This week, two exciting new performances take us through time and space, from the New Deal to now and the Deep South to Fort Greene, Brooklyn to that blood pumping organ in your chest…
Jennifer Harrison Newman grew up asking her reticent grandmother about what her life was like for her. “She was pretty mum about it,” explains Newman, “and anything floating around was lore, and there were no real people to attach those few stories to.” So when her stepmother showed her a book about the history of Goose Creek, South Carolina, that had a photo of her great aunt Geneva on the back cover, she set about finding out more.
Her search led her to the Library of Congress first: “You go into this massive collection and it is super hard to work though it, but after doing many searches and cross referencing, I found five other photos around Geneva’s house,” says Newman. These photos, all taken by New Deal era Marion Post Wolcott, are the source material for Newman’s latest performance project: an immersive environment evoking what it feels like to be in swamp, woods, and hard work of life on the land.
As she began taking trips to SC to interview her distant ancestors, she found out more details about the photos and her family. “Geneva was proud of that coat. Her husband stayed in the house, he didn’t want to be photographed. But she was in this isolated community and she wanted to be seen,” says Newman. And now, through this collaborative work–featuring the music of Justin Hicks, the projections of Paul Lieber, the installation of Abigail DeVille, and Newman’s dancing, all under the direction of Charlotte Brathwaite–you can see the 2D exploded into space as the ghosts of this marginalized community haunt the stage and invite inquiry.
“The kids weren’t allowed to leave the farm because it was dangerous and people outside were not kind,” says Newman. “There was a need to focus on preservation and protection, within this element of danger.” As this country continues to reckon with a history of injustice, this work may speak as much to the present as the past.
5/19 – 5/21 at 8 p.m.
Click here for tickets.
Dd contributor and choreographer Christen Sewell Weimer joins forces with choreographer Leah Boresow, visual artist Melissa Lee, and sound artist Paul Stevens to explore the physical and emotional spaces around the heart. Located right off the Beltline trail, this multi-sensory event is the perfect stop after a day of bike riding or before an intown dinner. The proceeds from this event will benefit Wellspring Living, which works to help victims of sex trafficking.
5/21 at 5 p.m.
FREE (donations encouraged)