Who: Jamar Roberts, Tiffany Rea-Fisher, Cynthia Oliver, Marjani Forté-Saunders, Lorenzo “Rennie” Harris, J. Bouey, Kyle Marshall, Okwui Okpokwasil, Charmaine Warren
What: Live discussions with Black dance artists
Where: Zoom and Black Dance Stories YouTube channel
When: Thursdays in July, free, 6:00
Why: “Our dance world was pummeled by Covid-19 and Black dance artists around the world are finding ways to talk about life during this time,” Black Dance Stories founder Charmaine Warren said in a statement about her new online discussion series. “Our world was further turned upside down after horrible events ensued nationally and globally, bringing attention, yet again, to the need for the Black Lives Matter movement. Black dance artists have not been quiet since. Black dance artists have been doing the work. Black dance artists continue to make work. To stay involved, we will hold weekly impromptu discussions and tell stories — Black Dance Stories. This is one action — we will stay involved.” Performer, producer, and dance writer Warren kicked things off last Thursday with Ayodele Casel and Stefanie Batten Bland; the live Zoom talks continue Thursday nights at 6:00 in July with a stellar lineup.
On July 9, Warren will be speaking with longtime Alvin Ailey dancer and choreographer Jamar Roberts, whose Cooped is a searing testament to society’s current ills, and choreographer and Elisa Monte Dance artistic director Tiffany Rea-Fisher, who is also the vice president of the Stonewall Community Development Corporation and a member of Women of Color in the Arts. On July 16, Warren will Zoom with Bronx-born choreographer, actor, dancer, and performance artist Cynthia Oliver and artist, educator, and organizer Marjani Forte Saunders, who won a Bessie for her solo show Memoirs of a . . . Unicorn. On July 23, Warren meets with Philly native and street dance pioneer Rennie Harris, founder of Rennie Harris Puremovement, who choreographed the much-talked-about Lazarus for Alvin Ailey, and dance artist, writer, and choreographer J. Bouey, founder and cohost of “The Dance Union Podcast” and current member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company. And on July 30, Warren chats with choreographer, educator, and dancer Kyle Marshall, whose Kyle Marshall Choreography “sees the dancing body as a container of history, an igniter of social reform, and a site of celebration,” and Brooklyn-based writer, performer, and choreographer Okwui Okpokwasili, who just won an Antonyo Award for her stirring performance in the Public Theater revival of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf and who was the subject of Andrew Rossi’s 2017 documentary, Bronx Gothic. It will be hard not to stay involved with this roster of exciting creators.