Livestreaming a Conversation: Theatrical Jazz as the Practice of Liberation

Cara Mía Theater’s Mellon Playwright in Residence Virginia Grise presents Talleres for Dreaming: Episode 1 livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network on Tuesday 8 March 2022 at 4 pm PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 6 pm CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 7 pm EST (New York, UTC -5).

Theatrical Jazz as the Practice of Liberation: An Artist Talk by Omi Osun Joni L. Jones
Episode 1 of Da Grove: Un Taller for Dreaming

“I dream a world where dancing is part of a healthy lifestyle, a community-building tool, and a way to connect with divine energy.” -Omi Osun Joni L. Jones

Omi Osun Joni L. Jones’ work is committed to exploring strategies for promoting healthy communities through personal and communal joy. She is an artist/scholar/facilitator who employs Black Feminist aesthetics and theatrical jazz principles in her performance work, her pedagogy, and her facilitation. Her training includes activist art with Robbie McCauley, theatrical jazz with Laurie Carlos, and a Ph.D. in Educational Theater from New York University. She is Professor Emerita from the African and African Diaspora Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin. Her most recent book is Theatrical Jazz: Performance, Àṣẹ, and the Power for the Present Moment (Ohio State University Press). Her artist talk will focus on five principles of Theatrical Jazz (vulnerability, improvisation, innovation, collaboration, and virtuosity) as the practice of Liberation.

Da Grove: Un Taller for Dreaming is a Siembra Fellowship Commission, curated by Virginia Grise, produced by Cara Mía Theater in association with a todo dar productions and Pleasant Groove, with the support of the Mellon Foundation’s National Playwright Residency Program administered in partnership with HowlRound Theater Commons, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Communities Foundation of Texas through North Texas Cares 2.0.

About the Series
Facilitated by Cara Mía Theater’s Mellon Playwright in Residence Virginia Grise, Talleres for Dreaming are performance labs that explore artistic and creative processes by the possibility of collective dreaming. Equal parts political study group, artist salon, community action committee, and theater, the talleres focus on embodied inquiry, facilitated conversations, curated gatherings, and art-making workshops that honor the lived realities, daily practices, rooted wisdoms, and embodied knowledge of local communities, culminating in a public performance and artistic provocations designed by taller participants.

In collaboration with a todo dar productions, Talleres for Dreaming are being developed at Cara Mía Theater in Dallas Texas, with Books in the Barrio, Terra Advocati and Galeria EVA in San Antonio Texas, at Galeria Mitotera in South Tucson Arizona and at AAA3A in the Bronx, NY. This series of virtual artist talks, curated by Grise and edited by virtual technical director James Ruth, will feature guest artists from the talleres whose work centers Abolition, Liberation and Love as Art and Life Practice.

“I am interested in how we create ecologies of care in the face of state violence, how we dream when our communities are under attack and how we create spaces for movement, joy and celebration amidst all of it. As an artist, I want to craft and build spaces for collective dreaming.” -Virginia Grace

Land Acknowledgment
We would like to recognize the Native people whose ancestral lands are where Cara Mía theater operates. We wish to acknowledgethe land of the Kickapoo (Kickapoo), Tawákoni, Wichita and Caddo people which is now called Dallas. Comanches and Kiowa have also lived in this region although it is not often recognized as their homeland. We acknowledge that Dallas is stolen land, and that this city was built with stolen labor. Cara Mía Theater’s Da Grove honors the experience and cultures of Black, Indigenous and People of Color and we call for the unity and solidarity of all of our peoples in making a better world.

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