Led by Ladies of Hip-Hop Executive Director Michele Byrd-McPhee and Trustee Chair LaTasha Barnes, this intersectional project captures the knowledge, beauty, and power of Black female street dancers. It seeks to look beyond the traditional lens of exposure for Black bodies in dance, which has overwhelmingly focused on Eurocentric dance aesthetics, including modern, contemporary, and ballet. The Black Dancing Bodies Project is an ongoing documentary effort to represent Black women in street and club dance culture (including street and club dance, hip-hop, house dance, Waacking, and Lite Feet) through a series of sessions that include photography and interviews.
This Works & Process bubble residency at Bethany Arts Community was a rare opportunity to gather major practitioners in support of this effort and facilitated the direly needed exchange of inspiration and transference of knowledge between dance elders (ages 50–60), innovators (ages 33–49), and young celebrants (ages 18–32). This video performance is just a sliver of the work generated in the residency which will be further manifested in books, performances, and docuseries spotlighting and preserving the beauty, strength, and lived experiences of Black women in street dance. Since hip-hop and house dance culture are themselves approximately forty or fifty years in development, the creators and elders within the community are fortunately still alive to share their knowledge and the traditions. This video featuring Michele Byrd-McPhee, Ebony Nichols, Tomoe Carr, Nadine Sylvestre, Tatiana Desardouin, Lenaya Straker, Oluwatoyin Sogunro, Reyna Nunez, Miyabi Wright, LaTasha Barnes, Deborah Conton was filmed by Loreto Jamling on the very last day of their bubble residency.
The work will premiere digitally on Sunday, April 11 at 7:30 pm ET on this page and Lincoln Center’s Facebook and YouTube as well as on Works & Process at the Guggenheim‘s Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Works & Process at Lincoln Center
Works & Process, the performing arts series at the Guggenheim, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts present three newly commissioned video performances developed during Works & Process bubble residencies at Bethany Arts Community, Catskill Mountain Foundation, and Mount Tremper Arts that were sequenced directly into filming on location at The New York Public Library at Lincoln Center, facilitated by the Jerome Robbins Dance Division. Click here to learn more »