NYU Black Renaissance Noire Fall 2013 - Page 81

Nina Mercer, too, is concerned with spiritual transformation and corporeal enlightenment of a contemporary young woman in her Yoruba influenced ritual drama, gypsy & the bully door. Throughout the many transitory moments of the work, Sara, the protagonist, an aspiring dancer who tells fortunes and styles hair to earn money, is visited confrontationally by the spirit of a childhood friend who, recently home from a foreign war, had been killed on the city streets by a Policeman. Ms. Mercer describes the work as “a story of race, class, sex, dreams, and the magic we conjure to make it in America and the world.” The event is driven by a live band, “The Pocket Call” that led by a trickster figure, the town Mayor, a worldly sage Blues Man who guides the ritual performance toward transformation. If there would be a brand that best represents her work, Ms. Mercer suggests that it would be called Maafa Performance which signifies the psychic reach into the collective holocaust experience of the African Diaspora. BRN-FALL-2013.indb 79 m Topdog/Underdog by Susan Lori Parks.. And there are several other writers/ directors charting innovative strategies of aesthetic inquiry who, if not completely marginalized or ignored, are provided limited opportunities to reveal their aesthetic visions in the popular American theatre because of their commitment to allegoric explorations that are not tainted or subordinated by the commercial formulas used for the commodification of black experience. In addition to the aforementioned artists, Taylor, Johnson, and Mercer, there are visionary directors such as Shirley Jo Finney, Kym Moore, Talvin Wilks, Jawole Zolla, Dean Irby, Laurie Carlos, Clinton Turner Davis, Rhodessa Jones, and George Wolf. And writers such as Keli Garrett, Marcia Leslie, Chad Boseman, Djanet Sears, Ifa Bayeza, Will Power, Patroina Paley, Marcus Gardley, Nambi Kelley, Djola Branner, Susan Lori Parks, and the seasoned dramatists, Adrienne Kennedy (whose mastery of the verbal metaphor in her nonlinear narratives arguably the progenitor of the dramaturgical trajectory of Susan Lori Parks), Ntozoke Shange who introduced the “choreopoem” as a new performance mode, and Aishah Rahman, the conjurer of absurd contradictions who proclaimed that the significance of having an identifying brand for the inventive work that is currently being done “is a 21st century solution to our artistic dilemma in America that we have been discussing for 30 years.” 79 m Cultural Odyssey presents We Just Telling Stories by Rhodessa Jones. Just as the performance objectives of Cirque du Soleil are different from Barnum and Bailey, and Blue Man a wide stretch of the imagination from Spiderman, and the Sun Ra Intergalactic Astro-Solar Infinity Arkestra, though sh ???????????)????????????????????????????)?????????????????????????????)????]????????????????????)????????????????????????????????)????????????????????????????)??????????????????????????????)????????????????????????????)??????????????????????????????)???????Q???????M??????????)????????????????????????????)???????????????????????????)????????????????????????????)??????????????????????????)A??? ????????I?????]?????) ???????????????????????????)??????????????????????????)?????????????????????)???????????????????????)??????????????????????????)%????????????????????????????)?????????????????????????)??????????????????????? ????)Q?????????????????????????????)????????????? ????????]????)???????????????? ????????????)???????????????????????????)???????????????????????????????)?????????????? ?????Q????????????)????????????????????????U????)M???????????????????????)??????????????????????????????)?????????????????????????????)????????????????????????????????)???????????????????????????)????????????????????????????????)???M????1???A?????????????)??????????????q?????????????t????)?????????????????????????????)???????????????????????????)?????????????????????????????)?????????????????????????????)????????????????????????????????)????????????????????????????)??????????????????????????????() 1 ,?I9%MM9 ?9=%I()A?????????)???????9 Q?%?????????? ???????+?qQ????????? ?????1???? ?????1???????Q??????????)M????????????????????t?9??????? ?????Q?????)???????]??????M??????9 ?((????????????4((0