On October 8, following the performance, there will be a discussion with Marjani Forté-Saunders, her father and our dramaturge Joy Kristin Kalu in the Festival Hall.
In its otherness, its sacredness, the performance is (among many things) revolutionary, transformative, wild, ancient, and fresh. Beyond time. (Marjani Forté-Saunders)
In her triple Bessie award-winning solo Memoirs of a… Unicorn, choreographer and dancer Marjani Forté-Saunders pays tribute to the “unicorns” of her life and her community: formative figures such as father, son and brother, homies, pahtnas and fam. The performance draws on the artist’s deep bond with her father – the thirst for knowledge and the love of science fiction literature that they both share, but also the special ability to create realities. Marjani Forté-Saunders interweaves personal narratives with collective memories and historical fragments. Drawing quoted texts from authors Carlos Castaneda (The Eagle’s Gift) and Virginia Hamilton (The People Could Fly) and following her father’s biography, a performance about black masculinities, magic, resilience, and political resistance unfolds that deliberately defies easy reading.
MARJANI FORTÉ-SAUNDERS is a mother, choreographer, performer, and community organizer. She is a 2020 recipient of the Foundation of Contemporary Arts Grants for Artists Award and a 3 times Bessie Award winner for Memoirs of a… Unicorn. Consistent collaborations with composer Everett Asis Saunders (New Music USA Awardee) have resulted in seven award-winning projects over the past decade. Marjani is the recipient of a UBW Choreographic Center Fellowship and is a two-time recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation Award. Her work has been created in residencies at the Maggie Allesee National Choreographic Center (MANCC), the Lower Manhattan Cultural Center Extended Life Residency, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, CUNY Dance Initiative, and 651 Arts and Movement Research.
CHOREOGRAPHY, PERFORMANCE Marjani Forté-Saunders COMPOSITION, SOUNDDESIGN Everett Saunders MEDIA DESIGN Meena Murugesan LIGHTING DESIGN Tuce Yasak STORYTELLING, STAGE DESIGN, CO-DESIGN Richard Forté SETDESIGN Mimi Lien, Peiyi Wong PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Nathan Shreeve
A production of Marjani Forté-Saunders, supported by the PGF-USA Special Projects Grant, the MAP Fund, the Jerome Foundation, and the Princess Grace Special Projects Award. Commissioned by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Extended Life Residency in association with New York Live Arts. Courtesy of the (MANCC) in partnership with the Urban Bush Women’s Choreographic Center Initiative. The guest performance as part of the Coming of Age festival is made possible by funds from the Capital Cultural Fund. Media partner: Berlin Art Link, taz.die tageszeitung, tipBerlin