An interactive work designed as a healing performance-ritual built around Black queer survival techniques incorporating dance and text will debut later this month virtually.
Co-commissioned with the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!), 651 ARTS, Brooklyn’s premier institution for the African Diasporic performing arts, will co-present its first show of 2021 with the world premiere of MBDance’s “Desire: A Sankofa Dream,” on Jan. 22 and Jan. 23 via Zoom at 7 p.m.
Created and directed by choreographer Maria Bauman-Morales, she began working on the piece before the pandemic and is glad people will be able to enjoy it while they are shuttered home.
“I wanted this to be an experience for people,” Bauman-Morales told the Bronx Times. “This artwork is beautiful practice in the collective agency in choice making.”
Bauman-Morales founded MBDance in 2009, which centers the non-linear and linear stories and queer people of color, using dance, visual art, text and song.
She said the show is part scored improvisation, part choreography, part visual design and part choose-your-own-adventure.
“In the face of fascism and separation, I am preoccupied with how we can all practice being together, better,” she said. “For Desire…, I’ve drawn inspiration from Black queer survival technologies such as place-making and family-building, creating our own lexicons and constantly divining ways to check in on one another.
Part creation-myth and part dance, this work offers a kaleidoscope of choices for performance collaborators and witness-participants alike. We are called to practice checking in with our desires and gathering the courage to embody them, while respecting and allowing for the desires of our community-members. I’m thrilled that 651 ARTS and BAAD! believe in this kind of artwork because we at MBDance are values-aligned with both of the organizations and we respect them deeply.”