Dancers Amplified Presents
Feb 7, 2022
Ballet’s Black History ft. Jehbreal Muhammad Jackson on February 26th, 2022
Click here to register!
Join Dancers Amplified on February 26, 2022, in the launch of a new series of interactive discussions, Dancers Amplified Presents, featuring artists who connect their artform and lived experiences through scholarship and research.
These events will provide a space to amplify what an artist is today, bringing in the whole dancer beyond their brilliantly capable bodies. Artists have distinguished voices that continue to expand and interrogate our dance history with a profound understanding of the need for sustainable, healthy, inclusive and safe artistic spaces. These conversations are aimed to encourage dialogue, challenge thought and inspire hope. Far too often artists are underpaid or not paid at all for work that can be exhaustive and traumatizing. While these events are offered free of charge, please consider making a donation of any size when you register on Eventbrite or through our website. For the first event, we are proud and honored to welcome our very own DA team member, Jehbreal Muhammad Jackson, to guide us through Ballet’s Black History.
In this discussion we will interrogate what we know of ballet's history by exploring how the courts of Louis XIII and XIV absorbed the Sarabande from the Spanish theater's Zarabanda, and how the Spanish theater absorbed the Zarabanda from the Moors of al-Andalus. To posit an Andalusian source for the geometric base and formal preoccupations of ballet technique, we will explore the various artistic manifestations and cultural cosmologies of al- Andalus whose synthesis of art, science, philosophy and religion explored concepts of an atomically interconnected universe through geometries and fractalized subdivisions. The mathematically atomic world view is often attributed to the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, however it is often overlooked that Pythagoras, Aristotle, and Plato (among others) attribute their learning to having studied in Kemet. Therefore, we will trace the practices of al-Andalus that share a lineage through India, Syria, and Persia to the Shabaka Stone of ancient Kush (25th Dynasty), created in 710 BCE, which contains the seeds of atomism and the other aforementioned traditions in one artistic, scientific, and theological object.
Jehbreal Muhammad Jackson is an artist and scholar who writes, choreographs, and directs story ballets for film. In his scholarship and artistic practice Jehbreal interrogates ballet's history as he explores and derives inspiration from the intersections of art, science, and spirit in the cosmological compositions of William Shakespeare, the Moors of al- Andalus, and the Shabaka Stone of ancient Kush.
Jehbreal danced with Dance Theater of Harlem before freelancing in New York and Europe and has danced the works of William Forsythe, Francesca Harper, Alvin Ailey, George Balanchine, Donald Byrd, Alex Ekman, Sidra Bell, Jerome Robbins, Jill Johnson, Tania Perez Salas, Matthew Brookoff, Seth Gerstacov, August Bournonville, and Ohad Naharin. He is also a vocalist featured on Samora Pinderhughes' Transformations Suite and Grief albums after having also performed with Jon Batiste and Kris Bowers.
Jehbreal received a BFA in dance from The Juilliard School, an MFA in dance from UC Irvine, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theater at Columbia University.
Click here to register!