2022 Move to Change 7:30pm Program Notes
Logo Credit: Shaun Tubbs; An AAPI cis identifying man standing on his left leg while pushing his extended right leg away with both arms facing upstage of the audience. A Black American cis identifying woman is kneeling while reaching with both of her arms in Eagle Pose, and her torso is leaning towards her thighs facing downstage of the audience.
Move to Change uses dance as a form of social justice and arts activism through the lens of BIPOC choreographers and dance filmmakers. The goal of Move to Change is to create cultural and gender affirming spaces for artists of color (African, Latina/o/x, Asian, Arab, Native American [ALAANA]), MENA (Middle East & North Africa), & SWANA (South West Asia & North Africa) to educate, empower, and illuminate issues that reflects their histories and cultures through their unique and rich movement aesthetics. This year’s themes are Joy embodied in Black & Brown Bodies and Love interpreted through the lens of BIPOC choreographers & dance filmmakers.
Choreographed by: Robenson Mathurin
Performed by: Robenson Mathurin, Marla Nicole Robertson, Abigail Dunning-Perry, Sarah Josephine Bernard, Gabrielle Alexis Barnes, Nathalie Excellent
Music: Live drumming by Kriyol Vodou Band
IG : @robensondancehaiti
FB: Robenson Mathurin
Robenson is a New York-based dance artist performing, choreographing, and teaching Haitian Folklore, Contemporary, Modern, Jazz, and Afro-based dance styles. Since 2012, he has been a principal dancer in the international Compagnie de Danse Jean Rene Delsoin, based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, through which he has toured in the USA, Trinidad, and Taiwan. In 2017, he created the platform "Robenson Dance & Fitness" to support better health and dance training in Haiti and abroad, and in 2021, he created the course “Rabòday Fit” taught regularly at Fit4Dance studios in Brooklyn, NY. His goal is to spread joy by building awareness of Afro-diaspora dance and exchanging with fellow dance artists in this industry. Mathurin has worked with US-based companies including but not limited to Jean Appolon Expressions and Kriyol Dance! Collective. He has also choreographed for top Haitian artists including Ruthshelle Guillame, Darline Desca, and Roody Roodboy. He continues to expand his choreographic portfolio and training through international teaching opportunities and residencies including the Mark Morris Teaching Artist Training Program and dance studies at The Taylor School. Robenson is currently an artist-in-residence with Haiti Cultural Exchange’s Lakou NOU 2022 Program.
Piece Description: PASAJ (passage in Haitian Creole) uses Petwo, a dance of fire in Haitian folklore tradition, to demonstrate the duality of strength and softness Black people experience. Representing a group of migrants, the dancers individually and as a group leverage the Petwo energy to support each other, seek justice, and find joy in their collective strength.
the (((end))) of the world as we (((knew))) it
Choreographed & Performed by: Edgar L. Page
Music: Jealous, Labrinth
Edgar L. Page comes from legacies celebrating the African Diaspora and Black Modern Dance traditions. A Detroit-Native, he earned his BA in Dance from Western Michigan University. Upon graduation, Page spent a season with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Second Company before joining the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, touring domestically and internationally for a decade. With graceful prowess, Mr. Page shifted his focus in 2018, establishing Edgar L. Page: Feel the Movement, an intersectional, multigenerational movement arts initiative. Page received the 2021 Denver Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Arts and Culture for Innovation and continues his endeavors towards curating equitable, protected dance spaces, gaining nourishment from the 2022 cohorts of the Intercultural Leadership Institute and the NCCAkron CAR Program. Mr. Page became an Assistant Professorship at Grand Valley State University in the Fall of 2022.
Piece Description: *loving you was like going to war, I never came back the same*
What do you say after losing someone you've held dear for so long? 20 years of a love so full, so deep, and so rich with lessons...then it was gone. I curated this artifact to process, to cope, and to heal. May we never forget what became "the (((end))) of the world as we (((knew))) it."
