The Essentialisn't

Institute History

  • 2019 Theatre Lab at MASS MoCA


Utilizing song, electronic sound, movement, and everyday objects, The Essentialisn't examines the specific expectations around black women and performance, expectations that come from our history of captivity. What do you do on a stage after centuries of ritualized resistance to commodification has been stereotyped, co-opted, and commodified as well? Davis and vocalists Justin and Jade Hicks reanimate modernist figures from the Harlem Renaissance to imagine the art of black presence with a fresh awareness of sovereignty.


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