Amii Legendre is in residency June 10 - 18 at 10degrees developing a new solo.
Surrender/Working in and Getting worked over in Prison
Other Working Title:
Regime Change/Please Don't Feed the Animals
Themes therein are:
Heteronormativity - Why is it easier to gain the trust of men in prison if you allow yourself to be seen as a medium good looking straight woman?
Motherhood - The first way in to common ground is to talk about children.
Womanhood - As one incarcerated friend asked, "what happens to men without women and children?"
Determination - You expect this one in a prison narrative, perhaps, but this theme plays out like any story of a group of people trying to put on a show.
White Liberal Guilt - Not in high doses and usually blurry.
Personal Failure - Not everyone does a good job.
Redemption - Just kidding, we won't go there.
Amii LeGendre is a faculty member in Dance and coordinates the Wellness program at Bard College in upstate NY. She teaches modern technique, contact, and improvisation techniques at Bard from many points of departure. For 20+ years, she has taught and teaches all this stuff in relevant configurations to independent youth, college, adult and professional communities.
Informed by feminist perspectives and histories, she facilitates events on the board of Bard College campus that explore body positivity, mental health, anti-racism, sexual health, and mind/body connectivities. For five years she taught dance to incarcerated men through Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) and Rehabilitation Through the Arts (RTA).
She created contemporary dance work in Seattle WA for 15 years with the crackerjack and beloved performers of LeGendre Performance Group. With LPG, she created many full evening works and projects grown from a confluence of text, improvisation, high velocity dancing and politics, often located in collaborations with musicians, composers, and designers. She is the mama of Stella and Ruby, aged 10 and 2. She tries to follow the dictum "make art anyway", weaving body positive activism and improvisation into her daily personal, professional and performative acts.
This new and not so new solo tries to tell the truth, which mostly involves asking, what part of the truth gets obscured when I'm trying to tell the truth but leaving out the obscured parts (because it looks better, sounds better, feels better)? This means telling a truth (one of them) about the body, about aging, about feminism's promise of having it all, about nursing and motherhood and dancing, about relationships across race and class and privilege, about how 'the purity' of art making can get debunked so it fits into spaces and actions that don't look or feel like art--but still feel and look interesting, worthwhile. It tries to figure out how to invite people a little further toward ant-racist thought and action and engagement across difference. It tries to, as my mentor and friend David Dorfman says, "invite and incite."