“We Like the Way We Move.”
“Besides black art, there is only automation and mechanization.” — Federico Garcia Lorca, 1936.
Spain’s great poet and dramatist Lorca observed the creative soul and dynamic spirit expressed by African Americans in the harsh and hollow industrialized “new world” he encountered, upon arriving in New York in the 1930s to attend Columbian University in Harlem.
But long before Lorca’s commentary, movement, dance, and the music that accompanies it have played vital roles in the articulation of Black Being – and today, continue to offer up the beat of a cosmic drum…tuned to empower the Black Body.
MONDO BLACK went on the road to visit with some of today’s vibrant artists
mixing movement, music and media – and re-inventing “black art identity” along
the way. We call this episode MONDO BLACK: “We Like The Way We Move.”
First MONDO BLACK hooked up with composer/choreographer Grisha Coleman — Assistant Professor of Movement at Arizona State University – at work on her dance/media/sound/environmental 5-piece series, echo::system, (see www.echo-system.org). Coleman’s career includes performing as a member of acclaimed dance company Urban Bush Women for four years; following this, she created the music performance group “HOTMOUTH” which toured extensively nationally and internationally and was nominated for a 1998 Drama Desk Award for “Most Unique Theatrical Experience.”
Next we caught up with poet, performer, composer and filmmaker mTkalla Keaton. Born and bred in Brookyn, mTkalla acknowledges that it was a trip to Soweto in ‘92 — where he witnessed “how words, song and vision became a bridge to freedom” — that catapulted him into his artistry. Since then he has co-produced two albums (“The Mango Room,” and “Peace of Mind” by Julie Dexter), an independent feature film (“Red Bone Guerillas”) and two pieces of poetic musical theater (“Raising Sugarcane, an Angel’s Exile into Flesh” at NYC’s PS 122, and “The Mango Lick” at The Queen Elizabeth Hall). Currently he’s completing his sound-cinema triptych “The Garden of Eve” — three short videos featuring his original “soul-electronica” compositions — and preparing to begin principal photography on his first feature, “Love Is a Spaceship.” (Check out mTkalla’s soul-electronic short, “Nightbreaker” here
We hope you “like the way we move” – as much as we do!