Visiting Artist | February 6 – 10, 2023 // March 6 – 19, 2023
Divination Tools: imagine home
Artistic Director, dance artist and choreographer Leslie Parker was born on occupied land and is deeply rooted in the neighborhood that is also named the Rondo community of St Paul, MN. She came to MANCC from February 7 to 10 to conduct two workshops and make connections with community activists and healers, followed by a longer residency from March 6 to 19, during which she, alongside her collaborative team, further developed her ongoing project Call to Remember, with the current iteration now entitled Divination Tools: imagine home.
While Parker was in residence in February, she offered FSU’s School of Dance a Black Dance Improvisation (BDI) workshop, followed by a second workshop open to all while primarily focusing on Black, Brown, Native, Indigenous and People of Color. Both workshops gave the participating students insight into her movement process while also aiding Parker’s further development of Divination Tools: imagine home.
Parker’s March residency consisted of her working alongside her collaborative team of Black musicians, femme dance artists, dramaturg and embedded writer to continue her exploration of multiple perspectives on improvisation through a Black femme lens, as she furthered the development of Divination Tools: imagine home. She also engaged with FSU’s School of Dance, inviting an FSU School of Dance graduate student, Tenisha George, to collaborate with her and her ensemble, both while at MANCC and afterwards in Minneapolis including at Walker Arts Center, for further rehearsals and performances.
While at MANCC, Parker consulted with Dr. Billy Close, Assistant Professor and Director of Service Learning and Mentoring in the College of Criminology & Criminal Justice at Florida State University; Challen Wellington, from The Center for Leadership & Social Change; April Fitzpatrick, Visual Artist and Art Therapist, and Dr. Ivanna Pengelley, Ph.D. in Science Education with a focus on equity and healing in science learning contexts, all regarding issues of social justice and the history and cultural significance of Black people within the Tallahassee community. Additionally, Parker and her collaborators engaged with site-specific locations such as Jefferson County’s Slave Canal, Lafayette Heritage Trail Park, and Lichgate on High Road in discussion about the spiritual connection between the land, water, and ancestral history to further inform Divination Tools: imagine home.
Divination Tools: imagine home will premiere at Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN, May 11- 13, 2023.