Organized by activist, educator, and choreographer Suchi Branfman in 2017, Inside Outside brought a group of choreographers and artists to share their work and creative process with incarcerated men inside the California Rehabilitation Center, a medium-security state men’s prison in Norco, California. In deep collaboration with these incarcerated men earlier in the year, Branfman had spent three months co-choreographing SUSTAIN around the question “what sustains you?” She will be in conversation with multidisciplinary artist and educator d. Sabela Grimes, who joined Branfman and other artists at the California Rehabilitation Center to teach and share choreography from his work Bulletproof Deli, that complicates constructed notions of masculinity and manhood within the confines of a “Chinese” take-out spot in North Philadelphia. Join Art + Practice to discuss their experience creating and sharing their art with incarcerated individuals through prison walls.
d. Sabela grimes, 2017 County of Los Angeles Performing Arts Fellow and 2014 United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow, is a transmedia storyteller, sonic ARKivist, movement composer cultivating a devoted interest in Afrobiquitous life practices. Sabela has conceived, written, scored, choreographed, and produced several dance theater works including BulletProof Deli, plus Philly XP, World War WhatEver, and 40 Acres & A Microchip: Salvation or Servitude from his EXPERIMENT EARTH sound-movement triptych. Recent creative projects include ELECTROGYNOUS (2017) and Dark Matter Messages (2018). ELECTROGYNOUS is a dance theater experience that articulates that Black gender qualities are infinite, multi-dimensional, and distinct manifestations of wombniversal consciousness. Dark Matter Messages is a collection of live poetry, video projections, and music interwoven with improvisational movement meditations that realize AfroFuturism as a means to play within the nowness of impending futures. Moved by how Octavia E. Butler invents interrelated notions of humanness in her Parable Series, Dark Matter Messages dreams Butler’s unfinished manuscript, Parable of the Trickster, into a live performance experience. Sabela is also active as composer/sound designer for two dance theater projects, CONTRA-TIEMPO’s joyUS, and David Rousseve/REALITY’s Halfway to Dawn, both set to premiere in 2018/2019. On the faculty at USC’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, he continues to cultivate Funkamental MediKinetics, a movement system he created that focuses on the methodical dance training and community building elements evident in Hip Hop, Black vernacular, and Street dance forms. Sabela loves pancakes, declarative realness, and his kinfolk.
Suchi Branfman, choreographer, performer, educator, and activist, has had the honor of working for many years throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, the Soviet Union, Cuba, Brazil, Nicaragua, Mexico, Uganda, and South Africa. She has performed and made dance from the war zones of Managua to Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre and from Kampala’s Luzira Prison to NYC’s Joyce Theatre, as both a soloist and with Wallflower Order, Crowsfeet Dance Collective, Harry Streep’s Third Dance Theatre, Katherine Litz, Gus Solomons Jr., and Dan Wagoner. Ms. Branfman is currently in the midst of a five-year artist residency at the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco and serves on the faculty at Scripps College. Her supporters have included the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the California Arts Council, and the Los Angeles and Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Divisions. She is a Santa Monica community gardener, a prison abolition activist with Critical Resistance, and a former chair of the Santa Monica Arts Commission.