what the body knows

28 3Arts supporters
$3,655 raised of $3,000 goal
0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
Funded on June 09, 2016
    • 122% contributed

With your support, I will produce the final phase of what the body knows: an in-depth choreographic project focused on the complex intersection and legacies of race and disability. The dances will unfold as a suite of solos and a duet that deeply considers how we move and are moved by these interwoven cultural legacies. Through this work, I want to uncover nuances of our bodies as we age, evolve, and are impacted by life’s dynamic journey. What does this body know? The body that searched to be like everyone else or attain the absolute epitome of fitness. The body present with all its imperfections. The body that acknowledges the struggles of its ancestors, reveals its own challenges. The body that radiates humanity. Through exploring the depths of my own physical evolution and in process with my creative collaborators, what the body knows will offer distinct reflections of diverse bodies on the stage and in the world. The funds raised through this campaign will support the world premiere production in October 2016 at Stony Island Arts Bank on the South Side of Chicago. As the production phase involves multiple technical elements and needs, this $3000 will support dimensions that are essential to sharing this culminating work with audiences.

About This Project

For the past two decades I have been working within the live arts scene, nationally and internationally, generating choreography for theatre and concert venues. Initially focused solely on race and its legacies, my subject matter has evolved to exploring multiple intersections including sexualities, gender, and dis/abilities. In considering the ways dance has continued to represent certain kinds of bodies, I seek to challenge that status quo by making creative work that affirms the contributions of physically disabled bodies to the field; work deeply expressive of the black body both individually and historically. what the body knows rigorously explores the dimensions of this complex intersection.

Within the past two years, I have been fortunate to receive support that has allowed me to re-centralize my creative practice. I thought on what kind of work I would like to make right now and came to the conclusion that it must reflect the communities I am aligned with in my life. As these communities are often segregated by their identities (queer, black, disabled...), I seek to offer bridges of understanding between them. what the body knows begins to build a bridge through the intentional focus on an intersection: currently race and disability. In uncovering the nuances, similarities, and distinctions, I hope to bring these communities together. Through this project, I want to explore other intersections that will further create connections and bring more complex understandings of how—like these multiple identities being part of one body—we can form one community respectfully comprised of our multiple cultural legacies.

what the body knows is currently in development. There has been a rigorous period of research this past fall surrounding the ways to explore the legacies of race and disability, during which I started work on a solo for myself entitled “ele’fant”. Recently, I began a duet involving another self-identified disabled dance artist of color, NY-based Jerron Herman. An audio describer and American Sign Language interpreter offered valuable consultation on how to integrate these access elements into my aesthetic. Through your support, I will further work on integrating these access elements into the project, complete the suite with a solo for Jerron, finish the duet, and draw in additional creative collaborators in costume design, lighting, and sound to work on the culminating production at Rebuild Foundation’s historic and newly renovated Stony Island Arts Bank. Presenting at this energizing site of art and archive is an honor. I’m truly excited to share this work with the South Side community of folk I’ve gotten to know while in residence, and to welcome new folk from across the city as audience and witness to this premiere. Hopefully, you will be present with us this October for what the body knows.

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $25
    gratitude via a “thank you” on social media (facebook and twitter) ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    above plus individualized thank you on program and online site for the project ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100
    above plus personalized video thank you with exclusive footage from the project ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $250
    above plus handwritten card with a unique image from the production and exclusive priority seating for the world premiere limited engagement at Stony Island Arts Bank ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500
    above plus invitation to private showings and food gatherings in New York and Chicago ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $1000
    above plus individually designed consultation on creative practice or creative project development for you and/or an artist you know (6 sessions face to face or via skype) ($0.00 is tax deductible.)

Barak adé Soleil

Denise & Gary Gardner Awardee

Barak adé Soleil makes dance, theater, and performance art. An award-winning creative practitioner, he has been engaging diverse communities within the USA, Canada, South America, Europe, and West Africa throughout his career. He is the founder of D UNDERBELLY, an …

View Barak adé Soleil's profile
  • Update 1: thankfully on our way and moving closer to our goal!
    Posted on May 13, 2016


    Giving thanks to Carrie Sandahl, Gesel Mason, Cynthia Bond and Emily  Green for offering their support.....moving us closer to developing the final phase of this suite of dances! 

    Update 2: We're getting closer! Thanks for having "our backs."
    Posted on May 27, 2016


    We are closer to achieving our goal! Many thanks to Vicki Byard, Signe Harriday, Jeffreen Hayes, Penelope McCourty, Anna Khimasia, Lisa Lee, LaKia Colquitt, Daniel Alexander Jones, Katherine Zien, Barbara Koenen, Sharon Bridgforth and most recent contributors Alice Kim and Keith Brown for "having our backs."

    Update 3: We've exceeded our goal
    Posted on June 09, 2016


    We've exceeded our goal! My heartfelt gratitude to all who have generously donated with acknowledgements to recent contributors Edisa Weeks, Caroline Palmer, Ananya Chatterjea, Kris Lenzo, Suzanne Snider, Willa Taylor, Allie Stephens, Ben Foch and Anthony Romero!

    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • Carrie Sandahl

    • Gesel Mason

    • Cynthia Bond

    • Emily Green

    • Vicki Byard

    • Signe Harriday

    • Jeffreen Hayes

    • Penelope McCourty

    • Anna Khimasia

    • Lisa Lee

    • LaKia Colquitt

    • Daniel Alexander Jones

    • Katherine Zien

    • Barbara Koenen

    • Sharon Bridgforth

    • Alice Kim

    • keith brown

    • Edisa Weeks

    • Caroline Palmer

    • Ananya Chatterjea

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Kris Lenzo

    • suzanne Snider

    • Willa Taylor

    • Steve Mullen

    • Ben Foch

    • Anthony Romero

    • Felipe Gomes

make it work


3AP Presenting Partner:

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 Additional support provided by: 

Department of Cultural Affairs logo  Illinois Arts Council