[NYC PREMIERE] Let ‘im Move You
Let ‘im Move You is a series of artistic works that reflects a 10-year artistic collaboration between jumatatu m. poe and Jermone “Donte” Beacham. This body of work was initiated by jumatatu’s interest in Jermone’s approach to J-Sette, which is a call-and-response dance form that developed in early 1980’s by women’s majorette teams at historically Black colleges in the United States. Leagues of Black Queer men, prohibited from trying out as majorettes, have since formed competitive J-Sette teams in gay clubs and pride parades across the country. At Abrons Arts Center, jumatatu and Jermone present four components of the Let ‘im Move You series:
OCTOBER 9, 5:00 PM
OCTOBER 9, 4:00 PM
OCTOBER 10–13, 10 AM –9 PM
OCTOBER 10–12, 7 PM
OCTOBER 12, 10PM-2AM at NO BAR
jumatatu m. poe is a choreographer, performer, and educator based between Philadelphia and New York City who grew up dancing around the living room and at parties with siblings and cousins. jumatatu’s early exposure to concert dance was through African dance and capoeira performances on California college campuses where my parents studied and worked, but he did not start formal dance training until college with Umfundalai, Kariamu Welsh’s contemporary African dance technique. jumatatu’s work continues to be influenced by various sources, including foundations in those living rooms and parties, early technical training in contemporary African dance, continued study of contemporary dance and performance, and recent sociological research of and technical training in J-setting with Donte Beacham. jumatatu produces dance and performance work with idiosynCrazy productions, a company founded in 2008 with and now co-directed with Shannon Murphy. Previously, jumatatu has danced with Marianela Boán; Silvana Cardell; Emmanuelle Hunyh; Tania Isaac; Kun- Yang Lin; C. Kemal Nance; Marissa Perel; Leah Stein; Keith Thompson; Kate Watson-Wallace; Reggie Wilson; and Kariamu Welsh (as a member of Kariamu & Company). As a performer, jumatatu also collaborates with Merián Soto.
Dancing has been Jermone “Donte” Beacham’s blood since he can remember. It started off with hip hop dancing for his high school where he began to recognize his skill and talent. After four years later, he was introduced to the world of J-Sette by women. J-Sette historically refers to Jackson State University’s female drill team that began in the 1970s. They “created” the dance style, and thus far have made it a distinctive form of dance. He was interested in this type of dance, but not entirely until he saw a group of males performing it. At that point, he claimed the style for himself and perfected it on his body. Currently, Jermone has his own J-Sette line, Mystic Force, and plans to increase his already considerable renown in this style of dance in his community, and eventually internationally. Previously, Jermone served as co-captain of Dallas’ Texas Teasers. He has participated and competed in several events and competitions, including 2 SetteItOff video challenges, Atlanta Pride 2010, Tennessee Classics 2009, and Memphis Pride 2008. In 2015, Jermone was named “New Legendary” by the Meet Me on the Dance Floor J-Sette council, and has gained many titles since then, such as “Best Dancer” and “Most Entertaining.”
The creation of Let ‘im Move You: This Is a Formation was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphia; The MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network (NPN/VAN) Creation & Development Fund co-commissioned by Painted Bride Art Center in partnership with Bates Dance Festival, Arthur Aviles Typical Theatre DBA BAAD! Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Abrons Arts Center/Henry Street Settlement, Contemporary Arts Center Cincinnati, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Dance Place, PICA (Portland Institute for Contemporary Art), and NPN/VAN; Independence Foundation; and the Sacatar Foundation.
The development of Let ‘im Move You: This Is a Formation was made possible, in part, by the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University. Production residency funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional production support and residency provided by EMPAC / Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Additional residency support provided by Duke University by way of Slippage, and South Dallas Cultural Center.
This engagement of Let ‘im Move You: This Is a Formation is made possible through the ArtsCONNECT program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Image: Tayarisha Poe