THE HERE PROJECT
a series of works examining loss in African American communities.
there are no people here (2013)
“Please don’t come here! But if you do, you gotta bring a little laughter, a couple tears, your favorite shirt, and your mother’s necklace. But please don’t come here! Not yet.”
This text is sprinkled throughout a metaphoric heaven. The spirit character onstage is speaking to young black males in inner city neighborhoods, specifically, asking them not to die prematurely. Pulled from data in 2012 showing the staggering number of black males lost to street violence in Detroit, Flint, and Saginaw, MI, the piece draws our attention to the collection of black male bodies disappearing from the American landscape.
the line between heaven and here (2014)
This piece explores the cultural and historical ramifications of death and dying in black communities. Struck by the ways in which death repeated itself throughout American enslavement, Jim Crow, Civil Rights era, and the contemporary gang culture, the dance examines how blacks have been dying in large numbers, dying as a community. The piece tries to encompass these historic periods by calling them “here.”
If black bodies have experienced death so frequently (and often violently) what must living look like? How have these bodies been trained, and how has that training mastered, cultivated, or facilitated their impulses?
little boy blue (2015)
before we learned to fly (2013)
This work uses purgatory as a metaphor to discuss undesired states of being. The piece includes the performer’s own stories about being in purgatorial type spaces and their journey stepping forward.