Japanese Zoom-Bah Humbug
Collaborators: Janet Aisawa, Osamu Uehara/Japanese Rumba choreography after Kenny Teh/Trans-Am Japan choreography after Lee Easton
Pronouns: she (Janet); her/he, him (Osamu)
Performed by: Janet Aisawa & Osamu Uehara
Music: Sound Collage-Osamu Uehara/ Jerry F Miller, "Japanese Rhumba" performed by Brad & Boyd Coulter; Jerry Reed, "East Bound and Down"
Video Editing: Henry Hills
Special Guest: Choro
Thank you to Carolyn Lord
Osamu Uehara has a BA in Music/’Theatre/Physic/Mathematics from Cornell University and a MFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has staged works for many choreographers and staged full length productions of ballets. Trained as a musician and schooled in lighting and theatrical design, he also handles the costuming, music editing and technical needs of his and other companies.
Janet Aisawa is a choreographer and dancer based in New York City. She has created several full length performances which were shown in New York City, London, and Jeffersonville, NY.
Piece Description: Wet-Lather-Scrub-Rinse-Repeat
Choreographed by: Jackie Bennett
Performed by: Jackie Bennett and Kennedy Isaac
Music: Stand Up-Cynthia Erivo Brown Skin Girl- Beyonce, Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, Wizkid (Please note the artist does own the rights to the music)
Vocals: Maya Angelou - Phenomenal Woman
Assisted in Editing: Kristin Taylor Duncan
FB: Jackie Bennett
Jackie Bennett is an independent artist from Durham, North Carolina. She is currently working towards her MFA in Dance at Hollins University. The best form of contact is via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dance Film Description: This work is dedicated to the many Black and Brown women and girls who identified, owned, and enjoyed their beauty in a world that acted as if it did not exist and those that struggled and/or are continuing to struggle to do so.
Choreographed by: Ankita Sharma
Performed by: Kaila Ablao & Ankita Sharma
Music: Original Score by Max Sarkowsky with "Dream Brother" (Nag Champa Mix)
Ankita is a bold emerging artist interested in creating genre-resistant performance that holds meaning for diverse audiences. They invest in mining shades of darkness with visceral, immersive work so that audiences can reckon with the uncomfortable and leave reflecting in new ways. Physically, their movement practices are rooted in and influenced by contemporary dance, dance theater, and forms from both the South Asian and African diaspora. Ankita holds a B.A. in Dance and Anthropology and resides in Brooklyn, having shown work in California, Colorado, and along the East Coast.
Piece Description: Two shadows stuck in their grief, exploring the anatomy of a relationship filled with violence and care.
"Close to the Bone"
Directed, Choreographed, & Performed by: Anabella Lenzu
Vocals: Anabella Lenzu
Videographer and Editor: Todd Carroll
Script: Anabella Lenzu
IG, FB, & Twitter: @AnabellaLenzu
Originally from Argentina, Anabella Lenzu is a dancer, choreographer, writer and teacher with over 30 years of experience working in Argentina, Chile, Italy, and the USA.
Lenzu directs her own company, Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama (ALDD), which since 2006 has presented 400 performances, created 15 choreographic works and performed at 100 venues, presenting thought provoking and historically conscious dance-theater in NYC.
As a choreographer, she has been commissioned all over the world for opera, TV programs, theatre productions, and by many dance companies. She has produced and directed several award-winning short dance films and screened her work in over 200 festivals both nationally and internationally.
Dance Film Description: Close to the Bone, a short film by Anabella Lenzu, exposes the inner dialogue of an artist in the examination of the creative process. Lenzu shows the struggles, the desires, and the internal contradictions that make visible the vulnerability of the performer.
I’m a real man (Boys Will Be Boys)
Choreographed by: Randolph Ward
Performed by: Stephen Saint Louis
Music: Black Woman by Alan Lomax, Hush Little Baby-Artist Unknown
Special Acknowledgements & Thanks:
This theatrical, vulnerable, and powerful evening Boys Will Be Boys first premiered July 10, 2021 at the Sandrell Rivers Theater in partnership with the Fantasy Factory Theater with support from the Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs, Capital Arts Partnership, and the Miami Urban Contemporary Experience.
Special thanks to Ina Charles(Executive Director), Ashlee Thomas, Lowell Willams, Herb Sosa, Herb Staples, Marcus Reamer, Ruth Wiesen, Samantha Henry, Joy Smith, Joan Moorehead, Ramon Hill,
Richard Quinones, and Patrick Breshike for your continued support.
Born and raised in Miami, Fl Randolph's love of dance and teaching began here. The Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, New World School of the Arts, Miami City Ballet School, and the San Francisco Ballet School all laid the foundation for a 15-year dance career that has taken him across the United States and through Europe and Asia.
