Wilson discusses his personal revelation of the emotional pain he had buried as a kinesthetic artist in a written word prioritized world and how he came to the realization that dance needs to be valued by dance workers and taken on its own terms before so quickly jumping to other fields and disciplines for validation. In this presentation he also breaks down the core essential elements of Choreography and uses the basics of movement analysis to relate what he views as Africanist kinesthetic genius.
Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group is a Brooklyn-based dance company whose mission is to create, research, develop, and present new performance work that investigates the intersections of culture and movement practices. The Company’s body-of-works draw from the spiritual and mundane traditions of Africa and its Diaspora; Fist and Heel believes in the potential of the body as a valid means for knowing.
The choreography of Reggie Wilson displays rigor, structure and craft in a postmodern dance vernacular. His choreography expands the limitations of textbook definitions of ‘black dance’ and range from strict dance pieces to full, all-inclusive performance art pieces with arranged vocalizations, text, and inclusion of other media. Fist and Heel’s performance works strive for authenticity and respect of Reggie Wilson’s creative vision.
The Company’s name is derived from enslaved Africans in the Americas who reinvented their spiritual traditions as a soulful art form that white and black authorities dismissed as merely ‘fist and heel worshipping'.
The Company has received support from major foundations and corporations and has performed in the United States and abroad at notable venues including Dance Theater Workshop, New York Live Arts, Brooklyn Academy of Music, REDCAT, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and Festival Kaay Fecc in Senegal.
Reggie Wilson founded his company, Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group, in 1989. Wilson draws from the cultures of Africans in the Americas and combines them with post-modern elements and his own personal movement style to create what he calls "post-African/Neo-HooDoo Modern dances." His work has been presented nationally and internationally at venues such as Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York Live Arts, and Summerstage (NYC), Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival (Lee, MA), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), UCLA Live, and Redcat (Los Angeles), VSA NM (New Mexico), Myrna Loy (Helena, MT), The Flynn (Burlington, VT), Contemporary Arts Center (New Orleans), Dance Umbrella (Austin, TX), Linkfest and Festival e'Nkundleni (Zimbabwe), Dance Factory (South Africa), Danças na Cidade (Portugal), Festival Kaay Fecc (Senegal), The Politics of Ecstasy, and Tanzkongress 2013 (Germany). Mr. Wilson is a graduate of New York University, Tisch School of the Arts (1988, Larry Rhodes, Chair). He has studied composition and been mentored by Phyllis Lamhut; Performed and toured with Ohad Naharin before forming Fist and Heel. He has lectured, taught and conducted workshops and community projects throughout the US, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. He has traveled extensively: to the Mississippi Delta to research secular and religious aspects of life there; to Trinidad and Tobago to research the Spiritual Baptists and the Shangoists; and also to Southern, Central, West and East of Africa to work with dance and performance groups as well as diverse religious communities. He has served as visiting faculty at several universities including Yale, Princeton and Wesleyan Universities. Mr. Wilson is the recipient of the Minnesota Dance Alliance's McKnight National Fellowship (2000-2001). Wilson is also a 2002 BESSIE-New York Dance and Performance Award recipient for his work The Tie-tongued Goat and the Lightning Bug Who Tried to Put Her Foot Down and a 2002 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. He has been an artist advisor for the National Dance Project and Board Member of Dance Theater Workshop. In recognition of his creative contributions to the field, Mr. Wilson was named a 2009 United States Artists Prudential Fellow and is a 2009 recipient of the Herb Alpert Award in Dance. His evening-length work The Good Dance–dakar/brooklyn had its World premiere at the Walker Art Center and NY premiere on the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2009 Next Wave Festival. In 2012, New York Live Arts presented a concert of selected Wilson works, theRevisitation, to critical acclaim and the same year he was named a Wesleyan University’s Creative Campus Fellow, received the 2012 Joyce Foundation Award for his new work Moses(es), and was named a Doris Duke Performing Artist. In 2013 Moses(es) had its NY premiere on BAM’s Next Wave Festival and is currently touring.
Monday, November 4, 2019 at 6:30pm
Performing Arts Building, Massee Performance Lab - PAB 128
3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199
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