Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's Show Time for JOYISM!

It's here global love beings! This is the week of JOYISM!'s first launch show. Get your advance tickets here online!

Check out my interview with Sonya Collins of The Glass House about JOYISM! and this amazing artistic journey at www.glasshousedc.blogspot.com
See the post titled: "Friday 5/1: Joyism @ Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (Peep my 1st Interview)"

peace and more dancing,
Binahkaye Joy
Visionary Space Activator

Thursday, April 23, 2009

JOYISM! Press Release


WASHINGTON, DC—Binahkaye Joy kicks off JOYISM! launch with interactive dance show Friday May 1st!

JOYISM! takes audiences on a dynamic, participatory movement journey by diving into themes and issues that affect us all. Binahkaye initiates a communal honoring of motherhood through danced biographies in The Mother Project. She challenges everyone to reconsider the travesty of Hurricane Katrina in a co-created movement dialogue where dance takes the place of words in New Orleans! The words of women who are incarcerated come alive in Lifelines on 57 through movement and audience participation. And of course, an experience with Binahkaye would be incomplete without a danced exploration of the mystical booty in Bootyism. Live music adds a brand new dimension to JOYISM! with Manatho "Shumba" Masani on Mbira, a traditional instrument from Zimbabwe, and Eric Maring on Tabla, a traditional percussion instrument from India. JOYISM! is an opportunity to embrace the dance that belongs to all of us!

Binahkaye Joy, Visionary Space Activator and Artistic Director, is launching JOYISM! this year. JOYISM! is a global movement laboratory where everything living is welcome to come and make dances together. JOYISM! honors the infinite creative powers of all people and facilitates dance experiences for personal and communal healing, artistic experimentation, and the celebration of life.

The JOYISM! show will be at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th Street, SE Washington, DC 20003 in Eastern Market on Friday, May 1st. Doors open at 7:30pm and the show begins at 8:00pm. Advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended. Tickets are $15 and are available online at www.osadance.blogspot.com.

For more information about the JOYISM! show and Binahkaye Joy please visit www.osadance.blogspot.com.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Celebrating the 2 Year Anniversary for OSA Dance!

Greetings family, Today, April 18, 2009 is the 2-year anniversary of Open Space Activation Dance. I started the morning dancing at the corner of 9th Street & North Carolina Ave in Eastern Market, SE Washington, DC. It was about 8:15 am and I was hungry for a plot of grass not overtaken with dogs and doglovers.
I found love on a cold, damp spot that was just firm and soft enough for my waking feet. As I danced, developing more movement for "Mary" (my great-grandmother) in The Mother Project I morphed into give thanks. At that very moment, I realized what day it was...It's OSA's 2nd birthday!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Feet for Sale

"HONK!!!" the car went. It might as well have been a brick crashing against my head. That's how it felt. And for the first time ever, I was afraid while doing Open Space Activation Dance. Yucky feeling, but still I kept dancing. The emotional damage was done though, and that night, I cried into a pillow, holding tight to the softest thing around, in place of God's bosom. I pondered last minute flight plans to Hawaii or Trinidad. I thought, escaping the madness of 14th Street might mean leaving the country all together. But then, what of the dance? How will I dance with as many people on the planet as possible if I remove myself from whole nations of lands? And as I shivered and yanked my heart out of my throat, I thought, for the first time, maybe this is not my battle.

You know me, I love people. I love dancing. I love watching other people activate their own dance. So, to even for a breath consider quitting humanity, well DC at least--scares the &%!# out of me! Of course, how could i really quit? I'm alive, I'm breathing, I'm dancing obviously. But still, I had that feeling, and it made me rethink all my grand plans for planting JOYISM! seeds in DC. It was a scary moment of truth that simultaneously resulted in some of the most beautiful photos of me and a storm of tears, raining myself to sleep.

It all started with my imagination, per usual. My latest adventure: a photo shoot where I'm dancing barefoot in the U street area for JOYISM! promotional materials. It had to be that neighborhood; I had to be barefoot. I was even insistent that my photographer capture close-ups of my feet on the pavement--exposed, wild, and daring.

And of course, when I come up with my ideas, it is not because I care how others will receive me. In fact, my core motivation is the excitement of experiencing movement in a new way. The farthest thing from my mind is the anticipation of others' interpretations, least of all hostile energy. And yet, that's just what I got on the corner of 14th & V Streets, NW where we accidently, or perhaps, quite perfectly, started the photo shoot. I was not obstructing trtaffic, I was not a danger to myself or anyone. But with the reactions of some people, you might have thought I was running naked with a machete yelling "castrate Jesus!" (it was Easter weekend). The people regarded me like a madwoman, which is not to say others have not thought I was crazy for dancing in public spaces. But this time, there was a collective agitation with my spontaneous creativity. It unnerved the masses. They wanted me out. And they shouted all manners of things: "Put your clothes on!" the men at the AA building on V Street taunted. "I don't want you to get sick, baby. You might catch pneumonia," a man said intensly concerned for my health. "Somebody call her the a nurse. She's crazy!"

