Growing Our Own Gardens, an interdisciplinary project conceived and directed by DX Associate Artistic Director Matthew Cumbie, is rooted in queer world-making. Drawing upon dance, spoken word, and drag, this project will explore and reflect upon what a queer future might look like. This multi-year project will premiere in full in 2018.
An excerpt from In Process, blogs from Gardens collaborators on the process of creating this work:
This is an invitation to dance
Here with us on this stage
We will interrupt the space
and time of the surrounding world
Enact pleasure in our own bodies
Bodies we have to told to leave behind
Once we have left that stage.
Our dance opens with these lines. The lights slowly rise on three bodies moving on the diagonal toward the audience. Two produce tableaus, foreshadowing the performance to come, while the third takes his “disorientation solo”, improvising movement, throwing himself off balance, spinning around a faulty center of gravity. I continue to read the poem as the tableaus arrive and rearrange, asking the audience to remember with us. To remember the dancing of others, to imagine the movement of bodies now lost, to endure this remembering together. Remembering itself predicated on loss; we can only remember what is not here, now. Although often marked by pain, perhaps remembering together might make that pain more bearable. It might be enough to fuel transport to future horizons.
The show is titled Growing Our Own Gardens, an interactive performance project led by Matthew Cumbie, Associate Artistic Director of Dance Exchange. I spent a week this June in Providence and Boston on creative residency, building the 30-minute piece with Matthew, Jessica Hale, Darryl Pilate, and Sam Horning. We bring a diverse set of artistic practices to the process, including contemporary and modern dance, improvisation, poetry, drag, and drill team. As a cohort we are interested in questions of queer experience, solidarity, and futurity. [Continue reading]
Growing Our Own Gardens is part of Dance Exchange’s Organizing Artists for Change (OAC) initiative.