Collaboration is key and we are excited to have our friends 651 ARTS present two dynamic works-in-progress and BAM returning with their Dance Africa residency for November's Weeksville Weekend!
First, multi-disciplinary artist Edisa Weeks continues her journey to create one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five roots with paper and twine in recognition of the year 1865, when legalized chattel slavery ended in America. THREE RITES: Liberty by DELIRIOUS Dances/Edisa Weeks is part of an evening-length interdisciplinary work featuring three interactive performance rituals (rites) about life, liberty and happiness that examines how these rights are protected and promoted in America, and how they manifest in the body. THREE RITES: Liberty is a performance installation in which the roots dangle from the ceiling to the floor to create an environment that the audience separates and moves through (as if moving through history), to find open spaces containing reflections on liberty. The full work will premiere in 2020. Watch a short video about a Roots Party here.
Next, witness a work-in-progress sample screening of documentary filmmaker Marta Effinger-Crichlow’s LITTLE SALLIE WALKER followed by a community discussion on the themes and topics of the film project with Producer/Director/Writer Marta Effinger-Crichlow and Community Engagement Initiative Producer/Writer Ann Bennett, moderated by moderated by Dionne Bennet, Autoethnographer and Educator, Autoethnographer and Educator. LITTLE SALLIE WALKER tells the story of four black women across the generations who find pleasure, refuge and power in childhood play. Surviving life in America as black girls, involved imagining and creating worlds-of-make-believe through a range of play like patty cake, dress up, double dutch, tag, doll-making, hop-scotch and hide-and-go-seek. The film unfolds in Alabama, New York, California, and Washington State, as black women and girls offer a unique and spirited glimpse into their worlds—both past and present.
The title of the film is inspired by the classic follow-the-leader game “Little Sallie Walker," which shows the wonder and creativity of children. Yet, in the documentary, the central and supporting characters also highlight how play reignites memories and struggles with racial oppression, gender inequalities, sexual assault, and poverty. LITTLE SALLIE WALKER is a story about reclamation as these black women try to recover this magical ritual called play in a less than idyllic American society.
We end this incredible afternoon with DanceAfrica’s class bringing together music, dance, and culture from across the African Diaspora. Convene with us as we lift our voices and move our bodies.
11am-6pm - Roots Party by Edisa Weeks
1-2pm + 3-4:30pm - The Legacy Project: Digital Storytelling,
2pm, 3pm, 4pm - Historic Houses Tour,
3pm - "Little Sallie Walker" film screening,
4pm - BAM African dance class
The Embracing Black Joy / Roots Party is co-presented by 651 ARTS and Weeksville Heritage Center, with funding support provided by Con Edison, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. Food provided by Tantz Catering.