Free Range is an accumulation of collaborative projects both movement, and writing based. Enjoy.
Three dancers, Kiana Cook, Chelz Jordan and Maya Odim, inspired by a literary trope created by James Baldwin, will take on the characters of thieves stealing 'jewels of naïveté.'
what you do with finding out what you don't know is important.
in the essay, “stranger in the village” james baldwin discusses some having possession of a 'jewel of naiveté'— having something they cherish not knowing. baldwin's trope transcends the idea that ignorance is bliss and confronts us with the reality that ignorance is an adornment.
baldwin writes about someone wearing this jewel in conversations about race and racial politics— an area where many avoid claiming the responsibility of knowledge by proclaiming their innocence through action or words like, “i didn't know.”
inspired by baldwin's essay, the heist imagines how the theft of this jewel can be a necessary function of any scenario:
when you resist a track, a lane, a box, or a definition someone didn't realize didn't apply to you, you steal that jewel.
when you do not define yourself by the expectations of others, you steal that jewel.
when you talk about current events, you steal that jewel.
when you practice your skills, you steal that jewel.
when you, play fool to catch wise, you steal that jewel.
when you ask for more information, you steal that jewel.
when you pay attention you steal that jewel.
when you know or when you learn where your ideas come from, you steal that jewel.
and when you steal the jewel, you steal the jewel. smuggle it past whatever is functioning as border— your heart/your mind, and don't give it back.
the heist is not about finding morality or some agreed upon order, it's about recognizing a tool and promoting its use. theft can be a form of provocation and provocation can be a necessary start.
not knowing is not proof and knowing is not innocence.
not knowing is not innocence and knowing is not guilt.
“Placing Eyes in There” debuted at the group show Yin Yang, 99¢ Plus Gallery, June, 2015, New York
Choreographic Credits Maya Odim, Jam Master Crew & B Boy Wayne Cauthen
Music Credits to Piztrumentals
Videography Credits to Dan M
"PLACING EYES IN THERE"
I am big enough to fill you and you to overflow with
the comfort of pushed edges
tangling smoothly beneath royal palms
Fingers outstretched in air swooping down like
You captivate my hip movements
flying through, cupping air
my brains and their waves
and tiptoeing on sometimes jagged rocks
and melting into comfortably warm water
and seeing new
You fly my arms up and around
you ache my heels
stretch me wide
drench me in salt waters.
Drenching us in salt waters
bouncing us wildly north.
Stretching my memory
right along side my arms
right along side my lower calf
comfortably pushing my edges
howling through my back/my back/my back
and placing eyes in there
you crack my hips pivoting me boundless
Choreographed & Performed by Maya Odim
Poetry written & performed by Kristiana Rae Colón
Performed at WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY, CENTER FOR THE ARTS, Middletown, CT (2008).
Dancers: Brittany Delany, Paul Hiam, Devon Hopkins, Maya Odim, and Samantha Sherman
Video: Pedro Alejandro/Marcela Oteiza
Music: Live, Adam Timkle/Rod O’Connor
Part 1 2008"
Transforming a concrete terrace into a ‘soft surface’ performance space, No Eggshells/Outside deals with the notion that the ‘soft body’ is a central site for creativity and wholeness.