JOIN US FOR APAP 2021
Sunday, January 10, 2021
featuring an excerpt:
+ LIVE interview between April Biggs and Naila Ansari
APAP Conference 2021
Of Otherness (2018), considers the liminal spaces of being other – who do we see when we see ourselves; who gets to identify us; whose gaze validates us, and whose do we reject? Through its various dance dialects, Of Otherness depicts five women in reaction to their particular landscape of alterity, each enacting the labor required to survive.
“Every ontology is made unattainable in a colonized and civilized society.”— Frantz Fanon
Creating Of Otherness:
In 2018, while in graduate school at The Ohio State University, I created the work Of Otherness. My experience as a disabled dancer in academia at that time was – at best – survived by the skin of my teeth, and – at worst – an un-livening, devaluing one. I set out to place myself in a room with folx who shared a curiosity for how to self-determine their own experiences of marginalization.
Our experience was a year-long process, one for which the making, the immersing, and the building of trust was the actual piece far more than any product of the process could be. We spent many hours in the studio, placing ourselves within discomfort, inviting others to see our most intimate selves through solo explorations utilizing various improvisational methods such as Authentic Movement. Our focus was on our othernesses, and unveiling to ourselves where, when, and why we code-switch. Building a container wherein we could give ourselves permission to be seen, witnessed. As women, as queer women, as disabled women, as Black women.
I am sharing this work as the first in a series of intersectionality-framed works aimed at finding spaces, developing spaces for those of us who have been othered and cannot assume safety just anywhere.