Ntozake Shange

FullSizeRender (7)Ms. Shange,

1991.  I had the transformational opportunity to perform in your work

spell#7: geechee jibara quik magic trance manual for technologically stressed third world people

at Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, MN.

this was my first professional production.

what a rite of passage, to take on your words, the dance of them, the physicality of them,

and to perform them, conjure the work with a distinguished group of black creative folx.

to don the minstrel mask, legacy through picking cotton, lindy-hopping and grooving till we arrived into the 70’s, where the spell unfolds through our impassioned voices.

to transport ourselves into that bar/club, that part of NYC, to embody those ‘actor’ characters as they shared, poeticized, strutted, expressed dimensions of blackness that both awakened and mystified my own blackness.

I sang a song that was not meant for me

played a guitar that was never more than plucking strings

kissed a woman deeply with all of my queer breath held tightly

and stumbled to break open my creative universe

i’m still stumbling… with the spell of your work still nurturing/resting in my soul

thank you.

modupue.

I say you name

give offering to sweeten your palate

soften your pathway to foreverness

pull back into the words of the spells you have crafted

and bask

always.

I call your name acknowledging you amongst the creative ancestors who profoundly shaped/changed the way we/I expressed and experience theatre/performance

for us

by us.

US

sssssssssssssssspelllllll number SEVEN!

 

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Author: Barak adé Soleil

creative practitioner, independent consultant and curator. making dance, performance art and theatre. working within community.

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