Apr 14, 2023
Apr 16, 2023

Shared Program: Baye & Asa, Wendy Perron and Morgan Griffin

Baye & Asa
Wendy Perron and Morgan Griffin

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Known for their propulsive and rhythmically dynamic physicality, Baye & Asa present their duet Suck it Up. The work looks at how commercial images promise status, offer solutions to inadequacy, and breed entitlement, and how internalized deficiency has created a culture of resentment. Suck it Up confronts the violent fallout of male insecurity and entitlement. Suck it Up was commissioned bythe Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center for The BlackLight Summit at the University of Maryland. Movement was generated during a residency at the 92nd Street Y.

In 1976, Wendy Perron made The Daily Mirror by creating a chunk of movement every day for 100 days. It was a movement diary, reflecting the interior and exterior landscape of the day. Forty-five years later, she unearthed five contact sheets of photos that photographer Babette Mangolte had taken of this solo, performed in Trisha Brown’s loft. Perron thought it might be interesting to see a younger dancer use the 138 photos as a score with which to make her own choreography. Around the same time, Morgan Griffin, Perron’s former grad student at NYU Tisch Dance, was interested in combining dances of the past with her current sensibility. She accepted Perron’s challenge and started making her own original choices based on the photos. Intrigued by Griffin's new choreography, Perron entered this sequence as the older dancer she is, and the two made Part I. This is a duet between an older dancing body and a young dancing body, with touches of tenderness and humor. Part II is Griffin’s complete solo, which is her own dynamic path based on the 1976 photos of Perron.

Photos of Baye & Asa by Richard Termine
Photos of Wendy Perron and Morgan Griffin by Julie Lemberger

Baye & Asa is a company creating movement art projects directed and choreographed by Amadi ‘Baye’ Washington & Sam ‘Asa’ Pratt. The duo grew up together in New York City, and that shared educational history is the mother of their work. Hip Hop and African dance languages are the foundation of their technique. The rhythms of these techniques inform the way they energetically confront contemporary dance and theater. They have presented their work at The Joyce Theater, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pioneer Works, The 92nd Street Y, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Jacob’s Pillow, DanceHouse Vancouver, Blacklight Summit, and at the Battery Dance Festival. They were selected as one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" in 2022. Their film work has won numerous awards and been presented internationally.

Wendy Perron is a dancer/choreographer turned writer/editor/historian. She danced with the Trisha Brown Company in the 1970s and choreographed many works for her own group. She has taught at Bennington College, Princeton University, and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. In the early 1990s she served as Associate Director of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and she has lectured internationally on Judson Dance Theater and postmodern dance. She has written for the New York Times, The Village Voice, and Dance Magazine, where she was editor in chief from 2004 to 2013. In 2011, the New York Foundation for the Arts inducted her into its inaugural Hall of Fame. Her second book, The Grand Union: Accidental Anarchists of Downtown Dance, 1970-1976, met with acclaim when it was published in 2020. Perron currently teaches dance history at the Juilliard School. She performed with Yoshiko Chuma at La MaMa in Christmas in Nickyland in 2021.

Morgan Griffin is a New York-based dancer and choreographer. She received her BA in dance from Connecticut College (2012) and her MFA from NYU Tisch Dance (2022). She has danced with Adele Myers and bandPortier, as well as presented her own work across New York and Connecticut. She is the dance series co-curator as well as artist in residence at Art Cake NYC. She has recently performed at the West End Theater, at the Art Cake 2020 Dance Series, at Vans CH66 with Daisies NYC, and in the recreation of Robert Whitman’s American Moon at Pace Gallery. She has choreographed work for Paco Rabanne and Noah NYC campaigns, and teaches dance to a wide range of ages and abilities. She continues to create work and collaborate, combining her interests and expanding on the concepts of imagination, discovery, inspiration, and curiosity.

La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival


La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival continues to support La MaMa’s commitment to presenting diverse performance styles that challenge audience’s perception of dance by featuring performance/installations, experimental film screenings & public symposiums which address dance artists’ engagement with the current political climate, as well as honoring diasporic histories and legacy, ancestral inspirations and inter-generational dialogue.

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