Supporting new work by Choreographer Reggie WilsonÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
CHICAGO, IL â€”The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago has received a 2012 Joyce Award to commission choreographer Reggie Wilson to create the evening-length dance-theatre work (project) Moseses Project. The Awardâ€™s $50,000 grant also will support Wilsonâ€™s research residency in Chicago and a two-week community engagement residency for Wilson and three dancers to involve Chicagoans in the creative process.
The Dance Center is being honored with this prestigious award for the second time, one of only three organizationsâ€”and the only dance organizationâ€”to receive two Joyce Awards in its 10-year history. The Dance Center received a 2004 Joyce Award to support commissioning fees, presentation costs and associated community engagement and audience development efforts for Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwanâ€™s Wild Cursive, created by Artistic Director Lin Hwai-min. The piece received its American premiere in October 2006, presented by The Dance Center at the Harris Theater in Chicago.Â
(project) Moseses Project is the working title of a new performance piece by Wilson exploring the interfaith mythical, biblical, ethnographic, historic and global references of Moses. Initial inspiration for the work came from Wilsonâ€™s rereading of Zora Neale Hurstonâ€™s novel Moses, Man of the Mountain, which retells the Moses story as a Southern folk tale in Southern African-American vernacular. The work is progressing to look at Moses as prophet, priest, soldier, law-giver, leader, man and husband. (More information in this two-minute video.)Â
In addition to direct commissioning support, the Joyce Award enables The Dance Center to host Wilson for two residencies:
- During the 10-day Artist Research Residency, to take place in spring 2012, The Dance Center will connect Wilson with Chicago church leaders across several faith-based traditions to help him gain a deeper understanding of leadership issues in churches, synagogues and mosquesâ€”all viewed through the lens of Mosesâ€™ stories.
- During the summer 2012 two-week Community Engagement and Choreographic Development Residency, Wilson will engage further with faith- and community-based groups, then take what he learns and directly embody those ideas on dancers from his company Fist & Heel Performance Group.Â
Reggie Wilson is indisputably one of Americaâ€™s leading choreographers. He was born and raised in Milwaukee after his family moved north from the Mississippi delta. In 1989, he founded his Brooklyn-based Fist & Heel Performance Group. Drawing from the movement languages of the blues, slave and spiritual cultures of Africans in the Americas, Wilson adds post-modern elements and his own personal movement style to create what he calls â€œpost-African/Neo-HooDoo Modern dances.â€