Improvising While Black (IWB): Black Performativity As Resistance And Survival*

Improvising While Black (IWB): Black Performativity As Resistance And Survival* Mary Ann Brooks, MFA   MaryAnn_IWB-Flyer3

Improvising While Black (IWB) is an interdisciplinary dance improvisation experiment by second year Theatre and Dance graduate student, Mary Ann Brooks. The seed for IWB sprouted from Brooks’ personal experience of being racially profiled when driving while black (DWB) in San Francisco, California. The project is a multifaceted inquiry into dance improvisation, blackness, and survival. IWB lives in “The Wreck” of collective dreams and desires for some kind of real or imagined future. Through the body, IWB calls up cultural memories from black, queer, colonized/marginalized histories and examines blackness as an improvisatory gesture. IWB finds futurity in the hustle, the fugitive, the ancestor, the flesh, queer outlaws, and dance improvisation as resistance.

Mary Ann Brooks is an educator, activist, dancer and performance artist whose adventures include walking California’s back country mountains to teaching in dance studios in Aotearoa/New Zealand to organizing street theater protests in San Francisco. Before starting the Interdisciplinary Theatre and Dance MFA here in Davis Fall 2012, Brooks danced with aerial dance troupe, Flyaway Productions, in San Francisco and collaborated with numerous choreographers and performance artists while also performing solo work.

*This talk is sponsored by the Consortium for Women and Research.

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