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taisha paggett and WXPT in collaboration with Ashley Hunt and Kim Zumpfe

WXPT Toronto company: Ella Cooper, Rodney Diverlus, Bishara Elmi, Aisha Sasha John, Ashley “Colours” Perez, and Danielle Smith

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Gallery TPW is thrilled to present the School for the Movement of the Technicolo(u)r People, a large-scale artist exchange, exhibition, and public school platform. The project was created through the artistic direction of Los Angeles-based dance artist taisha paggett in collaboration with visual artists Ashley Hunt (LA), Kim Zumpfe (LA) and WXPT Toronto, with curatorial and dramaturgical support from artist/scholar Seika Boye (TO). Convened in memory of the segregation-era CB Dansby High School for Black youth in East Texas, the School builds a site/home and experimental curriculum that responds to the limited positioning of Black and queer movers in the worlds of dance, visual art, and beyond. The School in Toronto follows previous iterations in Los Angeles, Austin, and Houston.

Transformed through architectural interventions, video, and photo-choreographic scores, Gallery TPW is envisioned as a dance studio and school whose typical elements are reimagined, providing a tactile space suspended in a cycle of construction, collapse, unearthing, tunneling, lifting, and balance. As a cross-border exchange, the work lives within a shared legacy of US/Canadian forced and voluntary migrations, the mining of both land and bodies, and memories of erased Black histories, to bring forth new possibilities of collective movement and embodiment within the everyday practices and grammars of social struggle.

Through a free curriculum of movement-based classes, workshops, and conversations—some open to all, others open to participants with specific experiences—the School seeks to address a guiding conceptual question: “What is a Black. Dance. Curriculum. Today?” Here “Black dance” is intended not just to point to the canon of African diasporic dance but to the perpetually unstable condition and resiliency of Black life in Canada and the United States. The curriculum will investigate ideas of kinship, intimacy, and care; succumbing and resistance to gravity; body printing and the metaphor of dye/dying; collective recitations and trance; strategies of capturing movement for the camera; and the multiple possibilities of support inside collective improvisational dancing.

The curriculum will also feature workshops and talks by US and Canadian guest artists, thinkers, and organizers whose creative research sits in critical dialogue with fundamental ideas of the project. Created by the temporary dance company, WXPT (we are the paper, we are the trees), Toronto artists Ella Cooper, Rodney Diverlus, Bishara Elmi, Aisha Sasha John, Ashley “Colours” Perez, and Danielle Smith will lead and facilitate the Saturday school activities for its duration.

The Saturday school will take place September 14 through October 26, 2019.

 

RELATED EVENTS

Opening Reception and Performance:
Thursday, September 12, 6:00—9:00pm

Free Saturday School:
Saturdays, September 14 through October 26, 12:00—5:00pm