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Wild Beauty: What Happens if We Take Our Time
January 20, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Velocity Presents: Wild Beauty
Four black artists devise a movement ritual and celebration for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Velocity is excited to invite audiences to What happens if we take our time?, a weeklong
residency program that activates four core black artists–Gabrielle Civil, Randy Ford, Neve
Mazique-Bianco, and Fox Whitney–to work/ play together in a ritual/ black movement intensive for
Martin Luther King Jr. Day and beyond. Performing under the moniker Wild Beauty, the ensemble of
four artists will begin working intensively together on January 12 and will close on January 20 with an MLK Day celebration at Velocity to break bread, share new performance gestures, and receive any
community offerings. Wild Beauty arrives to hold space for black power, heritage, creativity, and
What does it mean to dance (blackness) in blackness? In the heart of winter, how can we bloom,
share breath, heal, and open space? How can we conjure medicine and experiment with joy? What happens if we take our time?
All Events are Free and Open to the Public
Gabrielle Civil reads at Elliott Bay Book Store – Thurs. Jan. 16, 7pm
Free movement workshop at Velocity Dance Center – Monday Jan. 20, 2pm-3pm
Community celebration at Velocity Dance Center – Monday Jan. 20, 3-4pm
Free performance at Velocity Dance Center – Monday Jan. 20, 4-6pm
Wild Beauty was convened by Civil for Velocity after an invitation from Whitney, Velocity’s 2018-2019 Artist-in-Residence. Whitney had been a core artist in an earlier MLK Day black movement ritual organized by Civil at the Pangea World Theater in Minneapolis in 2016 and wanted to bring the
project to Seattle. The goal of the project is to use the 8-day residency for deep, supported time for
the core artists to be in research together, moving blackness across/beyond spectrums of gender,
sexuality, queerness, ability, and art.
While Wild Beauty marks the first time the core artists are all working together on one project, the
three local artists are in no way strangers to Seattle audiences. A Seattle native, Randy Ford has
been seen at venues across the city such as the Seattle Art Museum, CD Forum, Velocity Dance
Center, and On the Boards, performing her own works as well as with local luminaries like Dani Tirrell, Markeith Weiley, and BenDeLaCreme. Neve Mazique-Bianco has also seen their star rising in recent years, with residencies at the Seattle Public Library, a world premiere at Velocity Dance Center earlier this year with Lover of Low Creatures, and widespread recognition of their work by organizations like Seattle Gender Justice League and the PNW Afro X Fellowship. Fox Whitney recently finished his residency at Velocity Dance Center with Melted Riot, a performance that premiered on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and came out of Whitney’s year of research into the history and specifics of the original event. With a robust background in performance art, including authoring the acclaimed performance memoirs Swallow the Fish and Experiments in Joy, Los Angeles-based Gabrielle Civil will gather with these Seattle artists to explore and expand experiences and conceptions of blackness, and to move together in community, research and joy.
After four days of the intensive, Velocity will open its doors on Wednesday January 15 for a free
happy hour celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. This celebration will be open for kindred
communities–other queer black dancers, youth, poets, etc.–to spend time and move together. The
following night, Civil will be reading at Elliott Bay Book Company from her work Experiments in Joy,
as well as sharing mid-way reflections from the Wild Beauty residency. Lastly, Wild Beauty will close
with an MLK Day celebration to break bread together, share process, share new performance
gestures, and receive any community art offerings. Deliberately timed to prepare for and
commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Wild Beauty allows for artistic reflection on black power and future. Together artists and community members will celebrate black heritage, creativity, and communion.