Marguerite Hemmings and LaJuné McMillian: Antidote

Presented in Partnership with Pioneer Works

Antidote is a performance by new media artist LaJuné McMillian and choreographer Marguerite Hemmings that reflects a year-long exploration of healing through physical movement and digital technology. First presented in 2020 as a video piece, this fully-realized iteration of Antidote will be a live performance developed by McMillian and Hemmings in collaboration with a cast of 6 young artists from South Brooklyn Community High School in Red Hook and University Neighborhood High School on the Lower East Side. Together, they will share how motion capture technology and dance can serve as tools for personal growth and collective liberation.

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ABOUT

LaJuné McMillian is a New Media Artist, creating art that integrates Performance, Virtual Reality, and Physical Computing to question our current forms of communication. They are a current Jerome Hill Artist Fellow and have continued their research on Blackness, movement, and technology during residencies at Eyebeam, Pioneer Works, and Barnard College.

Marguerite Hemmings is a Jamaican-born, Jersey-raised mover and educator currently based in Philadelphia. She focuses on one’s own body and one’s own way of moving. As a choreographer, she specializes in emergent, social dance movement styles, and technologies of the African Diaspora. She works inside of liberation ideology and practice.

Pioneer Works is a cultural center dedicated to experimentation, education, and production across disciplines. Through a broad range of educational programs, performances, residencies, and exhibitions, Pioneer Works transcends disciplinary boundaries to foster a community where alternative modes of thought are activated and supported. We strive to make culture accessible to all.

Based in Red Hook, Brooklyn, the mission of South Brooklyn Community High School (SBCHS) is to assist students who have been unsuccessful in the traditional school settings, those who are over-aged and under-credited, and/or students and families who have become disenchanted with their previous schools. SBCHS is committed to providing students with access to a quality education that will prepare students for post-secondary success.

University Neighborhood High School (UNHS) is dedicated to preparing students to become global citizens through higher education opportunities, challenging academic curricula, and business and university partnerships, positioning them to succeed in an ever-changing world. 

UNHS is devoted to providing the academic, social, and emotional supports needed to ensure that students of every race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, immigration status, socio-economic status, appearance, size, weight, age, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and disability are celebrated, valued and respected.

Below are the biographies from our student performers

Fatoumata Louise Maiga,” my mother and father decided to declare this as my name 15 years ago. I was taught that my name stood for famous warrior, I hope to hold onto that title. I migrated from Mali Bamako when I was 4 years of age (2011). After moving to America, I have established a new passion contributing towards my lifestyle. The film “The Pursuit of Happiness” motivates me to continue my journey no matter how much I struggle.

My name is Mishayla Carcana and I’ve lived in the Bronx all my life. I go to school at University Neighborhood High School and I am a senior. I am co-captain of our school’s dance team and I like to do makeup and dances with my friends. I think the art of dance is really fun because you’re able to express and materialize so many things through movement. I also think of makeup in that way as well. I hope to continue having dance in my future, even as I strive to get my cosmetology license.

My name is Shania Jones and I was born in Brooklyn and I live in Queens. I go to school at University Neighborhood High School and I am a senior. I am on the school dance team and perform at school-wide events as well as public community events. I enjoy creating dance pieces with my friends and hanging out in our school dance studio. I love to create art and present it to the world.

My name is Lamar Francis. I’ve lived in the Lower East Side since I was a child. But most of my life I’ve lived in Queens. I attend University Neighborhood High School where I am a Senior. I am in many after school clubs such as the dance team, Saga and a manager for Volleyball. After high school I’m planning to try my best to be a part of more arts programs WHILE becoming a registered nurse.

My name is Sebastian McMeans, and I am a senior at South Brooklyn Community Highschool. I was born and raised in Brooklyn. I’ve had experiences with Pioneer Works, participating in the Claiming Space in a Digital World Internship. I am interested in the video game creation process and am also interested in electrical engineering. In my spare time, I like to work out, or just play games. I want to become a multi-millionaire through any means necessary. 

My name is Kane Lane and I am 17 years old. I attend South Brooklyn Community Highschool, and I am a senior. My dream career is in information technology. I love playing video games, especially Borderlands 3.  When I am not on the computer, I am also interested in playing basketball with my friends.

My name is Nethaniel Jackson-Soto and I have lived in Brooklyn my entire life. I’m currently enrolled in South Brooklyn High School as a senior. I’m very passionate about screenwriting, and making music.  I can’t wait to see where that takes me in my career.


FUNDING

Antidote is commissioned by Abrons Arts Center and presented in partnership with Pioneer Works. This work is made possible with support from the Emily Davie and Joseph S. Kornfeld Foundation.

Still from Antidote, courtesy of LaJuné McMillian and Marguerite Hemmings