Dancing While Black's 10th Anniversary Season


A May Weekend of Events

Dancing While Black cover image

May 10–13, 2023 | 6PM EST | Various Locations / Virtual and In-Person Events

The Hemispheric Institute is delighted to participate in Dancing While Black's 10th anniversary season which is culminating in an amazing weekend of events, May 10-13. The Akan principle of Sankofa -looking back to move forward- has guided the Dancing While Black Shared Leadership Team as they collaboratively choreographed this year-long anniversary project that centers on sustainability, wellness, and thriving. The schedule for this series of celebrations include revisiting past work from the DWB archives, highlighting artists shepherding Black dance and performance, and a day of listening to and witnessing Black improvisers.

Guests, panelists, and participants

About the Co-Directors

Kayla Hamilton

Kayla Hamilton is an East Texas born, Bronx based performance maker, dancer, educator and cultural consultant. As a performance maker, Kayla is a 2023-2025 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow. Her past work has been presented at the Whitney Museum, Gibney, Performance Space New York, New York Live Arts, Abrons Arts Center, and the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!). As an Educator, Kayla has co- developed ‘Crip Movement Lab along with Elisabeth Motley- a pedagogical framework centering cross-Disability accessible movement practices that aim to be open to every-body. She has taught dance at Sarah Lawrence College, Amherst College, Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Utah. As a cultural consultant Kayla designs and implements programming for the dance ecology with the Mellon Foundation. As a dancer Kayla was part of the Bessie award winning Skeleton Architecture, she has also worked with Maria Bauman, Sydnie L. Mosley, and Gesel Mason. Kayla is currently in the process of creating a future organization centering the work of BIPOC Disabled creatives. She is also the co-leader of the 10th anniversary season of Angela’s Pulse/Dancing While Black, and is developing a new evening length performance set to premier in NY in 2024 (TBA).

Joya Powell

A multiethnic Harlemite, Joya Powell is a Bessie Award winning Choreographer and Educator passionate about community, activism, and dances of the African Diaspora. Throughout her career she has danced with choreographers such as Paloma McGregor, Nicole Stanton, and Katiti King. In 2005 Joya founded Movement of the People Dance Company, dedicated to addressing sociocultural injustices through multidisciplinary immersive contemporary dance. Recent awards and recognition include: Angela’s Pulse’s North Star Arts Incubator 2020-22, CUNY Dance Initiative AIR 2020-22, The Unsettling Dramaturgy Award 2021. She is a collaborating member of Dance Caribbean Collective and Radical Evolution Theater Company, as well as a co-director of Angela’s Pulse’s Dancing While Black 10th anniversary season. Joya is a Professor of the Practice in Dance at Wesleyan University.

Marguerite Angelica Monique Hemmings

Marguerite Angelica Monique Hemmings is a performance artist/educator currently based in Philadelphia, USA. They focus on one's own body, one's own way of moving, and connecting to the unseen. They are a master of body ceremonies and a curator of vibes.

As a choreographer they specialize in emergent, improvisational and social dance movement styles and technologies, rooted in the story of the African Diaspora. They are researching the ancestral and subversive role of dance and the dancer throughout the African Diaspora and look to conjure these technologies through all of their (present) work. Marguerite uses body, text, media, and moving images in their work.

Paloma McGregor

Paloma McGregor (b. 1974) is a Caribbean-born, New York-based choreographer and arts leader. As co-founder and Artistic Director of Angela’s Pulse, McGregor has spent more than a decade centering Black voices through collaborative, “community-specific” performance projects. A former newspaper editor, McGregor brings a choreographer’s craft, a journalist’s urgency, and a community organizer’s framework in the service of big visions. The daughter of a fisherman and public school art teacher, McGregor amplifies and remixes the quotidian choreographies of Black folks, reactivating them in often-embattled public spaces. McGregor’s work situates performers and witnesses at the embodied intersection of the ancestral past and an envisioned future; for her, tradition transcends time.

Alongside her choreographic work, McGregor founded Dancing While Black (DWB), a platform for community-building, intergenerational exchange and visibility among Black dance artists whose work, like hers, doesn’t fit neatly into boxes.


Past: HOW WE DO • A DWB Watch Party

Wednesday, May 10, 2023 | 7:00 pm EDT
ONLINE on Zoom
Ticket Price: Sliding scale ($0-$20)

Electrifying dance performances by Nia Love and Onye Ozuzu. Join us as we revisit Dancing While Black: On Fertile Ground, a 2015-2016 collaboration with the New Orleans-based Junebug Productions. Hosted by Stephanie McKee, Junebug’s Executive Artistic Director.

Present: HOW WE BUILD • Moving Forward Together

Thursday, May 11, 2023 | 7:00 pm EDT
ONLINE on Zoom
Ticket Price: Sliding scale ($0-$20)

Dancing While Black: How We Be • Moving Forward Together

Join us in highlighting the work and visions of artists who are shepherding Black dance & performance hubs across the US, in a dialogue hosted by artist-organizer Shani Jamila. Guest panelists include: Vershawn Sanders-Ward • Red Clay Dance, Thomas DeFrantz • Collegium for African Diaspora Dance, Ebony Noelle Golden • Spirit House, and Kendra Kimbrough Barnes • The Black Choreographers Festival.

Learn about how they continue to uplift Black dance voices across decades.

Future: HOW WE THRIVE • Performing the Beyond

Saturday, May 13, 2023 | 12:30 - 6:00 pm EDT
2474 Westchester Ave, The Bronx, NY 10461
Ticket price: $10 or $20

Panel 12:30 pm

How has improvisation been a technology for Black thriving? How has Black improvisation been a foundation for the dance field? Join this dynamic conversation between dance leaders Melanie George, Hank Smith and Millicent Johnnie as they contemplate the power and urgency of Black improvisational dance practice. Facilitated by Aimee Meredith Cox, NYU Associate Professor of Anthropology and African American Studies.

Performance 2:00 pm

You don’t want to miss this: A stellar lineup of Black dance improvisers share the day together in studio cross-pollinating practices and breaking bread. The next day the community will present, share their collective improvisational embodiments of thriving. This magical gathering of multigenerational and multidisciplinary artistry includes choreographers Dianne McIntyre, Marlies Yearby, Nia Love, Lacina Coulibaly, Christal Brown, Ana “Rokafella” Garcia, Jason Samuels Smith and musician Jocelyn Pleasant! Did we say you don’t want to miss this? We mean it, this is Black dance history in the making!

Dance Party 4:00 pm

And to close the 10th Anniversary Season (and bring in the next 10 years) we will DANCE. *Check each event registration page for accessibility info.