistic relationship, for one week in January 2021. With Darrell working in both the dance studio and proscenium theater and with Ralph on zoom, they explored improvisational material and the use of a multi-camera feed.
A longtime collaborator with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar (Urban Bush Women), Bebe Miller (Bebe Miller Dance Company), as well as Lemon, Darrell is currently involved in several gatherings around ‘living’ archives. In addition to these gatherings and conversations, Lemon joined Jones in the studio as well as in the proscenium theatre via remote means from January 11-15, 2021.
Darrell Jones’ remote work with choreographer Ralph Lemon was supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.