the corpus is exquisite, the equinox is vernal

****In an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, New Voices in Live Performance has been postponed. CPR – Center for Performance Research will […]
March 27 - 29, 2020
CPR - Center for Performance Research
36 Manhattan Ave Unit 1

****In an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, New Voices in Live Performance has been postponed. CPR – Center for Performance Research will continue to actively and closely monitor this evolving situation. Updates will be shared on this page or can be found on our website: www.cprnyc.org****

Benedict, Ogemdi, Malcolm-x, and Stephanie were scheduled to offer a weekend full of offerings March 27-29, entitled the corpus is exquisite, the equinox is vernal (ceev). ceev has taken on a different resonance now. Please find below some resources, materials and inspirations shared by the artists (which we will continue to update) and join us in continuing to #celebratethework

New Voices in Live Performance invites curators to shape a weekend of performances and events at CPR that highlight creative practices in dance, theater, and performance art. On March 27 –  29Benedict Nguyen will curate the corpus is exquisite, the equinox is vernal (ceev), serving as a mini weekend-long residency for movement makers Malcolm-x Betts and Ogemdi Ude, with the support of collaborator and astrologer Stephanie George, featuring public showings, workshops, and discussions showcasing vital elements of their process.

For the corpus is exquisite, the equinox is vernal, Malcolm-x and Ogemdi’s practices overlap around questions of Black intergenerational trauma and possibilities for healing and kinship. Stephanie continues to offer insight into the astrology shifting around us, movements that she articulates into language suggests ways the work can keep happening, keep growing.

FRIDAY MARCH 27
opening reception | 7PM | FREE
Welcoming the artists into the space and engage in discussions around early stages of the artists’ processes.
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SATURDAY MARCH 28
exquisite switch | 3:30PM | FREE
Malcolm-x, Ogemdi, and their collaborators work on sketches in response to texts, notes, and prompts the other has left behind. Over this 2-hour period, they’ll switch between the small and large studios and leave further traces. Audiences get to experience the spontaneity of this iterative process, migrating back and forth.
soft break | 5:30PM | FREE
A pause for the artists. Audiences can tour the studios and read selections of the artists’ texts installed in the spaces.
soft performance + soft chat | 6PM | Tickets available online $5-15
Malcolm-x, Ogemdi, and their collaborators share slightly more formal drafts of their processes. Following soft performance, Stephanie and Benedict join the artists for a discussion about the work and the process.
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SUNDAY MARCH 29
exquisite switch, cont. | 12PM | FREE
Studios open for audience visits. Malcolm-x, Ogemdi, and their collaborators continue working in tandem.

Artist Offerings:
from Stephanie: 
“I pull from the lush plains and jungles, deserts and snow-crested mountains and cement and barbwire of our landscape. We inhabit space with rhythm, color, and olfactory miracles. This is who we are. We are the colored people on the face of the earth. We must not let our oppression deny us the earth.”  — Wild Beauty: New and Selected Poems by Ntozake Shange
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from Malcolm-x:
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from Benedict: This week, I returned to Jasmine Gibson’s Don’t Let Them See Me Like This. Two poems from the collection appear in “The Felt” : http://thefelt.org/issues/1/jasmine_gibson.htm

Artist Bios:

Benedict Nguyen is a dancer, writer, and curator based in the South Bronx, NY. Benedict has recently performed in works by John Jasperse, José Rivera Jr., Sally Silvers, and Monstah Black.Their writing has appeared in the Brooklyn Rail, Dance Magazine, and Shondaland, among others. As the 2019 Suzanne Fiol Curatorial Fellow at ISSUE Project Room, they developed a multidisciplinary platform “soft bodies in hard places” for new collaborations in tandem with planetary movements. They’re sometimes online @xbennyboo and compile essay-memes for their newsletter, first quarter moon slush.

Ogemdi Ude is a Nigerian-American dance artist, educator, and doula based in Harlem, New York. She creates performances that investigate how black folks’ cultural, familial, and personal histories are embedded in their bodies and influence their everyday and performative movement. She aims to incite critical engagement with embodied black history as a means to imagine black futurity.

Malcolm-x Betts is a Bronx based curator, visual, and dance artist who believes that art is a transformative vehicle that brings people and communities together. His artistic work is rooted in investigating embodiment for liberation, Black imagination, and directly engaging with challenges placed on the physical body. He has a community engagement practice allowing artistic freedom and making art accessible to everyone.

Stephanie George is a stargazer and storyteller. She melds astrological interpretations with poetic possibilities. As a dramaturg and performance doula to movement and performance artists, she holds space for contradictions, particularly ones that insist the body can still feel, still remember home across temporalities, lifetimes, and bodies.