Randolph was featured on Pointe Magazine's 2003 V.I.P. and a 2005-2006 Columbus Arts Council Choreographic Winner for his piece When Death Knocks. He has been reviewed in ``Dance Magazine'' by noted dance critic Nancy Wozny who said of Randolph's performance in'' The Afternoon of a Faun: "Randolph Ward's animal-like prowess gives the piece its bite".
From 2011-2017, Mr. Ward was a soloist with the Saarländisches Staatstheater in Saarbrücken, Germany. He created a new work for Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami's 2019 Lab Theater Series entitled "What makes a man"? Randolph Ward is the creator, producer, and choreographer of the full dance evening A Vogue Extravaganza. This evening was featured on 91.3 NPR by WLRN reporter Nadege Green. Ward is a 2019-2020 Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Choreographs' (DMC) Award recipient and a 2021 Legends Honors Award recipient, and a Miami Light Project Her & Now 2022 commissioned artist.
Piece Description: In his own words, choreographer Randolph Ward states, “this work takes inspiration from my own life as a young black gay male, growing up in Liberty City and studying classical ballet. The performance confronts a world dominated by masculine toxicity and explores the question:where is it safe for a man to express, to be gentle, to cry, to be seen? The socialization of boys is one that fosters and normalizes violence. This work peels back the mask of masculinity”.
Choreographed by: Jenny Boissiere
Performed by: Sarah Hillmon and Jessica Robling
Music: 5 Arp by Michael Wall
Jenny Boissiere is a Washington Heights based choreographer. Originally from New Orleans, Jenny creates dances for stage, screen, and unconventional spaces. In 2016, she created DanceBoissiere, an all-women dance theater collective, out of a need to give women creative space to tell their stories. She is an inaugural recipient of the Mertz Gilmore Foundation and UMEZ Seed Fund for Dance (2022), UMEZ Arts Engagement Grant (2022, 2019), and LMCC Creative Engagement Grant (2021, 2019). Jenny’s work has been presented at Little Island, Fort Washington Park, Gibney Dance Center, Peridance Center, Dixon Place, and Abrons Art Center.
Piece Description: This piece is about savoring each moment, embrace, or dance we get to share. It’s a moment in time to cultivate joy, empathy, and encouragement.
"The Fairytale Project"
Director/Choreographer: Stacey Allen
Director: Keda Sharber
Performed by: LaKendra Howard, Courtney Allen, & Mia Hall
Cast: Delphine Baldon, Angela Baldon, Jayla Sanders, Sean Campbell, Chase Allen Sr., Chase Allen Jr., Zora Allen, & John Allen
IG: @staceydances_ @niasdaughters
FB: Nia’s Daughters
Stacey Allen creates community through public movement art. Stacey receive a BA in Dance from Sam Houston State University and a MA in Cross Cultural Studies from University of Houston Clear Lake. Stacey's choreographic perspective is to create works that are culturally competent and incorporate social justice and activism and embrace non-traditional theatergoers. From starting with Urban Souls Dance Company to co-founding Pretty Cultured to leading Nia’s Daughters Movement Collective, her work is to be delivered back to the people. Stacey serves as the Director of Artistic Programming at Harris County Cultural Arts Council.
Dance Film Description: "The Fairytale Project" is a live dance theater production that chronicles the lives, legacies, and love of Jim and Winnie Shankle, founders of the Texas Freedom Colony, Shankleville. This film, which opened the performance, is a love letter to people of African descent with roots in the South.
You don't have to love me, just accept me
Choreographed & Performed by: Sara Pizzi & Aika Takeshima
Pronouns: she/her (both)
Music: For Roses - MANOID
IG & FB: @saraikamovementcollective
sarAika is a movement collective based in New York since 2021, funded by Aika Takeshima and Sara Pizzi. Their art is a form of activism, documenting key issues and topics, highlighting how we may change, creating space for reflection. In order to achieve their mission of helping people find more freedom & possibilities in themselves, they make art about and for humans, breaking the concept of standard performance creating collaborative, conceptual, interactive art experiences. Coming from a polyhedral education, Sara & Aika based their choreography on contemporary dance, partnering, floor-work, improvisation skills, story telling, conceptual art and street style influences.
Piece Description: You don’t have to love me, just accept me(my existence).
I acknowledge we cannot agree with everything or everyone.
But We have to respect each other’s existence or boundaries.
