jumatatu poe

I am a choreographer, performer, and educator based between Philadelphia and New York City who grew up dancing around the living room and at parties with my siblings and cousins. My early exposure to concert dance was through African dance and capoeira performances on California college campuses where my parents studied and worked, but I did not start formal dance training until college with Umfundalai, Kariamu Welsh’s contemporary African dance technique. My work continues to be influenced by various sources, including my foundations in those living rooms and parties, my early technical training in contemporary African dance, my continued study of contemporary dance and performance, and my recent sociological research of and technical training in J-setting with Donte Beacham. I produce dance and performance work with idiosynCrazy productions, a company I founded in 2008 and now co-direct with Shannon Murphy. Previously, I have danced with Marianela Boán, Silvana Cardell, Emmanuelle Hunyh, Tania Isaac, Kun- Yang Lin, C. Kemal Nance, Marissa Perel, Leah Stein, Keith Thompson, Kate Watson-Wallace, Reggie Wilson, and Kariamu Welsh (as a member of Kariamu & Company). As a performer, I also collaborate with Merián Soto. https://jumatatu.org/

Sweat to the Beat of Slow Motion

Leading and following beyond body/gender expectations

We are going to welcome the slow jam onto the dance floor, and meet it with a close embrace – maybe just of our individual selves, or of a consensual partner… or maybe more than one. Let’s get close; feel our wise hips swing into the same dimly lit spaces, hear inhales and exhales from a mouth hovering near our ear, pumping oxygen for a heart rate that’s pulsing a bit faster than usual… Let’s see what we can get up to way down below 95 bpm. Let’s be people dancing up on other people, when we want to and when we are wanted. Let’s ask for and give our permission for the proximity that we are desiring. Let’s be queer and normal and strange and open and close… very close… Sweating to the beat of slow motion. This is a collective exercise in exploring slow, and experimenting with how to construct a mutually attentive unit with someone else – leading, following, and getting tangled in a consensual gray areas. Within this, we will explore movement related to the hip swing of the J-Sette march, and the importance of pelvic movement in African-descended dance forms. We will disrupt gendered notions about who follows and who leads, slowly discovering the ways we would like to embrace and be embraced on the dance floor.