I am developing a new dance around a clothing element common to women in the African Diaspora, headwraps. In the United States during slavery time, the enslaved women were required by their masters to cover up their natural hair in such a way to shame them of their natural beauty and thus negate their roots. This notion quickly turned around as the enslaved women would fashion their wraps and utilize colorful fabrics converting wraps into a fashion statement. In other cultures, the head wrap is worn to keep religious views. I see the headwrap as a vehicle that unites the voices and images of African, Caribbean, Hispanic, and Muslim women in the United States, specifically highlighting the diversity in the borough of the Bronx. My choreographic work will explore social, political and religious views and redefine the meaning of "beauty" that may or may not affect and inspire women and the community surrounding them. As part of the development of my work, I seek to hold a forum to gather women from our Bronx communities in a workshop that will consist of conversations about their head wrap usage, setting initial interviews and translating those experiences into movement. By documenting these initial interviews, I will project images, as well as utilize set designs and props of different styles of headwraps to compliment my choreography. My aim is to not only educate the audience with the history of head wraps but empower women from all walks of life. Movement wise I’d like to have an abstract and contemporary approach with fusion of folkloric elements with musical collaborations by the diverse drummers and dancers from the Bombazo Dance Company.
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