Enter a world where Black Bodies tell their own stories. Where Black love and Black expression prevail. A world where Black stories heal, grow, and transform the lives they touch. We invite you to Dani Tirrell's work, Black Bois.
This dance piece, created with original music by Benjamin Hunter and written word by J Mase III, is a ceremony to our ancestors, and a thanksgiving to our past, present, and future. It is a love letter to our bodies, our spirits, and our minds. This is the story of our fathers, brothers, lovers, and friends. A healing space, a space to process, a space to love, a space to create and be. We welcome you!
Black Bois Premier:
April 26 - 29, 2018
On the Boards (Seattle,WA)
Cast of Black Bois:
Benjamin Hunter: Composer/Musical Director
J Mase III: Poet/Writer
Roache the Muralist: Visual Artist
David Rues: Dancer/Collaborator
Markeith Wiley: Dancer/Collaborator
Stefan Richmond: Dancer/Collaborator
Randy Ford: Dancer/Collaborator
Michael O'Neal Jr.: Dancer/Collaborator
Mychael Hodges: Dancer/Collaborator
Cipher Goings: Dancer/Collaborator
Risks and challenges
Black artists in Seattle rarely get a chance to share a stage on their own terms.This team came together because I asked, and we all said yes and a very happy yes. There were questions about time, overall vision, and pay, but everyone was excited to be apart of this work. I knew that the show I wanted to create had to have an all Black cast and the cast had to be local. I was and I am still happy that this is coming together.
Since our first rehearsal the cast and crew have been giving more spiritually, emotionally, and physically than I have ever asked from them before. I have asked them to go places they were hesitant to explore, unearthed trauma with the intent of having them relive it every night for the run of the show. I have asked them to do all this while they trusted I would compensate their labor fairly. They have trusted my vision and delivered completely while preparing for this show.
Through this process, I am growing and learning as I go. I know that I love and value everyone working on this, and I am doing my best to be transparent. I love storytelling, I love when black folks tell stories and I see myself as a storyteller. I am inspired by the story of Kalief Browder and the mysteries around his completion of suicide. I'm curious of the silence we surround his death with. In this work I want to better understand why we are silent when it comes to Black men and their connection to suicide. I want to explore uncomfortable narratives like this even if they are not profitable because Black bodies, Black labor, Black love is healing. Giving movement and honoring men like Kalief Browder is why we need to be telling our own stories.
I am inspired by my journey and the journey of those that are figuring out how to live in these times, in these bodies. Again, Seattle does not have BLACK DANCERS telling OUR stories, and if we do, it is filtered through whiteness. And, in my experience, most are okay with that.
I do this work because I love the art of dance. These artists said yes because they trust me and trust they will get paid fairly. I am asking for help to make sure these artists are able to pay bills and stay living in a city that is forcing them out. Black artists are the first to go, and we make some of the most innovative and challenging work out there. I do not want any more artists to feel the need to leave this city to make a fair and just living. I want to continue creating work and hiring more Black artists in the future. I am so thankful that I can walk away from each rehearsal full of gratitude that they show up fully engaged and ready to take on what I ask of them. Your support is one important step in keeping Black art and the talented, dedicated, beautiful beings I have the privilege of working with in Seattle.
Thank you for your attention and consideration,
- (30 days)