We cannot hurt people. Hurting someone is meaningless.
Accepting everyone’s existence is called “coexisting”.
In this piece, We want to express this message:
We are totally different, and this is our power and best quality, acceptance for diversity and exploring the unknown is what makes progress and beauty.
Tell Somebody I AM…
Choreographed by: Pamela Tetteh
Performed by: Pamela Tetteh, Nathalie Adjei, Niaa Imani, Arthur Carter
Music: Tell Somebody by Yemi Alade and the Yaba Buluku Boyz
Videographer: Crick Visuals
Location Inspiration and Usage: WeeksVille Heritage Center
IG: @_pamwinee_ @mela.productions
Ghanaian, Bronx, NYC native & Burlington/Winooski VT Student Pamela Tetteh is a 22-year-old Creative (Dancer, Choreographer, Director, Visualist, etc..) She has been dancing ever since she could walk and teaching since she was 13 years old. She teaches and focuses on the genres of Hip-hop, Jazz, Contemporary, African, Afrobeats/AfroFusion, Step, Praise, etc... She loves teaching and dancing because it's her God-given calling and she absolutely loves sharing her passion with anyone who is wanting to embrace who they are and who they can be in the world of dance.
Dance Film Description: A visual/film that focuses on highlighting the African diaspora within us. Using our bodies as mechanisms and storytellers. Speaking through the art of music and dance. Empowering who we are and what we are taking control over in our lives. Reannouncing our power while recognizing the power within one another.
Telling Somebody, telling ourselves, telling the world who we are and what we have to offer. That we are enough and worth more than what the eye sees. Creating a safe space within ourselves, others, and the physical spaces we engage in and encounter. Becoming one and also becoming our true selves. Connecting ourselves within the spiritual & physical realm of one's body, music, movement & heart.
Sweet Seventies’ Suite, Sections 1 & 4
Choreographed by: Leah Tubbs
Performed by: Sharayah Spruill. Courtney Stewart, Leah Tubbs, & Imani Vieira
Music: Donny Hathaway & Strive Wonder
Facebook: MODArts Dance Collective
Birmingham, AL native & Harlem resident Leah Tubbs studied dance at Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA) and the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. She has had the great opportunity to work as a professional artist with numerous dance companies, as well as currently holding the roles of teaching artist and arts educator. Leah and her husband, Shaun, established MODArts Dance Collective, Inc. (MADC) in 2011 to hold space for BIPOC artists and communities through its choreographic work, festivals, concerts, workshops, and residencies.
Piece Description: Sweet Seventies’ Suite explores the evolution of grief & loss of a loved one while sustaining unconditional love for them.
Gratitude and Thanks
MADC would like to thank our donors & Patreon supporters for our 2022 season: Anonymous (3), Sharon Banks, Paul Brill, William-Michael Cooper, Zoe Correa, Mallory Creveling, Megan Curet, Lindi Duesenberg, Sherema Fleming, Joy Hanks, Sarah Horne, Bri Jenkins, Rachel Kuczynski, Karen & Brian Lowy, Jeffery Martin, Susan Mende, Leila Mire, Jessica Mosher, Sophie Parens, Tanya Patton, Joya Powell, Chatiera Ray, Tammeca Rochester, Nathaniel Rutledge, Harriette Smiley, Laronica Southerland, Charis Travlos, Laura Tubbs, & Monse Valdez. We are grateful to have received funding this year from IABD COHI | MOVE Collective Cohort, Dance/NYC Dance Advancement Fund Runner-Up, Lower Manhattan Cultural Center (LMCC) Creative Engagement Grant, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ) Arts Engagement Grant, UMEZ Mertz Gilmore Seed Fund for Dance, 2022/23 The Performance Project @ University Settlement Artist-in-Residence, & 2022 BET/125TH ST BID/APOLLO Harlem Entrepreneurial Microgrant. We are thankful to be receiving subsidized studio rates as a company-in-residence at Hi-ARTS.
The goal for our 2022 end of year fundraising campaign is to raise 20K through individual donations that will go towards our operating costs which includes staffing (Leadership Team) and consultant costs (Marketing, Grant Writer, and Accounting/Bookkeeping) to continue to expand and amplify the reach of MADC. MODArts Dance Collective is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible; EIN: 87-2210130. Please consider contributing to MADC by December 31, 2022 here.