As the third artist in a three-year partnership with Urban Bush Women’s Choreographic Center Initiative, Florida State University School of Dance MFA alumna nia love will come to MANCC following a postponement due to the COVID-19 Delta Variant surge in the Summer of 2021. love will come into residence with several of her collaborators to develop UNDERcurrents, a continuation and a fresh departure within love’s long-term project, g1(host):lostatsea. A serial, multi-media, interactive performance and research platform, g1(host):lostatsea marks her continuous engagement with the memory and “afterlives” of transatlantic slavery. The project pivots on this fundamental query: what remains of the Middle Passage as force, gesture, and affect?
Taking off from these initiatives, “UNDERcurrents,” invites audiences to probe the seam between catastrophic history and quotidian memory and tend to the textures of kinship bonds and generational care. These processes are explored through two primary thematic elements: water and doors. The point of departure for captive Africans into the middle passage is described as “the door of no return.” Conjuring the continual resonance of this world making and breaking threshold, this presentation will be structured as an immersive and participatory audience experience through a performance installation.
While in residence, love and her collaborators will shoot footage along the shorelines and out to sea, with 30-foot free dives off the coast of Cape San Blas, the site where the ashes of her father were ceremonially spread. The second half of the residency will be spent in Tallahassee, where they will edit the film footage and study movement practices shaped by both the free dives and the act of caring for the dead. She will build towards the expansive interactive installation with a newly acquired 360-degree projection dome at MANCC.
The Urban Bush Women Partnership and love’s residency are funded in part by the Mellon Foundation.