Scene 1: Scaffolding

Dancers to places in black.  Lights up.



1. All bodies onstage lounging in various spots.  Su starts with Su’s monologue: “You feel that you do you not identify with a particular anything – race, ethnicity, culture or history – BUT doesn’t IT in one way or another inhabit you, change you, mold you? Because it has been in you working quietly all along.  Because it’s your everyday experience.”  Dancers see him and come to stand around him looking at him.  [Sound cue #1: Track 1 GO].  Goes into dancers “no body is generic” voiceovers accompany related movement sequences.

Ready Sound cue #2: After Lulu’s voice: “But what are you saying? What are you revealing about your experience?”  Sound cue: #2: END OF TRACK 1. STOP.

Other dancers’ leave, Sunil begins walk upstage – Sound cue #3: Track 2 GO.

2. This body is…

Solo moments – Sunil, Chara, Louanna, Kevin – meditating on getting “inside” the body voice.  What are the ways you can think about / imagine your body?  As foreign, familiar, as physical, as sensual….Showing, displaying, discovering and troubling your body –– How this is a complicated, paradoxical and multilayered structure you use and move in the world…Four bodies, one journey.

Ends with Kevin lying on floor downstage – Sound cue #4: END OF TRACK 2. STOP.

Kevin lies on the floor, and Su enters.  When Su holds Kevin’s head in his hands – Sound cue #5 GO.

3. To Ella Andall: A dancer’s ritual, calling up of the body to listen to stories and to share its own.

Trio turns offstage up left.  Kevin is left lying on the floor – Sound cue #6: END OF TRACK 3. STOP.

Lights fade to black


Rituals II. Set to Terence Trent D’arby “As Yet Untitled”.

Flag is set out with salt bowls and incense, books on race/culture, perm/relaxer box items, combs/brushes, curlers, fabric/flags/scarves. We make a type of alter/homage space. Fe and Abra begin with phrase around flag, moving into duet; this moves into a TR wipe down ritual; movement transgresses into flag interaction—resistance, entanglement, surrender, embrace—until Fe/Abra end with taking flag offstage with them.

Preset long box downstage right.  Lights & sound go.  Dancer enters.


The box I.

Lights go.  Sound goes immediately after: Sound cue #7: Track 4 GO.  Runs straight into Track 5.

A solo danced to Chara’s “I don’t think about race – you are making my life very hard right now….” workshop conversation…

Ready sound cue: Chara is on the floor facing the box. “Have you actually experienced it and how has it affected you.  Yeah Meida, give us an experience.”  Sound cue #8: END OF TRACK 5. STOP.

Charlene is on floor facing the box. Lights bump to black


The box II.

Lights up on “box.”  Fe and Abra enter huddled close together in a fearful/suspicious posture inching closer to box fearfully/reluctantly, checking it out looking beneath it/touching, hitting, kicking it until Abra finally just stands on it.

Abra: What is it?

Fe: I don’t know what ‘IT’ is. [Continued frustration Abra begins to walk away as Fe sits]

Fe: Can we just talk about this.

Abra: This?

Fe: Race!

Abra: Race?! [Fe and Abra sing impending-doom blues idiom 2gether.]

Fe/Abra: Dunh dunh-da-dunh-dunh!

Fe: [Seated] why is race still such an issue?

Abra: [seated mimicking posture] Now what exactly is this project about?  Can it just be about gender? Most people can relate that…

Fe/Abra: Dunh dunh-da-dunh-dunh!

Fe: I know racism affects everything and everybody; it just doesn’t affect me.

Fe/Abra: Dunh dunh-da-dunh-dunh!

Abra: I don’t wanna where representations of other cultures on my body…

Fe: [Responding] You don’t?! but you say that while wearing a Brazilian flag, a West African ear spear, and a Jamaican Rasta tam.

Fe/Abra: Dunh dunh-da-dunh-dunh!

Abra:  Chicago is crawling with Mexicans but I don’t see those people as a race or color, I like to think that I look at the content of their character.

Fe/Abra: Dunh dunh-da-dunh-dunh!

Fe: To keep talking about racism, is like rehashing it. But you guys need to hear different perspectives on race…

Abra: [Responding, as she and Fe turn to face each other] How do get those perspectives without talking about ‘IT’?

Fe: [says as she and Abra assume Fosse-like exaggerated performances gestures] “Well, here in the Chi we “perform” our race and culture any number of ways.  In our hair, our clothing, our talk and walk, our attitude, and always

Abra: always

Fe: – in our dancing…“Hey DJ – play my song!” Transitions to rotating solo [Using Chi DJ mix of music and Identity statements].  Chi vernacular social dance beginning electric/cha cha slide, roger rabbit, salutes to “house groove”, mash potato spins [traveling], jackin’, perculatin’, mash potato spins into steppin’ couple, salsa couple, house music salutes into Jamaican/Sean Paul chest-clap into solos [one soul claps as other moves]

Ends with Felicia’s monologue LIVE as Abra stands near her [Looking each other over/comparing skin tone of arms/hands]: “No body is generic.  A custom blend of environment and culture; history and biology. These kinetic chains are fragile yet enduring—reproducing culture, amending history generation after generation thru our bodies, thru our blood memory. Genetics dictate the form, society dictates the value. What value has society placed on you? What scripts have you memorized about your body? [dancers move hands across their bodies.]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s