Your piece, built from your carefully crafted but wonderfully wild choreographic choices, reminded me that art exists (as the novelist Milan Kundera said) 'to preserve the ambiguities'. – South Hadley, MA
I was perfectly happy just letting my brain sink into this meditative wonderland where Eastern and Western sensibilities are clearly at odds but also have their similarities…may be the most fascinating thing I've seen all year. – Houston, TX
I frequently wondered what cultural cues or layers of traditions I was missing but in the end, I decided to let go and absorb it as dance in and of itself. I appreciated the willingness of the choreographer and dancers to mutually cross over the cultural divide. We need more of that in our world. – Amherst, MA
I moved from elated to devastated to thoughtful to energized to exhausted to silly to overwhelmed and on and on…. As a dancer and as a human being, I am so grateful and inspired and heartbroken and enriched by what you shared with us. – San Francisco, CA
I still haven't quite exited the work, such was its exquisite power. Kudos for co-creating such a special experience in this noisy world. – Brooklyn, NY
[The dancers] "play" themselves, in front of us, and ask us to feel what we feel, as we contemplate what they feel, how their bodies move, what sounds they make. If we are uncomfortab
le, uneasy, sad, they ask us to notice those feelings rather than run away from them. This alone makes How Can You Stay an all too rare cultural work. – St. Paul, MN
Residencies like these – which provide time, space and equipment – are essential to the artists' creative process on complex projects like Nameless forest. They also give the public a chance to directly experience that process. A shout out to our partners in these residencies, which reflect the producer-artist-presenter collaboration at its most fruitful.
Embarking on her new project, MIRIAM, Nora Chipaumire is driven by concerns that are artistic, personal, sociological and historical – what particular challenges must an African woman negotiate to have a full creative life? She's pursuing this question as she researches the life and work of South African artist and activist Miriam Makeba, and mines her own history:
Being a dance artist is not the narrative I could have dreamt for myself as a young girl in Harare (Zimbabwe).
Dance has allowed me to accept the "chip on my shoulder" (as the poor African girl). The choice between Family and Dance continues to give me deep opportunities for self-discovery and disclosure, and a method through which to proclaim my freedom: that is, like Miriam Makeba, the capacity to envision, and to start, something new.
in the community
Hundreds of people came out for the "WeDaPeoples" Cabaret at Harlem Stage (in NYC) in September, a lively evening of music, dance, poetry, and video supported by MAPP's America Project. "WeDaPeoples" was first created by Sekou Sundiata as a chance to mix art and activism – to "dance to the revolution." Poet Carl Hancock Rux curated an evening of electrifying performances – with Toshi Reagon, Queen Esther, Helga Davis, and Greg Tate to name just a few – to inspire hope in the face of challenging times, and ignite a passion for action and change.
I was humbled by the invitation to participate in "Acting Together on the World Stage: A Conference on Theatre and Peace Building in Conflict Zones." The event was a monumental achievement, bringing together more than 300 people, with artists and arts practitioners from over 30 countries, many who take life and death risks for their art as they navigate governments, bureaucracies, and armies in their efforts to make positive world change. I was struck by the no-holds barred honesty that characterized the conversations and the presentations, as together we imagined pathways to peace through art practice.
And, don't miss David Soll's new film, Puppet, which follows MAPP artist Dan Hurlin in the creation of his award-winning show, Disfarmer. Catch the world premiere at DOC NYC in early November.
in the world
Cathy and Ann head to Nairobi, Kenya, for the Building Equitable Partnerships meeting organized by The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium and hosted by the GoDown Arts Centre. Consortium members and GoDown leaders will be joined by artists – Panaibra Gabriel and Maria Helena Pinto from Mozambique; Faustin Linyekula from Democratic Republic of Congo (that's part of the arts complex he's building in the picture above!); Boyzie Cekwana from South Africa; and Opiyo Okach from Nairobi – to conceive a possible program of long-term, multi-directional cultural exchange.
MAPP's first benefit was a great success! Organized by our super Board member David Gibson and hosted by David's partner at TWO TWELVE, Ann Harakawa, the evening was a warm celebration of MAPP's long, productive relationship with Ralph Lemon and Cross Performance. Many thanks to our Board and Benefit Committee members, and to all the friends – old and new – who joined us.
New season, new intern! MAPP welcomes Maegan Keller, who immediately got her feet wet working at the benefit. Denisa Musilova, a wonderful intern who has been with us since the spring, is sadly (for us) moving on, and we wish her well.
Photo credits: Ralph Lemon; Julie Alexander and Kayvon Pourazar in Tyler Tyler by Alexandra Corrazza; Gesel Mason and David Thomson by Antoine Tempé; Nameless forest by Tim Trumble; WeDaPeoples Cabaret by Vaughn Browne; Les Studios Kabako, Democratic Republic of Congo by Faustin Linyekula.