Artistic Statement

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Artistic Statement

I am incited to speak through dance, about that which is most pressing in my purview.  The body is a vessel, and as the best primary source material to inform certain stories, I use the sights, smells, sounds and contextual material that I have come in contact with to fine tune and influence my voice.  As a scholar and choreographer, I use the techniques that are most relevant to the topics I wish to explore in order to address the agendas I wish to shed light on.  Born in Brooklyn, with parents of Caribbean descent, my lens is unique in that I stand in a world with one foot in a more traditional conservative grounding with the other placed in a world plagued with a renegade, apathetic spirit.  It is in my work that I reconcile this footing.  I believe that all dance has a message, and should engage performers, advocates, and students, to think differently about life and take action based on the dance experience that they are privy to, whether it is researching a new topic or taking time for self reflection.  Arts activism is at the center of my scholarly and creative self.  

My movement and written work is not necessarily about showing beauty, as it is about speaking to honesty.  I seek freedom in my work, as I create movement vocabulary that fits the energy, pace and emotional needs of this contemporary world.  As a choreographic and scholarly guide, I employ certain principles in my movement and writing:

Love your mission…Be honest...Feel the truth in the body…Seek peace…Be truthful to the message of the work

Grounded in the movement and ideology of neo-traditional and contemporary African dance forms, I blend hip-hop, house, Guinea based dance, Sabar, and Umfundalai into a rich tapestry of social and emotional movement experiences.  While engaging the body through variations of speeds, levels and directions, in the midst of precise cues and quick directional changes, I work to make room for the mover and the observer to make personal connections to the theme itself.  My creative research process is deeply supported by the reading of; various articles, historical fact, anthropological theory; video watching, and discussion.  This critical level of research cannot be eliminated as it allows the work to be strengthened, becoming more potent and relevant for the mover and audience.   

Through my choreography, teaching and scholarly work, I hope to become a living library as so many of my mentors are.  I am enamored by the pure joy that comes through dance, and work to share these gifts with those who are also moved to receive it.  It is through my constant engagement with the moving text of dance that I create an opportunity to heal and incite change.