Work in Progress Showing on Mon., March 9 @ 3:35pm at the Black Box Studio in Montgomery Hall.
New York-based multimedia artist Edisa Weeks will come to the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) for the first time to develop her latest work 3 RITES: Life, Liberty, Happiness. The work will be a seven-hour interdisciplinary interactive experience that integrates live music, dance, text, and two visual installations to examine how America has protected, promoted, and pursued life, liberty, and happiness, and how these rights manifest in the body. During her time at MANCC, Weeks will specifically focus on the Liberty section of the work.
Connected like a puppet to objects that have informed the Black experience in America (Bible, Black dildo, blonde wig, sandals, watermelon, gun, lightbulb), Weeks alternates between black face, white face, storytelling, and visceral dance to dig into the pathologizing of African Americans and the foundations of liberty in America in this solo performance. She is currently writing stories about the seven objects and, throughout her time at MANCC, will embody the stories through movement and songs that engage with the audience. As our nation continues to grapple with confederate monuments, fake news, economic stratification, and the demands of the Black Lives Matter movement, 3 RITES: Liberty at once humorously and poignantly insists on a reckoning with our past and present.
While in residence, Weeks will visit the Knott House Museum in Tallahassee, where a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation took place on May 20, 1865, and, with her collaborative team, she will participate in the Invisible Lives tour at Goodwood Museum and Gardens, which focuses specifically on perspectives of enslaved people. She will also host a Roots Party, to which she will invite people to join her in the journey of making 1,865 roots out of paper and twine.
Weeks will host an open showing in the School of Dance on Monday March 9 at 3:35pm, in conversation with Professor Hannah Schwadron’s Graduate Research Seminar and Professor Joséphine Garibaldi’s Composition class.
The full work, 3 RITES: Life, Liberty, Happiness, will premiere in Brooklyn, NY in Fall 2021. 3 RITES is made possible, in part, through a ChoreoQuest Residency at RestorationArt; prior residencies at Materials for the Arts, Norte Maar @ Socrates Sculpture Park, Mount Tremper Arts, Snug Harbor Cultural Center; as well as through the sponsorship of The Field, the generosity of individuals, and a New Music USA grant. 3 RITES is a National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network (NPN/VAN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by 651 ARTS in partnership with Mount Tremper Arts, RestorationART, and NPN/VAN.