Negus- noun: Kingship, royalty.
Inspired by the works of artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Kehinde Wiley, I wanted to explore different levels of identity and representation of the black male in the United States. “Negus” is a Hip-hop work that asks African-American males, where do we come from, who are we now, what values do we uphold, what obstacles do we face in this society, and how do we overcome them?
In asking these questions, “Negus” seeks to use Hip-hop as a way to portray the humanity of the black male figure. In doing so, it directly opposes the commercial rap world– a primary source for the portrayal of the stereotypical black man–and delves deeply into some complications about certain aspects of the African-American experience.
“Negus” premiered at Urban Art Space in Columbus, OH in January of 2016. This film both captures the essence of the original work and completely wrecks it simultaneously. Within the film aspects of controversy between who we are and who we could/should be are portrayed as well as lighter themes such as rhythm, fun, etc. I hope this helps give you a way into viewing the film and I hope you enjoy!
I am in the midst of creating a stage concert work called “From Within. And Back Again” that focuses on conventions in life that help to spark ones soul. Whether it be an overwhelming joy, anger, or sorrow, there are moments in life where our spirits feel as though they want to burst beyond our physical bodies. During these moments, I experience the limits of my flesh-self while simultaneously feeling the existential and boundless nature of my inner being. For me, it’s quite an amazing phenomenon that brings up many questions, and therefore, pushes me to make a dance about it.
Out of this larger work spawns “Moment of Silent Screams” as the recent emphasis on the injustices of police brutality have created a restlessness within my soul. This video is a result of my observations over the past month mixed with my desire to something. This is how I raise my voice in disgust against the systematic injustices that have been going on in our country.
I hope you empathize with the words, the movement, and/or the music that creates this work and it inspires you to have a conversation about these issues with others in your community. Blessings.
So this is my last video of the semester, I feel like it has been an amazing journey at OSU so far and I wanted to cap it off by going back to what I love to naturally do choreographically- create videos that highlight the dance using my own movement voice.
This small work was simply inspired by Tori Kelly’s voice and power within her music. From the moment I heard it, I knew I would eventually make something up to it. It’s funny because just a few years ago, Adele had just come out, and I remember my frustration because I felt like I was not versatile enough as a dancer to do justice to her songs. Now, I believe that I can dance and choreograph to anything my imagination desires, which is perfect timing considering I am exploring my choreographic voice at school. So this work is a testament to the hard work, love, and support that has nourished my growth and brought me to this point!
I hope you all enjoy and take in the beauty that is this song. Blessings.
This short dance film is my third and final project for my first semester at Ohio State University. The instructor allowed for this project to be completely open, no guidelines or restrictions for our creativity. I found it easy to conjure up an idea; however, I found it challenging to figure out how to make that idea become a reality throughout my filming and editing process. Because of the constant struggle and perseverance throughout this past month, I feel like I was able to create something that I am proud to present to you all.
This short film is inspired by a true event in my life. I was forced into isolation for four hours in a claustrophobic space, yet it felt like an entire day. Thoughts of my loved ones, my past actions, and my future goals were all whizzing through my mind without interruption. No matter how hard I tried, I could not sleep, could not eat, and could not stay still because of the anxiety that started to destroy my psyche while I was contained. Although it was one of the most tragic moments of my life, God helped me to use the experience to turn my life in a positive direction.
I wanted to share this with you all at this time of thankfulness because I am so grateful for this moment in my life and the inspiration it has given me to live better, and to create this film. I hope you all find a connection with something in the story and enjoy the 5-minute experience. Thank you for watching! Blessings.
P.S: Shout-out to the beautiful dancer Julie Kogan! Thank you so much for all your help in this process, I hope this work gives justice to your awesome-ness! Much love!
P.P.S: I wanted to give a shout-out to the amazing Hiphop choreographer, Ellen Kim. I used her choreography from “Back to Cali” by Biggie Smalls that I learned in Washington D.C at a Movement Lifestyle Tour. I really connected with the movement and wanted to experiment with using a Hiphop choreography in a different way.
This is my second major film project from Ohio State. We were required to pick a piece of artwork and create a short movie based off of what inspired us.
I chose a piece of artwork of a Krump dancer in open space. There is no title or artist; however, this work has inspired me for years now. For me, it represents the freedom of giving yourself up to the Lord.
I used the artwork to create Faceless, a short film based off of the masks that individuals wear when they are interacting with others in society.
We rarely, if ever, show our entire selves when we are living amidst society. More so, we put on different masks to show portions of ourselves depending on our situation. This film explores the pressure that builds upon us as we put on these masks in order to be accepted and meet expectations in society; and then, the breath of freedom that comes with escaping society and allowing our true selves to be expressed without restraint.
I hope you enjoy and take something away from the piece. Blessings.