Politics and Praxis of Rehearsal in a State of Emergency

Date: June 16, 2020
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Classes & Workshops

Dance scholar and artist Anna Martine Whitehead has put together a powerful conversation that MBDancers Audrey Hailes and Maria Bauman-Morales are proud to be part of Tuesday evening. 
 Covid-19 is the latest pandemic to impact communities of color–and particularly Black and Native communities–at vastly disproportionate rates than our white counterparts. For many of us, the call to drop everything and stay inside in response to #allinthistogether rang hollow when we already knew we were overrepresented in the disposable “essential” labor force that, without access to adequate health insurance, would be forced back to work. For more than a few artists of color, the new expressions of care at the top of each email from curators and presenters–“I hope this finds you as well as can be” before delivering the news that everything is canceled–was jarring. Black people and people of color are overwhelmingly represented in statistics concerning incarceration rates, stress-based comorbidity rates, and lifetime risk of being killed by the police. What makes this pandemic different? Apparently, it’s that we are all in it together.

As performance artists and dancers, people whose bodies are always on the line and whose embodied otherness is always on-stage, we continued to work. We couldn’t meet in person to rehearse, but we could still gather virtually and try to understand through our practice what the fuck is going on. The world is burning–but our worlds have always been burning–and how do we make sense of that as movers? It became clear at some point that we were no longer rehearsing for the show. The show may never happen. But we continue to rehearse because it has deeper meaning and potentially greater impact. What are we rehearsing for in this state of emergency?

This event will be a conversation between community organizer and Artistic Director of MBDance Maria Bauman-Morales; dance theater artist and MBDance performance collaborator Audrey Hailes; composer and performer Ron Ragin; and the director of FORCE! an opera in three acts Anna Martine Whitehead; as well as the cast of FORCE!: Jasmine Mendoza, Jenn Freeman, and Zach Nicol.