Part of an ongoing performance and documentary effort focused on Black women in street and club dance culture, this session of The Black Dancing Bodies Project continues to explore the power of the “choreopoem,” a word coined in 1975 by playwright and poet Ntozake Shange (for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf). In SpeakMyMind each member of the collective responds to the question, “If I could speak my mind, what would I say?” In this world premiere, experience new writings, music, and movement spanning dance styles from African to waacking, vogue, hip-hop, and house, all curated under the direction of Michele Byrd-McPhee.
SpeakMyMind was commissioned by Works & Process, developed in Works & Process LaunchPAD residencies at Bethany Arts Community (2022, 2023, and 2024) and Catskill Mountain Foundation (2022), and Office Hours Residency at The Kennedy Center (2023). Iterative performances have taken place at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Jacob’s Pillow, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the National Gallery of Art, SummerStage, Dancers Responding to AIDS Hudson Valley Dance Festival, and New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
SpeakMyMind is a 2023 New England Foundation for the Arts's National Dance Project grantee, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Foundation and Mellon Foundation.
Ladies of Hip-Hop: Black Dancing Bodies, world premiere co-commissioned by Works & Process and Bethany Arts Community, March 27, 2022. Photo: Works & Process/Titus Ogilvie-Laing