POSTED ON Oct 21, 2016 BY Three Dollar Bill Cinema
Celebrate the close of TWIST 2016 by working your body out! Blending the basics of movement therapy, a warm-up of Pilates and yoga, and the twerk in its many forms, The Lady B will guide you through a series of twerking tools to increase your visceral vocabulary in a purposefully non-appropriative setting. You will learn to question, with your mind and body, how you can navigate this Africanist movement in a body-affirming way outside of the standard Euro-centric dance studio choreography context. The Lady B will invite you to build your core strength, explore the capacity of your anatomy, and celebrate your booty. Get your tickets in advance right here: http://bit.ly/2epmSIl.
We checked in with The Lady B this week to learn a bit more about Sunday's session...so please check out our interview:
1) What can attendees expect this Sunday at your Twerkshop?
Well, I invite people to leave their expectations at home. So there's that. This space is all about celebration, and connecting with our bodies and what they have to share with us. That's my honest woo-woo answer. Hahaha. We're gonna explore the art of twerk!! Instead of trying to mimic choreography or looking at ourselves in the mirror, we're going to use a mix of Pilates, yoga, the basics of movement therapy, the cultural and historical context of Africanist dance to build the bridge to our own individual embodiment of twerking.
A lot of people tell me that they can't twerk, they don't have enough booty, that they're bodies aren't made for it. If you can stand, bend your knees, and follow prompts, then I can help you find your twerk (still working on developing a curriculum for folks that can't stand or bend their knees- cause intersectionality). We all have different experiences and bodies unique to those. So what I do is try to build a base language for people to make their own. And just how we weren't born knowing how to tie our shoes or swim, we're not born knowing how to twerk. It's my job to help close that gap.
2) You've hosted events in the past for Three Dollar Bill Cinema. What about the organization keeps you so actively engaged?
Because they keep asking me. Bhahah. Honestly, I just love everyone that works there. I believe that they are trying their best to show up for our queer communities, with their programming, community engagement, outreach. They share our stories and not only the same cis-heteronormative, middle-class, white, just-like-mom-and-dad stories. Don't get me wrong. I think those stories are valid. I'm glad they are shared. AND I'm glad that 3DB clearly puts in the effort to reflect the span and depth of our communities' experiences.
For example, when they brought Miss Major for the Translations opening of MAJOR!!, it changed my life. I'm very out and active as a Black, queer, trans-fem person. It wasn't until I was talking with Miss Major that I realized I had never been in the presence of an out, Black, queer, trans-fem person who managed to get old. Not to mention the fact that she's an icon, living legend, someone I deeply admire. But it had never occurred to me that I might actually survive long enough to get old. I weeped, quietly to myself for most of the film and still do every so often when I reflect on that.
If there's anything I can do to support 3DB's shenanigans, I'm all here for it!!
3) In addition to being a performer, you're also an LGBTQ activist. What are some of the issues that are closest to your heart these days?
And I'm Black. Don't forget about that part. That's a very important part. Hahaha. A compassionate sass-mouthing Negro until the very end.
I'm obviously interested in what is coming from the Black Lives Matter movement, especially because it was started by queer Black people. I'm deeply invested in my work on the board of Ingersoll Gender Center as we're about to celebrate its 40th Anniversary.
I want to show up for POC (people of color), trans and gender non-conforming people. Oppression is alive and well: trans-misogyny, racism, ableism, classism, homophobia. I firmly believe our revolution must be intersectional. I personally want to use my privilege, access to resources, my power to lift up the most marginalized of us. I'm really excited to see how these priorities show up in Ingersoll"s work, in showing up for our whole community. That's the work I want to dig into.
"May we have the courage to be kind and honest with ourselves and others."