Let ‘im Move You: This Is a Formation – Philadelphia workshop

Let ‘im Move You: This Is a Formation – Philadelphia workshop

(please read to the end, and fill out the attached survey if you would like to request an interview – RESPONSES DUE APRIL 3rd!!!)



Hi folks – we are reaching out with a PAID REHEARSAL AND PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITY for Black contemporary dance performers in the Philly area (or within a reasonable travel range).  Rehearsal dates will span from Sept 2017 – June 2018, with a June 2018 premiere of a new dance production in Philadelphia, a July performance in Dallas, and possible touring dates through 2019.  We welcome serious inquiries. Thank you.


The project will be the next work in Jumatatu Poe’s Let ‘im Move You series, choreographed with J-Sette artist Jermone Donte Beacham.  Among other things, the project will look at joy, assembly/militancy, and formalistic ideologies from J-Sette and minimalism.  J-Sette, in short, is coming out of southern USAmerican states, harkening to movement and performance aesthetics emerging from drill teams and majorette lines at historically Black colleges and universities (namely Jackson State University).  Parallel to this history, queer Black men created opportunities for themselves to form their own competitive J-Sette squads in resistance to the heteronormative settings in which their public performance was/is unwelcome.  This work will primarily be dealing with the formal ideologies emerging from this black, queer resistance narrative.


The show will feature live DJed music (by Zen Jefferson /dø√∑ Ç@K∑) – spun sometimes in ways that take traditional 8-counts of pop and club music and turn them into non-traditional time signatures (13/4, 11/4, etc).  There will be interactive video design (by Wendell Cooper / Mx. Oops).


We are trying to find Black folks (and most importantly here is a significant self-identification with that labelling/history/affiliation) who are magical dancers and performers (of various ages, body sizes) and who feel connected with a queer gender performance identity (whether expressed primarily through their work in staged contexts, or in their lives-at-large).   Performers should have significant familiarity performing within art / performance spaces (stages, galleries, black boxes, etc.).  It is also important that performers have strong connections to Africanist modes of training – in social or concert/studio settings.  Folks with embodied information from neo-traditional and contemporary African dance forms, or hip-hop forms, or voguing, or dancehall, or social partner dance forms like salsa/bachata/lindy, or contemporary social African dance forms like coupe decalé or azonto, or J-Sette, etc.  Choreography will be athletic, with ample amounts of set material and various improvisational scores – both to develop movement and structure the work.

You can watch the video below for some samples of previous work the two choreographers have created together.

Let ‘im Move You: Intervention from start – 4:15
Let ‘im Move You: This Is a Success from 4:15 – 10:55
Let ‘im Move You: A Study from 10:55 – end


Pay rates are at $25/hr for rehearsals, or $1000/wk.  Rehearsals will take place in studio settings, home settings, and club settings.  Dancers will be expected to perform in other ways than just dancing, that may involve acting, speaking, singing, creating other vocal sounds, etc.  Performances may contain nudity. Current rehearsal schedule includes:

  • Sept 7-9
  • Oct 12-14
  • Oct 16-22 in Dallas, TX
  • Nov 16-18
  • Dec 14-16
  • Dec 17-23
  • Jan 4-13 in Durham, NC
  • Jan 18-20
  • Feb 22-24
  • Mar 8-10
  • Mar in 11-24 in Tallahassee, FL
  • Apr 12-14
  • May 10-12
  • May 14-20 in Manhattan and The Bronx, NYC
  • June 2-week performance residency premiere in Philly
  • July 2-week performance residency in Dallas, TX

All above rehearsals will be in Philadelphia unless otherwise noted, and ideally dancers would be available for all.  We will know in mid-July the exact details of rehearsal lengths and locations.

Donte and Jumatatu would like to have phone/video interviews with interested dancers in April.  We will gather up to 8 folks together at Swarthmore College on Sunday, May 7th, 2017, for a PAID workshop (at least $13.50/hr for a six-hour workshop from 11:30am – 6:30pm, with one hour break), in order to see who is resonating with us, with the ideas, with each other.  We are trying to create a rehearsal space full of rigor, conviction, respect, confrontation, and love.  Ultimately, we will create a group of 6 – 8 dance performers, 3-4 from Dallas (or within a reasonable travel radius) and 3-4 from Philly (or within a reasonable travel radius).


If you are interested and available, please take a moment to fill out the survey below by April 3rd.  Please note that you will need to be 18 years of age, or older.  We will largely be inviting folks for video interviews based on rehearsal/residency availability.  Interviews will take place between April 9 – 14.  Additionally, we ask that you upload or link to a 1-2 minute video statement of your interest in this project (why are you interested?  what could you contribute to a work like this?  what would you gain from being involved in a work like this?), and a 1-2 minute video of yourself dancing (either in a previous performance/rehearsal, or in something that you create specifically for this instance).  The survey is short, and asks mostly scheduling questions.  It should not take more than 30 minutes to prepare – including the time to make the videos.  Thank you for taking the time, and we look forward to hearing from you!  If you have any questions, please reach out to Jumatatu at jumatatup@gmail.com