Edisa Weeks / DELIRIOUS Dances

Edisa Weeks is a Brooklyn, NY based choreographer, educator, curator and founder of DELIRIOUS Dances. She creates intimate environments that merge theater with dance to explore our deepest desires, darkest fears and sweetest dreams. Described by the New York Times as having “a gift for simple but striking visual effects,” her work has been performed in a variety of venues including Aaron Davis Hall, Alfred University, chashama theater, Dixon Place, Emory University, Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum, Harlem Stage, Inside/Out at Jacob's Pillow, The Kennedy Center, The Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, The Mermaid Parade, The National Black Arts Festival, Summerstages Dance Festival, and The Yard. She has also performed in swimming pools, senior centers, sidewalks, storefront windows and various living rooms, including living rooms in Berlin, Germany, as part of Haus der Kulturen der Welts 50th anniversary celebration.

Edisa choreographed for the play Novenas for a Lost Hospital (2019) by Cusi Cram, Dir. Daniella Topol, at Rattlestick Theater; and The Transfiguration of Benjamin Banneker (2020) by Theodora Skiptares at La Mama Theater. Edisa appeared in the movie “Rachel Getting Married”, Dir. Jonathan Demme, and has been on the cover of several magazines including Wired and La Fotografia. She grew up in Uganda, Papua New Guinea and Brooklyn, NY. She has a BA from Brown University, and received a full fellowship to attend New York University’s TISCH School of the Arts where she obtained an MFA in choreography. She has had the joy of performing with Annie–B Parsons Big Dance Theater, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co., Dance Brazil, Jane Comfort, Jon Kinzel, Muna Tseng, Reggie Wilson Fist & Heel Performance Group, Sally Silvers, Spencer/Colton Dance, among others.

She is on the Board of Directors for Movement Research, and been a panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts, the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and other funding organizations, and served on the Bessie Committee which recognizes outstanding dance and performance in NYC from 2014-2018. Edisa has taught at the Alvin Ailey School, Bard College, Brigham Young University, Brooklyn Friends High School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Milwaukee University, Princeton University, Saint Ann's High School, and currently is an Associate Professor of Dance at Queens College, where she teaches modern technique, improvisation, choreography and mentors students. In summer 2020 she is teaching a Physical Theater course at Stella Adler Studio of Acting as part of the Self-Generated Theater Intensive.

Visiting Artist | February 25 - March 11th, 2020

3 RITES: Life, Liberty, Happiness

New York-based multimedia artist Edisa Weeks will come to MANCC for the first time to develop her latest work THREE RITES: Life, Liberty, Happiness. The work will be a seven-hour interdisciplinary interactive experience that integrates live music, dance, text, two visual installations, shared meals and community conversations to examine how America has protected, promoted, and pursued life, liberty and happiness, and how these rights manifest in the body. During her time at MANCC, Weeks will specifically focus on the Liberty section of the work.

Connected like a puppet to objects that have informed the Black experience in America (bible, black dildo, blonde wig, sneakers, watermelon, gun, lightbulb), Edisa Weeks in this solo performance alternates between black face, white face, storytelling, and visceral dance to dig into the pathologizing of African Americans and the foundations of liberty in America. She is currently writing stories about the seven objects and, throughout her time at MANCC, will embody the stories through movement and songs that engage with the audience. As our nation continues to grapple with confederate monuments, fake news, economic stratification and the killing of Black people, THREE RITES: Liberty both humorously and poignantly insists on a reckoning with our past and present.

While in residence, Weeks plans to visit the Knot House Museum in Tallahassee, where a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation took place on May 20, 1865. She will also host a Roots Party, where people are invited to join her in the journey of making 1,865 roots out of paper and twine; and will connect with scholars on campus whose research focuses on American Minstrelsy, Orishas, and depictions of African-Americans in the media.

The full work, THREE RITES: Life, Liberty, Happiness, will premiere in Brooklyn, NY, in Fall 2021.

  • Photos Coming Soon

Collaboarators in Residence: You-Shin Chen [Set Designer], Jerome Dent [Writer], Sarita Fellows [Costume Designer], Rebecca Fitton [Community Programs Coordinator], James Scruggs [Creative Advisor], Marya Whethers [Producer]

Featured Artist

Rosie Herrera

Make Believe
March 16 - 20
Arts Center in
Sheboygan, WI


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