Tuesday, November 10, 2015

BodyBusiness is Here.

we are the ones we have been waiting for
June Jordan

How can dancers be paid a living wage for meaningful work? How can we transform places of lack in our lives into places of abundance? These are questions that I consider every day as I dare to forge a thriving artistic life here in New York City - as a black woman, without a partner, without family wealth, and without major institutional support. Despite those places of lack, I have long been guided by the words of Zora Neale Hurston who asserts that, “The dream is the truth.” I believe that we CAN manifest our dreams of richly valued artistic work, but we must open our eyes and consider the social and political constructs that shape the world we are navigating. We must learn to recognize our privileges, and begin to build bridges across our differences.

The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond tells us in their principles:
We recognize that the growth of a movement for social transformation requires networking – “building a net that works.” Networking means building principled relationships based on humane values. These relationships, in turn, allow us to create alliances across issues and ideologies that otherwise tend to divide us. As the movement develops strong networks, people are less likely to fall through.

This is exactly the work of Sydnie L. Mosley Dances (SLMDances), and tonight’s experiential performance, BodyBusiness. The priority of SLMDances’ work is centering the experiences of women and black folk and everyone at the intersections in two key ways: (1) naming our core values - dreaming, activism, authenticity, individuality, community, and learning - and always working with them in mind, and (2) building with allies who share those values and investing in long term partnerships that will manifest our dreams. This imperative to dance our narratives, and use our performances as sites for organizing is a strategic tactic to both survive and thrive, because too often we are invisible, marginalized and living on the fringes.

In a recent conversation with my dear sister-friend A. Nia Austin Edwards, founder of PURPOSE Productions, she asked:
What happens if we pause for a moment and really reflect? What happens when we realize that we are already magical? We might as well be magically strategic to increase our impact even further... [We have to get] off the survival treadmill and ask how [we] might thrive? ...That's what liberation looks like to me. THRIVING.

At this point in my personal and professional life, I am most interested in THRIVING -- here in this city that I love, with all of you who have been a part of the Sydnie L. Mosley Dances journey thus far, and with those of you who are just joining us this week. You are the people whom I feel accountable to. I also feel accountable to and supported by the strength and resilience of my family history and culture. It is because of that legacy that I have the audacity to believe that my gift and my purpose is to bring people together to affect change through dance, and I can do that, together with you.

We have all we need amongst us. We just need the space to connect and build. It is my greatest joy and pleasure to work with this team of artists, organizers, institutional partners and you to create that space. I am particularly grateful to Jen Abrams, co-founder of OurGoods, who has shared with us OurGoods’ framework and language for bartering within the creative community. BodyBusiness is for us, by us. It is my sincerest ambition that you are able to get what you need from the BodyBusiness space this weekend to begin to move from surviving to thriving. I know SLMDances is not the first to come to this conversation, nor will we be the last, but I hope the way we engage with this conversation leaves you fired up and ready for action. Make a new acquaintance this evening, and deepen your existing relationships. Let us “build a net that works” to propel us into thriving personal and professional futures.

Moving Forward Together in Love and Light!

We look forward to seeing you this weekend at BodyBusiness! Purchase your tickets HERE. Childcare options available HERE. NO ONE WILL BE TURNED AWAY FOR LACK OF FUNDS - this is very important to us. Email me if you need a free/pay what you can option HERE. If you are unable to attend, it would mean so much if you could make a tax-deductible donation in the cost of a ticket - $15, $25, $50 or more - directly to the company to ensure the success of our production, HERE.

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