Nailah Randall-Bellinger’s ‘Initiation—In Love Solidarity’ Dance At Multicultural Arts Center 3/25


2/24/2022

Dancers in ocean surf perform Nailah Randall-Bellinger's “Initiation—In Love Solidarity."

Nailah Randall-Bellinger And RootsUprising present “Initiation—In Love Solidarity" at the Multicultural Arts Center, 41 Second St., Cambridge, on Friday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m. The presentation is a 2-part dance journey that explores the remembering of the Middle Passage as a means to reclaiming Black humanity.

Tickets are free. Register via https://www.eventbrite.com/e/initiation-in-love-solidarity-tickets-267798210657.

As part of Cambridge Arts' continuing efforts to stem the spread of covid, we will not be presenting the River Festival in 2022. Nailah Randall-Bellinger’s ‘Initiation- In Love Solidarity’ is the first of a series of smaller performances and arts markets we will be hosting throughout the year in the spirit of the River Festival while maintaining smaller audiences and other covid safety precautions.

Randall-Bellinger’s dance event, which is co-produced with the Multicultural Arts Center and Cambridge Arts, will include a live performance of “Migrating Souls” and the dance film “Initiation—In Love Solidarity.” The dance speaks to the evolving identities of women in the African Diaspora and their affirming acts of sacrifice and resilience as practiced by the sea water ancestors of the Atlantic crossing.

The evening will conclude with a talk-back audience conversation with Randall-Bellinger and dancers.

Audience members must be fully vaccinated and wear a mask while at the Multicultural Arts Center. If you do not have a mask, we will provide you one.

Artist’s Description of the Project:

“Initiation—In Love Solidarity” is a choreographic narrative that explores the corporeal and collective consciousness of African Diaspora people. The presentation is a 2-part dance journey, that explores the remembering of the Middle Passage as a means to reclaiming black humanity. The dance speaks specifically to the evolving identities of women in the African Diaspora and their affirming acts of sacrifice and resilience as practiced by the sea water ancestors of the Atlantic crossing. The live-dance performance and the dance- film create a dialogue between the past and present in an attempt to heal through the traumatic experience.

Nailah Randall-Bellinger (she/her) is a dance educator and scholar. For over thirty-five years, she has taught modern and contemporary classes throughout the United States and abroad at national conventions and universities. She has studied, performed, and lectured in Brazil, Ghana, Haiti, the Czech Republic, and Senegal. She has worked with film director and poet S. Pearl, and performed as a member of Karen McDonald’s New Age Dance Workshop dance company and Jamie Nichols Fast Feet, Inc. After receiving a Masters degree from Lesley University with a concentration in Interdisciplinary Studies: Dance, and African American literature, she began to focus and develop the concept of the “dancing text” as a means to explore the corporeality of dance. In 2015, Randall-Bellinger collaborated with a group of artists in Cambridge to give voice to the voiceless in the production of Stories Without Roofs: Transitions, featuring essays, monologues, poetry, songs, dance, and general musings of residents of shelters in the city of Cambridge. She has created original work for Boston-based contemporary dance company Urbanity, performed at the Harvard Black in Design 2018 conference and was choreographer for the Boston production Ragtime at Wheelock Family Theater. In 2020, she was awarded the Alorie Parkhill Learning and Travel Grant to study expressions of dance in South East Asia. Randall-Bellinger currently serves as the Chair of the Dance Department at The Cambridge School of Weston. She has been a teaching artist at Harvard Dance Center for over a decade.In Spring 2021, Randall-Bellinger facilitated the first of a series of virtual artist-led discussions around artistry, identity, and advocacy, where she presented her film works #shesstillbreathing and Women’s Work, both inspired and constructed within the constraints of the Covid-19 pandemic. She most recently was a co-choreographer for the A.R.T. Arboretum project, to offer movement to the recorded walking meditation tours. Nailah was one of seven artists commissioned by the Harvard University Committee on the Arts (HUCA) in 2021 to create a new work on campus. The work, titled Initiation– In Love Solidarity, explores the resilience and evolving identity of women of the African diaspora. The production was presented to the public in November 2021.