Zinzi Minott: Black on Black Thu 9 Jun 18.30-19.30, Fri 10 Jun 18.30-19.30 BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art Gateshead Quays South Shore Road Gateshead Tyne and Wear NE8 3BA Admission: Tickets £5, concessions £3. Booking essential
Ground-breaking dancer, filmmaker and activist Zinzi Minott performs Black on Black a solo dance performance that explores queerness, blackness and the body as an archive. The work has been commissioned by CONTINUOUS as part of the CONTINUOUS Network programme for 2021/22 and will come to Gateshead as part of an ambitious tour of four UK cities, coming to Glasgow, Nottingham and Liverpool in Spring 2023.
Black on Black sees Zinzi Minott interrogate dance as a form of labour and the limits of the body through the exhausting processes of repetition and duration. The one hour solo performance has been created from movement phrases donated to Zinzi by an extended network of Black dancers and artists.
Zinzi Minott explains “My work explores the connection between dance, bodies and politics and Black on Black looks at the ancestral narrative handed down and evoked across generations of Black and Queer lives, expressed through physical performance. I’m excited to take my solo show on the road and tour Black on Black with CONTINUOUS Network. If you could imagine a physical archive of dance, what nugget or phrase would you donate?”
In Black on Black, both dance and blackness are archived physically, passed from body to body to form a physical archive of Black and Queer lineage. What if movement, handed on and shared, is the embodied language of Black lives across generations and geolocations? Perhaps the body itself, and a shared physical vocabulary, is the most tangible archive for remembering Black life and histories. Dance’s ephemerality is a tactic of resistance. As Minott performs her solo, her phrases are altered, eroded by exhaustion, mirroring the ever-changing and always vulnerable existence of the archive.
The work makes plain the fallible nature of the body, of the archive, of performance and of blackness, all subject to forces of erasure. For those who can’t catch the live performance, there will be a video installation of Black On Black shown through the remainder of June. Minott will perform her solo amidst a multi-screen audio-visual installation consisting of archival footage and other accompanying material from her personal image collection, with a newly commissioned score composed by Gaika.
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