Join artist and choreographer Marjani Forte Saunders for an intimate conversation around her work and practice. Forté-Saunders will explore her choreographic practice through the lens of her research and studies around community organizing, and motherhood. Forté-Saunders refers to dance and embodiment as her sorcery—revolutionary, transformative, wild, ancient, and fresh. Her practice is informed by years of anti-racist organizer training, and as a lead facilitator with Urban Bush Women’s (UBW) Builders, Organizers and Leaders through Dance work. Much of her work is also grounded in ideas and research around food, cultural identity and belonging. During the program, Forté-Saunders will reference select works, Blondell Cummings, and other cultural and social touch points that Forté-Saunders feels are relevant to her practice and Blondell Cummings: Dance as Moving Pictures exhibition. Forté-Saunders will also explore how collaboration and education have played central roles in her recent work, including Gleefully, Memoirs of a…Unicorn’s as well as touch on her time as Blondell Cummings’s student.
This program will be pre-recorded and shared via A+P’s website on October 12, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. This means that anyone interested in attending this program from anywhere in the world is welcome, all you need is an internet connection! No RSVP is necessary.
If you would like a reminder and information about future programs, please RSVP HERE. A link to view the program will be emailed to all of those on the RSVP list on October 12, 2021.
Marjani Forté-Saunders is a Mother, choreographer, performer, and organizer. She is a 2021 Dance Magazine Harkness Awardee, a 2020 recipient of the Foundation of Contemporary Arts Grants for Artists Award, and a 2 time NY Dance & Performance/Bessie Award winning choreographer and performer for her latest work Memoirs of a… Unicorn); which had its international premiere in Brussels, Belgium at the Beursschouwburg Festival 2019 and will present in Berlin at the Sophienseale in October 2021.
Anchored in a steady collaboration with partner and composer Everett Asis Saunders (New Music USA Awardee), the duo has emerged as 7NMS| Marjani Forte & Everett Saunders (abbv. 7NMS| M + E), with awarded residencies at The Petronio Residency Center (Sept 2019), BAM (2020) and Baryshnikov Arts Center (Nov 2019). They are recipients of the 2021 National Dance Production Grant for their new work PROPHET. They are also founding directors of ART & POWER (2018) a platform for artists, spiritualists, and scholars mobilizing regional and international communities through the transformative power of innovation.
Marjani is honored to be an inaugural recipient of 3 distinguishing fellowships: UBW Choreographic Center Fellowship (2017), Jerome Artist Fellowship (2018), and the DanceUSA Artist Fellowship (2019), as well as a 2 time Princess Grace Foundation awardee. Her work has been incubated in residencies at New York Live Arts, MANCC, LMCC Extended Life Residency invited by the late and mighty Sam Miller, BAX, 651 Arts, and Movement Research.
As an extension of her choreography, and with support from the SURDNA Foundation Thriving Cultures Grant, Forté-Saunders curated a three-month exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Art in Brooklyn, NY titled being Here… in Memory housing the work of four multi-media and design artists.
Her work as an artist and organizer is informed by years in anti-racist training with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond and as a lead facilitator with UBW’s Builders Organizers and Leaders through Dance.
Commercially, Saunders has worked as Movement Coach and Choreographer with Sundance Award Winning director Kahlil Joseph (PROCESS, Pantene ProV –“Strong Is Beautiful”, and FLYPAPER– a video installation at the New Museum featuring Ben Vereen and StoryBoard P). She has also worked with Director Kevin Willmott on the feature film The 24th, Kevin Everson’s short film Black Bus Stop and actress Tracee Ellis Ross’ product launch video campaign for PATTERNS.
Saunders was a touring artist for five years, with Urban Bush Women Dance Company (UBW) where she had the honor of working directly with Blondell Cumming’s to perform Chicken Soup. on exhibit at The Getty Museum and Art + Practice, in Los Angeles, CA.
Humbly, she defines her work by its lineage stemming from culturally rich, vibrant, historic, loving, irreverent conjurers!