Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Mother Project & Trinidad | Starting November 2010

In November, I will travel to Port of Spain, Trinidad to participate in an exciting dance program where I will develop new work for "The Mother Project" dance journey. The dance residency is hosted by the Makeda Thomas Roots & Wings Movement! Institute. This is JOYISM!'s inaugural international dance residency project and a critical part of JOYISM! connecting and sharing movement exchanges with communities around the globe.

While in Trinidad I will be developing new work for "The Mother Project", a choreobiography of the mothers in my lineage, and a comparative study of the transference of identities as experienced by women and girls in the same family. The residency will also consist of a series of community dance projects, including sharing and facilitating dance with communities throughout Trinidad and Tobago. I will also be documenting and writing extensively about my dance journeys, through film, essay and blog.

The themes explored in The Mother Project dance journey affect all of us. Questions, stories, and experiences of the Mother connect all of us as human beings. The dance work that I have been developing for the past 4 years around themes of Mother continues to open up more and more opportunities for humanity to dialogue about issues critical to who we are and what we dream our world to be.

The Mother Project allows me a space to dig deep into my own family history, while also activating a global space for the world to discuss the realities, roles, experiences, and influences of mothers in all of our lives. Even more, as an in-depth exploration of the cultures of womanhood/motherhood/girlhood/sisterhood, The Mother Project engages women and girls in movement and dialogue around matters central to the growth of our self-actualized and self-asserted identities.

The Mother Project began as series of movements I created to paint pictures and tell stories about my mother, Debra, my grandmothers Gloria and Mary Malissa, and my great-grandmothers Mable and Mary. The more I explored the lives of one mother, the more I was moved to create movement for other aunts and grandmothers in my family, thus exploring different sides of mothering, womanhood, and choices. The choices each woman made directly and indirectly contribute to my existence and who I understand myself to be--and this phenomenon fascinates me and fuels my work. I often wonder what the world would be like if everyone was exploring the people and experiences that shaped them and birthed them.

In addition to the research and dance exchanges explored in Trinidad, the artisitic fruits of this residency will be an integral part of "The Mother Dance-Dialogue Workshop & Performance Series" that I will host as a community dance residency program in Washington, DC during Spring and Summer 2011.

Read more about The Mother Project and watch a video excerpt here. Also, read the post "Spinning Mary" to read about earlier developments of The Mother Project.

Photo by Elen Awalom