Ni'Ja Whitson/The NWA Project presents "Oba Qween Baba King Baba" (U.S. Premiere)
Ni'Ja Whitson/The NWA Project
Oba Qween Baba King Baba (U.S. Premiere)
March 28-30, 2019
Co-commissioned with Abrons Arts Center
Oba Qween Baba King Baba draws upon Ni'Ja Whitson's exploration of gender and African ritual practices, engaging spiritual multiplicity and the role of Queerness in the Divine. Initiated during Danspace Project's Dancing Platform Praying Grounds (Platform 2018), Oba Qween Baba King Baba interrogates power and the ways masculinity influences perceived histories of religion. This interdisciplinary performance project is informed by personal narratives of queer and trans children of preachers and designed to be witnessed from above - the site/sight line of God and the Slave. Through movement, poetry, jazz, textile and video art, Oba Qween Baba King Baba uncovers architectures of the body, space, and sexuality. Whitson takes inspiration from jazz musicians and masters in Black improvisational performance forms including the work of experimental composer Douglas Ewart, along with the designs and wearable art of textile artist Jeanne Medina.
Oba Qween Baba King Baba is made possible, in part, by the Danspace Project Commissioning Initiative, with support from the Mellon Foundation and the Jerome Foundation.
Ni'Ja Whitson. Photo: Flybird Photography.
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