Meanwhile, I'm still dancing. Not ignoring the shouting, but very much aware that this is the moment I asked for. This is the community dance I believe in: Take the dance as it comes, unscripted and unstaged. Just dance with the people, wherever, however they are. And at the same time, I am very much aware that I don't feel safe. What to do?

I look up and see my photographer has stopped taking pictures. I'm motioning to her across the street to see what's wrong and realize her gaze is behind me. I sense that someone has definitely invaded my personal space and turn to greet him. He is posed like a scarecrow behind me and waiting for his picture to be taken. I don't really know what to do. It's amazing, with your shoes off, you feel much weaker. I want him to at least back up, but he doesn't. So I do.
He crouches to the ground doing some contorted squat dance. And I say, "Good Job!" because really I want to say, get away from me, but I'm too nice or too concerned about his feelings. Here he is embracing his movement. Isn't this what I asked for--for the people to dance "with me". Who's fault is it that my dreams came true and terribly frightened me?

There must be balance. Embracing the artistic experiment cannot be at the expense of my own well-being. Hmmmm, I wonder, as omit all the other things that happened in this essay. I'd rather you sit with me and listen, let me vent. I'd rather you just come out there and dance with me. The intensity of the people is too much for any one free-spirit to carry alone...Who's with me?

Monday, April 6, 2009

JOYISM! Show Friday, May 1, 2009

This picture is from my last sharing at the Potter's House in Washington, DC. That's me playing "Mary", my great-grandmother who made her living "scrubbing white people's floors". The piece is called "The Mother Project," and Mary is one of many women in my family I am creating dances for.

Dance with me people! This is the beginning of great things. Pray for me, love me, celebrate the eternal dance with me! On May 1st I will produce my first full show ever. This is an exciting inaugural experience. Beautiful people from all over are offering their time, services, artistry, and money to make this JOYISM! seed a success.

You can be a part of the action and come to the show. Purchase tickets on the right!

peace and more dancing :)
binahkaye JOY
Visionary Space Activator & Artistic Director

Sunday, April 5, 2009

S.E. India

She was maybe two feet tall, and all manners of independent. She spoke with an intensity comparable to preachers, leaders, mothers. She looked me in the eye when she asked me to move my things out of her way, so that she could sit and color. She pointed to the man in the corner who was not dancing, because she insisted I had "forgotten" him. She made me laugh and pay her serious attention all at the same time. I think they say I was kind of like that as a child. She reminded me in a beautiful way why I love dancing with children and why I'm so excited to have my own one day.

India, maybe four, maybe three years old. I didn't get a chane to ask her. She was one of several amazing children who came to bless my class at the family festival day in Southeast, DC yesterday. The festival was sponsored by the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, an organization committed to providing resources to families in Ward 8. Ward 8 is the nation's capital's last frontier. The dumping ground for less desirable things. The only part of the city where there are more carry-outs, liquor stores and churches all on the same block. The is also the place where I spent about 60% of my childhood (when I wasn't at my magnet schools and church across town). Of course, with gentrification and Obama, condos and dog-walkers are on the rise even here, because it is still technically Washington, DC. But S.E. is Southeast.

I was very excited to be asked to do a dance workshop for the children at this rare, but extremely necessary, S.E. community event. I am usually working across town where there's more money, better transportation, and healthier food options. I grew up in S.E. and wish I could do more with youth here, so I jump at opportunities (read: paid gigs) to do so.

The room was sunny and full of space. After a few minutes, three children walked in, wide-eyed and open-mouthed, all talking to me at once. "Can I tell you something about myself?" Edward asked. He dominated the introductions as he informed he intended to become a scientist. Wonderful, I thought, this group is lively!

We created a cicle to warm-up. With energetic little ones, all ranging from 3 to 8 years old, we make noise early. The movement is a lot easier to introduce if you can yell, and giggle and scream through it. We played the animal game next. Edward, the beaver, wanted to teach us about beavers instead of dancing the beaver. Sharon, one of the teachers, invited us to be kangaroos. Chanelle, a 6 year-old very enthusiastic about going to the first grade next year, roared us into lions. George, a quiet boy who informed us he'd been to Jupiter, was a sly tiger that flexed its teeth. I let us swim around and become fish.

We played more games, visited the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn's rings all while traveling via rocet ships executed with loud, explosive leaps from the floor. We shared our names as movements and did the scoot-race, where you have to move forward on your bottom without using your hands.

This was a fun, successful workshop, and the children danced for 45 minutes before the crayons called out to them. I was pleased; this age group's attention span is usually about 30 minutes! Anyway, I hope you're inspired to dance with some youth, think outside the box and have fun! There's so many children waiting on you to play with them, to remind them that they can dream big and enjoy life.