As we alternately rest, dream and create during the pandemic, MBDance is now researching how to kiss without touching and what “public” means today.
To develop Desire: A Sankofa Dream, a site-responsive celebration of Queer People of Color survival technologies, we’ve been researching in multiple ways. One of those ways is digging in to digital realms as creative sites. We’ve also been reflecting and dreaming. In particular, we’ve been reminiscing about the last time some MBDancers were physically together, at Gibney in New York for a Dance in Process, residency working with various Queer and Trans artists of color on a Kissing/Screaming score. Artist and scholar Paloma McGregor asked Artistic Director Maria Bauman-Morales about this:
PM: Kissing Screamers is such a powerful naming and doing. How did you decide to use screaming and kissing as core community-engaged practices? What have you discovered in doing so?
MB: The idea for that practice just came to me, like a vision, without much explanation. In the spirit of expanding my own vision and imagination, and in the spirit of trusting my own desires, I decided to let the idea be…without too much interrogation. I’m glad I have trusted that idea to germinate and grow. Through artist Lola Flash, I’ve learned how linked my idea is to ACT-UP’s public kiss-ins during the AIDS crisis. We inside-outsiders are connected. And many performance-lab participants have shared with me how cathartic and novel it is to be a person of color sounding, bellowing, moaning, whooping, and shouting. Even our sounds are policed, hushed and villified. Unleashing our sonic power is a liberating act and so I foster it.